The Borealis Genome

October 26, 2013 Blog Tours, Interviews 0

The Borealis GenomeThe Borealis Genome by Nancy Wise, Thomas P. Wise
on 5/30/2013
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 332
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Readers’ Favorite says, “… one of the best books I have read lately. . . . an exquisite book . . . that will break your heart.” . . .

Gene manipulation, mind uploading, and nanotechnology combine to alter the definition of being human. Synthetic-life and genetic engineering allow the world’s greatest minds to live forever, uploading new life to perfect their craft.

Tim and Nora confront the dark side of eternity and threaten to expose the source of gruesome attacks. Conspiracies uncovered create a battle for life, love, and humanity with the sinister byproducts of evolutionary science.

Interview with Authors Thomas and Nancy Wise

Can you talk a little about what the book is about?

The Borealis Genome is a combination of reality and the zombie trope. Nancy and I wanted to take the usual devastation and societal collapse normally found in a zombie story and tell the back story. We focused on how the technology that destroys the known world was created and began. Most stories start at the end, so we decided to start at the beginning. The reader watches the world fall apart around them. It feels to the reader as if you could reach into the story and shake the actors; try to grab them and scream, “wake up! Can’t you see what is happening around you?”

Where did you get the idea for the book?

Nancy and I, along with our teens, watch a lot of science fiction and dystopian movies. Our teens love all of the zombie movies and read all of the books just like every other teen. While working through the Ph.D. studies I was introduced to a lot of the latest science and thought to myself, this is how a real zombie story could unfold. The science for everything in the story is very close to reality.

What message do you want readers to get from reading the book?

Great question. The Borealis Genome is a story that unfolds and challenges the reader to take a close look at how we experience the world. It questions whether a person’s true self is in their human form, in their experiences and memories, or in their spirit. Can a person really exist beyond the human body in mind alone?

How long did it take to write the book?

I think it took us about a year. It went through at least three rewrites as we learned how to really tell the story.

Who is your favorite character, or what character was the most fun to write?

We designed each of the characters to reflect a different part of the human experience as the story unfolds. Tommy was really the most fun to write. He experiences the story more emotionally than the other characters.

Can you talk about how you wrote it? Did you do any outlining? Did it take you in any unexpected directions?

Our writing style is probably a bit odd. The story started in the middle and from there we kept asking ourselves, “what would have brought us to this point and what might they do?” “How would Tim, Tommy, Nora, and their friends or enemies do next?” “How would they react?” We outlined the answers and then would build a reality around the answers.

If you could go back and change anything in the novel, what would it be?

I’m not sure. Writing many of the scenes was really an emotional experience, and some of it was very uncomfortable to express. The next novel in the series will jump back a little in time to fill in a couple gaps such as how do the scientists find their first victims.

How did you come up with the cover?

The cover was fun. My daughter is a talented artist. The cover is her interpretation of the story and shows the thoughts of Mr. Oldham as he works through his discovery.

When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Tom is very goal oriented. He created a list of goals many decades back and has been working them down ever since.

I think I always wanted to write. Writing has always been a passion that I wanted to fulfill and started with a series of poems. I even managed to get a few published at that time. After finishing my dissertation I published a book with Gower Publishing in the UK titled “Trust in Virtual Teams.”

What are you favorite books and authors?

For Tom it is definitely historical fiction. Jeff and Michael Shaara are a couple of my favorites. Nancy prefers the Dragon Riders of Pern series by Anne McAffrey.

What are you working on next?

There are three books in progress right now. A middle grade book that has been a lot of fun to write should be to editing by the end of the year. The sequel to The Borealis Genome is in the beginning stages and will likely make it to editing some time in the spring. We will likely post a few sample pages on our blog site at

What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Focus on your experiences, emotions, memories, and areas of your life that can be shared. Stories are real to your readers when they are real to you. The most important part of writing is editing. Edit, edit, edit, and then hand the work to someone who can professionally edit for you. If you’re like Nancy and I you will never make the grammar work, so have that part professionally finished. As you can likely see from this little paragraph I can never figure out where to put that blasted comma.


Chance turned toward the officer, the girl’s blood dripping down her face and mixing with her own flowing from the ragged gash in her cheek giving her the appearance of a phantom. Screaming, arms extended and eyes wide, frantic with terror, she ran toward the officer, hoping to keep him from firing again, “No! No! No!” Chance screamed in horror and panic.

She could no longer see the officer.

“Stop!” the second officer screamed, lunging to grab Geoff before he could turn.

Geoff turned toward Chance, his eyes as wide as saucers. “Don’t! Stop!” he screamed.

Chance twisted, trying to see through the gore. Crawling, she moved. Keep moving, her panicked mind told her, toward the police.

Chance screamed, thinking the dead zombie must be on her, hearing the officer plead for the phantom to stop as it advanced upon his position.

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