Monday, November 25, 2013

Book Blitz: Stim by Kevin Berry - Excerpt & Guest Post


 
 
Stim

Kevin Berry

New Adult Contemporary

Available at Amazon * B&N * Smashwords

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18685092-stim?ac=1

Blurb

Robert is different. He has Asperger's Syndrome. He experiences the world differently to 99% of the population. Follow his entertaining and highly empathetic story as he struggles to realise and accept who he really is, try to understand other people—which he cannot—and find a girlfriend. Especially find a girlfriend—he's decided it's his special project for the year. Accompanied on this transformative journey by his quirky flatmates, Chloe (who also has Asperger's, amongst other things), Stef (who hasn't, but doesn't mind) and their oddly-named kitten, Robert endures a myriad of awkward moments in his quest to meet a nice, normal girl...and not even a major earthquake will stop him.

This absorbing and humorous story is starkly told from Robert's point of view, through the kaleidoscope of autistic experience.


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Excerpt

 
Excerpt from Stim, Chapter 4, Diary entry

 
There is a well-known equation, known as the Drake Equation, that is used to estimate the number of detectable, sentient, communicative races in the galaxy (besides us, if we consider ourselves as one of them). It works (or does not work, according to its critics) by guessing the value of a lot of variables, such as the fraction of stars which have planets, and the fraction of planets which develop intelligent life, amongst other things, and multiplying them all together. Depending on the values chosen, the equation produces a number between zero (we are alone in our galaxy) to billions (we have lots of intelligent neighbours in the galaxy).

I decided to modify this equation to estimate the number of potential girlfriends for me in Christchurch. Here is my Girlfriend Equation, for a Scientifically Calculated Reckoning of Eligible Women (or SCREW score):

G = P . fw . fa . fi . fs . fp . fr . fh . fg

where

G = the number of potential girlfriends for me in Christchurch;

P = the population of Christchurch, which is about 400,000 (I am not interested in a long-distance relationship, so I am restricting this variable to my home city);

fw = the fraction of the population made up of women, which is about 50% (I am not interested in a gay relationship, so I will calculate for females only);

fa = the fraction of the above women within one year either side of my own age, so aged about 18-20, which I estimate at about 5% (I do not want to date a schoolgirl, and women aged 21 or over will surely be too sophisticated for me);

fi = the fraction of the above women who are highly intelligent, say with an IQ within the top 5%, which is (obviously) a certain 5% (because we must be able to talk to each other at approximately the same level);

fs = the fraction of the above women who are currently single, which I…um…guess is about 50% (I do not want to date someone already dating someone else, as I do not want to get involved in threesomes or a trinogamous relationship);

fp = the fraction of the above women who I find physically attractive, which is…er…about 10%, at a guess. I do not know exactly (I think physical attractiveness is probably quite important for the sex aspect of the relationship);

fr = the fraction of the above women who reciprocally find me physically attractive, which is even more difficult to estimate…so about 20%, at a guess (yes, this is double the percentage I estimated I find attractive, but I am not unhandsome, you know);

fh = the fraction of the above women who I will like hanging out with, which I estimate at 100% (I am sure I would like hanging out with an attractive woman, and I am quite easy-going);

fg = the fraction of the above women who will get along with me and tolerate my Aspie ways… Hmm, hard to estimate… I will be generous and guess 20% (most women are likely to consider me too weird to go out with, as Chloe told me).

Treating all of the above as independent variables, which is maybe a little questionable as some of them are probably correlated, I plugged all of the values into the equation, which became:

G = 400000 x 0.5 x 0.05 x 0.05 x 0.5 x 0.1 x 0.2 x 1.0 x 0.2

Multiplying everything together, this equation of somewhat dubious credibility results in:

G = 1

That is it. I have calculated there is one unattached, intelligent woman of about my age in Christchurch who I will find physically attractive and who will find me physically attractive, and enjoy hanging out with. One.

Where is she?

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Guest Post

Writing in Christchurch, New Zealand

I live in Christchurch, New Zealand, a city devastated by major earthquakes in September 2010 and February 2011.  The earthquakes have had a huge impact on everyone living here.  We all know people whose houses were badly damaged or who lost someone.  And for some of the writers here, the angst from the earthquakes comes out in our writing.  In my case, in a whole chapter in Stim, when the 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck in the early hours of the morning. 

There's about 400,000 people here, a small city by international standards, but big enough for there to be plenty of writers.  We get together in groups for things like NaNoWrMo write-ins, SpecFicNZ lunches and Christchurch Writers' Guild catchups, and many of us are good friends as well as writing colleagues.  It's great to be able to have other writers to talk to; for instance, if you say you were kept up half the night by voices in your head that didn't go away until you'd written down what they said, it's nice to have friends that understand you're a writer and not just simply crazy.  And we have lots of skills between us, like editing, design, proofreading, marketing and formatting, so those of us who want to self-publish can swap skills with someone else.  Or just swap ideas and get feedback on our writing.

 
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About the Author
 
 
Kevin Berry is an indie author. His particular niche is writing Aspie New Adult contemporary novels set in an earthquake zone. The first of these is STIM, published in October 2013.

His first novels, co-written with Diane Berry, are Dragons Away!, Growing Disenchantments and Fountain of Forever (humorous fantasy). These are available as paperbacks and ebooks at Amazon and elsewhere.
 


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