Monday, November 07, 2011

Guest - Brinda Berry

Good morning all! Today we have author Brinda Berry who lives in the southern US with her family and two spunky cairn terriers. She has a BSE in English and French and a MEd in Learning Systems Technology. She's terribly fond of chocolate, coffee, and books that take her away from reality (just like the rest of us, LOL).  She doesn't mind being called a geek or “crazy dog lady”. When she's not working the day job or writing a novel, she's guilty of surfing the internet for no good reason.


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My Love for "Sliders" and Worldbuilding

I think about "Sliders" quite often. No, I'm not talking about the delectable tiny cheeseburgers so popular at restaurants. I'm referencing the television show that aired during the late 1990s. "Sliders" was an American sci-fi series with a wonderful plot. In the show, travelers move through a wormhole to visit alternate realities. My debut YA fantasy, The Waiting Booth, has a portal and people travel to other dimensions. That's probably where the similarities end. Before writing my book series, I had to make up rules. Shows like "Sliders" and certain sci-fi books gave me much food for thought in worldbuilding.

First, let me tell you more about "Sliders", the television series. Brainiac grad student, Quinn Mallory, creates a machine that can send a person to an alternate universe. Quinn has a timer that can ensure that he returns to the original spot at a certain point in time. Of course, he has company.  Quinn, his female friend Wade, a professor, and others get stuck in a messy situation during their universe sliding when the timer is activated before planned. They can't seem to slide back home. We learn that there is a Quinn and Wade in each universe. Also, their actions influence and change the course of events. Being a romantic at heart, I enjoyed the spark between Quinn and Wade.  I only watched the first two seasons and loved every minute. The series lasted for five seasons, but many changes were made with the writers and storyline, so they lost me as a viewer after that.

In The Waiting Booth, my dimensions do not possess "alternate selves" of the characters. A technologically advanced society from another dimension has created some controls for travel through portals. Additionally, portals are a natural phenomena in every dimension.  The main character Mia not only discovers a portal near her house; she discovers that the Bermuda Triangle is a portal. Mia also questions why the travelers from another dimension are so similar to herself when she assumed they'd resemble aliens.

So, this is where I'll let you in on my worldbuilding notes. I created a theory to use for writing The Waiting Booth. Want to hear about how this works? There are simultaneous dimensions of infinite number. The farther one travels, the more dissimilar the physical structure of the traveler. So, the ones doing a lot of traveling are the same or close in terms of human species. That doesn't exclude the possibility of those who are extremely different, but it does mean it would be rare to see the alien from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.  The neighbor living next door can look just like you and be from another dimension.

In "Sliders", all the action takes place in an alternate reality. Come to think of it...I'm not sure if they ever made it home. That made it very interesting to see how characters would react when bumping into their "alternate selves."  In The Waiting Booth, most of the action takes place in Whispering Woods.  Mia does get to travel through the portal, and I did make up some rules for that.  Mia is a synesthete (a real medical condition) and is constantly overwhelmed by an overload of sensory perception. When she "senses" a portal, it is an area devoid of the things she usually finds. In my rules, I determined that sound and light could not travel through the portal, but that matter can.

Worldbuilding for my book was a lot of fun. I began this article by telling you about how much I enjoyed "Sliders" and even hinted that it inspired me. Although a lot of my worldbuilding is different from the "Sliders"' world, we have a few things in common. I love the concept that there is something out there beyond our known world. Also, I couldn't write a book without some romance to go along with the adventure. I've already written the second book in the Whispering Woods series and am currently writing the third. I find the worldbuilding to be one of the most enjoyable parts of writing. I get excited when I imagine all the possibilities. Do you have a favorite show or book that takes place in an alternate universe, reality, or dimension?


THE WAITING BOOTH

A missing boy, government agents, an interdimensional portal...

Mia has one goal for her senior year at Whispering Woods High—find her missing older brother. But when her science project reveals a portal into another dimension, she learns that travelers are moving in and out of her woods in the most alarming way and government agents Regulus and Arizona are policing their immigration. Mia’s drawn to the mysterious, aloof Regulus, but it’s no time for a crush. She needs to find out what they know about her brother, while the agents fight to save the world from viral contamination. But when Regulus reveals that he knows Mia’s secrets, she begins to wonder if there’s more going on than she thought...and if she was wrong to trust him...

Brinda can be found at:


13 comments:

Linda Andrews said...

I, too, loved the first couple of seasons of Sliders, then it got weird. Your series sounds like a lot of fun. Is it a young adult book? And will the entire series be set in Bermuda?

Brinda said...

Linda- Thanks for stopping by to read! My series is young adult fantasy. It's set in the fictitious location of Whispering Woods, Arkansas. The Bermuda Triangle is only mentioned in the book. :)

Anonymous said...

Must leave this as "anon." Florence from fOIS In The City.

I am exploring the parellel universe and the concept of quantum phsycis. Both in science and spiritualism there is a belief in alternative worlds. Wells was to travel either back or forward, while many believe time travel is possible to many other worlds, both in the here and the hereafter. Love Whispering Woods as the backdrop for your stories. Is there a universe that duplicates our known reality? Can we find our double, encounter ourselves in other worlds? Why not. Great post as always, Brinda :)

Pauline B Jones said...

I totally loved first two seasons of Sliders, too! Hated it when Wade left and then Quinn. And all the weird stuff. Yeah, lost me.

I do think it is fun to play with dimensions and totally enjoy books about that and time travel. Congrats on the book! Sounds fun!

Brinda said...

Florence-I could research endlessly about quantum physics. I find it fascinating. Thank you for reading. Pauline- I was definitely a Wade and Quinn fan. The Whispering Woods series is a fun one. I feel lucky to be able to channel my imagination into writing. :)

Sherry Isaac said...

Hey Brinda!

All fiction requires world building to some extent, but the intricacies and rules and boundaries of fantasy is precisely why I love to read it, but won't write it. The idea overwhelms me to the point of heart palpitations, so I truly admire the writers, like you, who do this.

Michael Offutt said...

I bought a copy of the Waiting Booth. I'm still in the first chapter but it definitely shows what a great writer you are, Brinda.

Kari Thomas said...

I loved Sliderst too ---until Wade left. I hate when they take away favorite characters.

World Building is so important and will 'make or break' a book with Readers and Sales. I love getting lost in a book where the author does a great job with the world building.

Enjoyed the post!

hugs, Kari Thomas, www.authorkari.com

Isis Rushdan said...

Another Sliders fan here. At least until Wade left. Interesting premise, but the characters kept me watching.

I plan to start reading your book over the holidays.

Wishing you many happy sales!

Victoria said...

I was a big Sliders fan too. Even my husband would watch it with me. When Quinn's brother was found is when it went down hill for me.
Your YA series sounds good. It's funny I read quite a bit of YA. I try to read 1 YA to every 2 or 3 adult books. Bring in a nice variety.
Best Wishes!

Brinda said...

Sherry- I had to start a small reference manual for myself. :)
Michael-I appreciate the fact that you're reading my book. I'm guessing it isn't your "usual" sort of read.
Kari- I feel "betrayed" when a show changes my cast.
Isis- Thanks for dropping by to read. You and I both are looking forward to some holiday reading time!
Victoria- I love YA! It's nice to meet another another YA fan. I'm reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone right now. It's REALLY good.

Sophia Ryan said...

I, too, was a Sliders fan, and had a major crush on Jerry O' for awhile. He made 'smart' cool. Another favorite was Quantum Leap. Best of luck with your book...it sounds interesting! Sophia

Brinda said...

Hi Sophie- Yes, I watched Quantum Leap as well. Great show..