Interview and Review with Author Terry Persun

21 Oct

Revision 7: DNA by Terry Persun

It’s Monday – and you know what that means….more fabulous author offerings from The Tarasphere! Today, I am so excited to bring you the science-fiction thriller “Revision 7: DNA” by Terry Persun. Take a look and check it out. If you love sci-fi, then this is one for you.

A brief description: Revision 7: DNA

Time traveling robots, a walking medical experiment turned detective genius, and a kidnapped psychic combine in a story that will tear at your heart and get your adrenaline pumping.

the problem…
When it comes to investigating missing objects, Neil Altman stands out. After all, his parents severed the two halves of his brain when he was a child and then trained him to use each half independently. The problem is that he doesn’t believe in time machines, so Dr. Eric Steffenbraun’s project, stolen or not, already sounds far-fetched.

the proof…
Video is hard to deny, but Neil isn’t sure if the beings coming through the time machine are humans with masks or illegal humanoid robots. Besides, Dr. Steffenbraun could have faked the video if he feared the project was about to be cancelled.

the complication…
Neil’s wife, Mavra, is a well-known psychic in the area, and believes that Neil could be in danger. Knowing how she can get involved even when asked not to, he includes her in on the investigation. His plan is to keep her out of harm’s way. That is until she’s kidnapped.

the wildcard…
Miles away from Neil and the time machine, Fenny is trained to think on his own. He’s a utility robot with little understanding of what’s going on around him except what Dr. Smedley Klein has taught him—for now. Things are about to change for Fenny once Revision 7 is installed.

Sounds awesome, right? (Hint/Review Spoiler – *it was*) Now, here’s the interview!!

What was your favorite part of the book?

I hate to say this, but I really like the ending.

What was the hardest part to write in the book?

I think the most difficult part to write was some of the interaction between Neil and his wife, Mavra. I wanted them to be close, but also playful without sounding mean to one another. That’s a very difficult balance to maintain.

What do you wish was different about the book?

Nothing. I work very hard to make the book what I want it to be. If there are mistakes in the book, a lot of people overlooked them, and I am truly sorry.

Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?

Robert Penn Warren, James Salter, James Wright, William Stafford, and many others. Favorite books include “A Sport and a Pastime” (James Salter) and “A Place to Come To” (Robert Penn Warren)

What sparked the idea for your novel?

I read a lot of science magazines. I have a Bachelor’s in Science. Many things spark ideas for me. For “Revision 7: DNA”, there were several ideas that I used in one book: the split brain of my protagonist, the time traveling robots, and the dark energy balancer.

How personal is your writing?

Sometimes very personal, but most often I work from concepts or ideas. How would someone be affected by the death of a loved one? or what happens when an artist connects too closely to nature?

How strict are you with plotting? Do you outline or go where the story takes you?

I don’t outline, but I do keep notes and sometimes jot down conversations that might happen at certain times in the novel.

What is your writing routine?

Up at 5:00 (or so), have one cup of coffee, sometimes I meditate sometimes not, then go into my office to reread what I wrote the previous day, and continue to write from there. I write at least a thousand words a day when I’m working on a new project.

Which comes first? The character’s story or the idea for the novel?

I have to have the characters first, or I can’t write the novel. I need to know how the situation will affect the character emotionally.

How did you choose the genre you write in?

It chooses me. I usually have several ideas rolling around in my head at any one moment. It’s when a character attaches to one of the ideas that things really start to roll.

How did you come up with the title?

For most of my novels, I have the title near the beginning of the writing. Sometimes the title changes after I’ve finished writing, and for one novel the title changed again after it was republished.

What project are you working on now?

At the moment, I have a book being edited (part three of a fantasy series where the first part isn’t even published yet), and I’m writing a second novel with the same characters as “Revision 7: DNA” that I hope to have finished by the end of the year. Other than that, I have a poetry collection coming out in February 2013 that I’m finalizing now.

Are there certain themes you like to address in your writing?

I’m afraid a lot of my work has to do with the question “Who am I?” I also like to play with the idea that we are all more than one person. There are other themes too. I believe any good novel has several themes, and they might not always be what the author thinks they are. The reader may find a theme within the writing that the author never knew was there.

What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?

Read, read, read. Write, write, write. Don’t expect fame or fortune. Write for the love of writing. Continue to study and learn the craft: take classes, go to conferences, read books about how to write well. Do it only if you love it.

What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?

The toughest criticism is usually dished out by reviewers who didn’t like a particular book (too slow in the middle, or I couldn’t get into the characters). The best compliments are the same, where a reader fell in love with your characters or found the book exciting and fast paced (if that’s the kind of book it is), or found the writing beautiful (if that’s what you were going for). You can’t choose how your books are read, only how they’re written.

If you could have dinner with three people, dead or alive, who would they be and why?

Robert Penn Warren, who is the only person to have won a Pulitzer for both fiction and poetry (he actually won three total). I’d just want to let him know how much his work has meant to me, and ask him all the questions people ask of their favorite author. James Write, for a similar reason. I love James’ poetry and would like to ask about certain poems, about how he worked. Finally, I’d like to have dinner with James Rollins, who is a best selling author today. I’d like to know how he works and why, how he feels about his own writing, all those questions.

Now the fun questions:

Favorite junk food?

Hostess Nutty Bars. I love those things. (Fudgsicles, when I need a cold treat.)

Tea or coffee?

Coffee. One cup in the morning before writing, and sometimes an afternoon mocha with my wife.

Favorite superhero(ine)? Why?

I’ve always loved Dr. Strange because he was the type of super hero that seemed the most possible to be. I mean with a little magic, I could be him.

Favorite color?

Red-violet. The color of the root and crown chakras when they are in harmony.

Favorite place you’ve visited?

Switzerland. My wife and I went there on our honeymoon because I attended a tradeshow in Germany and my airfare was paid. We drove all over the place.

What’s one quirky or fun fact about you?

I often listen to hard rock music and then classical music, or visa versa. There’s something about the mix that gets my blood pumping.

As promised, the review!!

Revision 7: DNA was a refreshing change from the latest bout of reading that I had been going. It was a genuine pleasure to get pulled into a sci-fi thriller and travel along with such a great story.

Terry Persun has taken a firm grasp of the genre and created something new, but still remained true to the hallmarks of good science-fiction. As I read, I had glimpses of familiar favorites: a Dune feel here, a 2001: A Space Odyssey feel there. A little Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, even some various Phillip K. Dick moments. Overall, the feel of this novel was fresh and inventive, and it was an engaging and fun read.

The plot moved swiftly and without lull, the descriptions were vivid and imaginative, and explanations were easy without the slog of an information dump. Dialogue was crisp and snappy.

Fenny was easily my favorite character, and for me the one with the most growth throughout the novel. No mean feat, especially for a robot.

This was my first foray into Mr. Persun’s writing, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I look forward to reading more of his work.

Five out of five stars. Super great read.

Keep reading to find out more about Terry Persun and his books.


Terry Persun writes in many genres, including historical fiction, mainstream, literary, and science fiction/fantasy. His latest novel, “Cathedral of Dreams” is a ForeWord magazine Book of the Year finalist in the science fiction category. His novel “Sweet Song” won a Silver IPPY Award. Terry’s website is: or you can find him on Amazon.

Connect with Terry:

Purchase Revision 7: DNA:


2 Responses to “Interview and Review with Author Terry Persun”

  1. Natasha Slight October 22, 2012 at 7:32 am #

    I don’t usually read sci-fi, but I have to admit that this book sounds amazing, that’s the magic of a great blurb! Will definitely be checking this one out. The advice given for writers is spot on and I agree that you have to write for the love of writing. If it comes from the heart, it’ll show in your books. 🙂


    • tarawood21 October 22, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

      I’ve been reading so many other genres lately, this was great to dive into. It was an awesome read!!


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