Q: Do I need to look up all the references?
A: No. If you understand the references, it will deepen your understanding of what’s going on, but you can read “Stasis” on several different levels– including just enjoying it for the story. Most of the references are on these pages: References in chapters 1 & 36 Chapter 7 music Chapter 11 legal references
Q: Is “Stasis” autobiographical?
A: This question surprised me, the first time I heard it. It’s so obviously NOT autobiographical, that I didn’t understand how someone could be serious when asking the question. But then I recalled my English 251H class at BYU, and the “historical/biographical approach” to analyzing literature, and remembered having to tie borderline mythological works like “The Scarlett Letter” to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s personal life. So I guess my answer is, I did lots of research, I made up lots of things, and I tried to make everything as truthful as possible based on what I’ve learned in my own life and the experiences I’ve had working with people who’ve been through rough, and wonderful, stuff.
Q: Is the science of “Stasis” really possible?
A: Yes. The Ringworld is not unstable, so to speak. (See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ringworld, under the heading “Errors.”) I based the science on the books and video courses I listed in the back of “Stasis” and “Entropy,” and on scriptural accounts of beings who live in a place without time communicating with people on earth. Here’s a short version of how I imagine it: Extremely sophisticated space-time science diagram If you don’t think the science is possible, feel free to e-mail me with your specific issues. But remember how Evil Bob responded when the heroine questioned his science…
Q: Where is the setting of “Stasis”– the office, the college?
A: I modeled the office after some beautiful old high-rises I used to walk past every day when I got off the bus in downtown Salt Lake City and walked up the hill to my job at the Capitol. The honeycomb of rooms with pianos is the basement of the Harris Fine Arts Center in Provo, Utah, on the Brigham Young University campus. (If you want to see them, you’ll have to go soon– I hear the building is scheduled for major renovations.) The park with the reclaimed stream is modeled after two parks in Salt Lake City: City Creek Park, and another park that I can’t remember where it is, but it had interesting concrete benches done by an artist.
Q: Is Evil Bob really evil?
A: Ask me this after you’ve read Book Three in the series.
If you want to know a secret, I’ll tell you this one, but don’t tell anyone else: In writing the first three books of the Stasis series, when I wasn’t sure how Bob, Thomas, and Ben would behave, I modeled their behavior based on how I perceive God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, respectively. Now, obviously, the Godhead does not behave like those three men. And I know this only reflects my occasionally problematic relationship with God, rather than illuminating anything about the true nature of God. But as a tool, it helped me define their characters at the beginning, and also during the major revisions that took place as the later books took shape.
Q: How long did it take you to write “Stasis”?
A: I began writing, in earnest, in August of 2015. I wrote during any moment I could grab, and during several that grabbed me– e.g., waking up at 4 am with an idea that had to be written right then (apologies to my husband– but at least I typed in a different room), or figuring out a problem while I was out exercising, and stopping to send myself a text about it.
I’d been researching the ideas behind Stasis for several years before that.
Q: Is the psychologist really stupid?
A: Think of what the psychologist has to work with: a woman who is really good at watching people for social clues (when that’s the most important thing on her mind), who has come to him only because she’s desperate for help, and who doesn’t want to reveal anything to him. He respects her boundaries, while pushing her just enough to get the information he needs in order to give her the help she’s ready to accept. I praise his patience– someone else may have said in frustration, “I can’t help you if you won’t talk to me.” He gave her the most salient information he could, thought about her needs between visits, and came prepared to obtain the information he needed in order to be as much use to her as she would allow.
And, before you’re too harsh (or too lenient) on the other characters in “Stasis,” remember that, when reading any book told in the first person, you cannot entirely trust the narrator’s voice. The heroine is not infallible. I hope that, as you see through her eyes, you notice the things she misses, the things she gets wrong.
Please feel free to e-mail me any questions you have about Stasis.