Geeking Out Over New Tech Leads to ‘Jacked’

Books Entertainment Geek Speaks…Fiction! GeekMom

Geek speaks fiction bannerThis week, author Kirk Dougal tells us what inspired him to write his new science fiction YA thriller, Jacked! Jacked is now available from Amazon and will soon be in bookstores everywhere.

“Dad, I need a book for AR.”

Now, normally when I am in my office writing, my kids leave me alone unless it is an emergency. Luckily for them, book shelves line two walls of my getaway, double and triple stacked at some points, and needing a book to read has always been considered a Level Five Alert in our house.

My son explained he was all caught up on the Rick Riordan, Pittacus Lore, and other series that he liked but it was time to choose another book as a part of his AR class at school. So we walked to the shelves and started going through some of the books that I thought he might like. As we were standing there, he noticed a magazine I had opened to an article on virtual reality and the possibilities for its use beyond entertainment.

Image: Ragnarok Publications

We started talking about virtual reality and before long we were sitting on the floor, the search for his book forgotten, as our conversation expanded to augmented reality, wearable technology, gesture control, and a whole host of new technologies that were being invented. An hour passed and we were still talking, now about how the technology would change into VR movies and wearable tech would become embedded. Soon after he decided on a book and left my office while I returned to my chair.

But just as soon as I sat down, a new idea exploded in my brain. About two weeks earlier, I had awoken in the middle of the night after a very vivid dream. In it, a man had been running down a nearly deserted, decrepit street, chased by a gang who were screaming threats at him. I watched as the man turned a corner, slapped his palm onto a piece of metal plate technology, and escaped into a building. When I woke up, I grabbed the notepad I keep beside the bed and wrote down as much as I could remember from the dream.

After the talk with my son, I realized the escaping man should actually be a teenage boy and the gang was after him for the way he could manipulate technology with embedded implants. From there the story grew into my YA thriller, Jacked, from Per Aspera and Ragnarok Publications.

And it all came together because of a conversation with my son about the technology that he will get to use in his lifetime.

Kirk Dougal has had fiction works appear in multiple anthologies and released his debut novel, Dreams of Ivory and Gold, in May of 2014 through Angelic Knight Press, with a 2nd edition released in February 2015. His YA/thriller novel, Jacked, leads the launch of Ragnarok Publications’ Per Aspera SF imprint in 2016. He is also waiting on the publication of his SF/LitRPG novel, Reset, while completing the sequel to Dreams, Valleys of the Earth.

Kirk is currently working in a corporate position with a group of newspapers after serving as a group publisher and editor-in-chief. He lives in Ohio with his wife and four children. For more information on his writings or just to find out what he has been doing, you can find Kirk at his website,, or hanging out on Facebook and Twitter.

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