Joseph Rhea (last name is pronounced "Ray.") is a scientist, science fiction author, computer game designer, and believer in moving humanity forward, not backward. Advised by his high school English teacher to pursue a life of writing, he instead chose a career in engineering and science, driven by a need to explore the world and help create new technologies. Now he has come full circle and is using that experience to become a new voice in realistic science fiction.

His debut novel, "Cyberdrome," is a near-future, science fiction thriller that follows rogue programmer, Alek Grey, into a computer-generated virtual world to rescue the love of his life. However, once inside he discovers that he has been lied to by people he trusted, and may not make it out alive. A sequel, "Emergent Behavior", is planned.

His current project, "Novum," is a 5-book, post-apocalyptic series that thrusts you below the surface of a distant water planet, as a young cargo-sub captain named Jacob Stone inadvertently awakens an ancient power that could destroy what's left of the human race, or be the key to its future. The final book in the series is nearing completion, and once published, the entire Novum saga will also be available in one massive volume called "Novum Chronicles".

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Goodreads Q & A

 

Goodreads: Where did you get the idea for your most recent book?

Joseph Rhea: I'm an oceanographer and have always imagined the undersea universe as equivalent to outer space. Novum is a combination of those interests, in that it is a space-styled adventure that takes place under the ocean of a distant water planet (a planet covered almost entirely by water). I also look at it as a sort of ocean version of Frank Herbert's classic, "Dune" in that my characters have spent their lives under water and have created technology to help them adapt to that life. It has been a challenge to create that advanced technology in my head and apply it to the story, but also make it "well used" and not important to the characters themselves. I really want to write stories about people, not gadgets.

 Goodreads: What’s your advice for aspiring writers?

Joseph Rhea: I think you have to enjoy writing for yourself. It's a lot of work, often with little, if any, payoff. Love it, or do something else.

 Goodreads: How do you get inspired to write?

Joseph Rhea: I have always had a need to create, whether it be a new oceanographic sensor, computer game, or science fiction story. I feel a bit worthless when I'm not creating.

 Goodreads: What are you currently working on?

Joseph Rhea:  I just finished the 3rd book in my 5-book science fiction series called Novum, and am just about to start writing the 4th book. I am also working on a graphic novel with my brother which will be based on a character from the first book we did together, Cyberdrome.

 Goodreads: What’s the best thing about being a writer?

Joseph Rhea:  I love having total control over my creations. No producers, no agents, no focus groups, no one telling me what to do, or what direction my story should go, but me. I love that novels are created by a person, not a committee.

 Goodreads: How do you deal with writer’s block?

Joseph Rhea:  Fortunately for me, I always want to write and have more stories in my head than I will ever be able to get down on paper. What is unfortunate, at least for my readers, is that I'm a "hobby" writer (I work full time in science), and therefore I can't "crank out" books as quickly as many would like. Hopefully, those of you following my Novum series will be patient enough to wait for me to finish the final two books in the series. My goal is to finish both books by next summer (2016) and then release a combined edition of all five books for those who prefer to read the series all at once. 

 Goodreads:  Who is your favorite fictional couple, and why?

Joseph Rhea:   My favorite fictional couple was Wash and Zoe from the TV series Firefly. They were my favorite couple because they were one of the first married couples in televised science fiction, and being a multiracial couple as well sends a positive message that in the future, the color of your skin won't matter to anyone.

 

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