This blog offers a glimpse of my writing life. A little about writing, some research I do for my books, and breaking down complex topics that I may or may not have just learned about. As per the blog name, there will be many pics of my senior editor, Buddy the Great Dane, who literally never leaves my side. But he edits! I’ll also leave samples of my fiction here.  I take requests, too!  Please send me a note or leave it in the comments.

The End of the World: Part 3

bacteria, superbugs, The End of the World, apocalypse. The Initiation, young adult fiction. chrisbabu.com

THE DANGER OF SUPERBUGS
  • Bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics
  • Superbugs are antibiotic-resistant bacteria
  • Genetic mutations or gene-sharing create superbugs
  • Overprescription of antibiotics is a catalyst for their creation
  • Over 700,000 people die annually from superbugs
  • Terrorists could create superbugs to kill millions
  • Pseudomonas Aeruginosa is one of the scariest superbugs
  • If all bacteria become superbugs, the world will never be the same

Welcome to part three of my five-part series on apocalypses. Part one (here) focused on the importance of crafting realistic apocalypses in fiction, while the others detail the actual causes—as I see them—in my upcoming novel The Initiation. Part two (here) highlighted cyberterrorism, a problem with arguably greater risk than nuclear war. And here in part three we’re focusing on superbugs, another catastrophe in waiting. Unfortunately, nobody is talking about it.

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13 THINGS THAT TURNED ME FROM READER TO PUBLISHED AUTHOR

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*This post originally appeared on Medium (here)

As a forty year-old bond trader, I wrote two novels and signed a 3-book deal with a publisher. I did this with little formal writing experience, no creative writing classes, no writing coach, no writing degrees, no writer’s conferences, no writing groups, no critique partners, and no friends who are authors. Want to know how? I’m glad you asked. Read on!

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The End of the World: Part 2

cyberterrorism header

Apocalypse Cause #1
  • 2016 election demonstrated a new use of cyberwarfare
  • Cyberterrorism isn’t regular old hacking
  • Cyberweapons level the playing field
  • The Stuxnet virus spawned a new era of cyberwarfare
  • Cyberwarfare is giving way to cyberterrorism

The first cause of the apocalypse in my upcoming young adult novel The Initiation is cyberterrorism, a subject that on the surface needs little introduction. You can’t go to the bathroom without hearing someone in the next stall talking about the federal investigation into the Russian hack of the 2016 US presidential election. As impactful as that hack was, the risk of cyberterrorism is hardly limited to national elections. In fact, it’s far greater. (For Part 1 of this 5-part series on apocalypses, click here). This post illustrates why cyberterrorism has the potential to be catastrophic.

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The End of the World: Part 1

true apocalypse blog post

HOW THE WORLD WILL REALLY END

Wouldn’t it be nice if books and movies contained even remotely believable apocalypse scenarios? Sure, a tidal wave that engulfs skyscrapers looks cool in CGI, but a rogue wave is not destroying the whole world. Sorry. There are so many realistic potential causes in existence today that we don’t need to resort to stupid ones, as fun as they might be. This is the beginning of a five-part series on apocalypses. My young adult novel The Initiation, out February 27th, takes place long after an apocalypse. It’s not the focus of the story. Still, I wanted readers to say, “Yeah, that could totally happen.” Not, “I don’t think fruitflies taking over the world is a big risk.” After this introduction, the following four parts detail the causes I’ve found to be the most likely. At one time, this series was offered as an ebook on my website, but I wanted to move it to the blog. If you’ve already read it, I apologize!

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It’s Time to Learn About Bitcoin

Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, It's Time To Learn About Bitcoin, young adult, chrisbabu.com

A Young Adult’s Guide to Cryptocurrency
  • What is Bitcoin?
  • What is blockchain?
  • Why do we need cryptocurrencies?
  • Why the explosion of new coins?
  • What are some of the other coins with potential?
  • What is the future of cryptocurrencies?
  • How does one get involved?

Do you know the average trade size for an amateur stock investor? Neither do I. Let’s say it’s $5,000. It’s probably lower, but whatever. $5,000 invested in the S&P 500 Index in 2010 would be worth over $11,000 today. Up almost 125%! In seven years, that’s a fantastic return. Of course, if you pick stocks like I do, and invested in a company that makes bottled water for dogs and cats, it would be worth $0 now. How about if you’d invested $5,000 in Bitcoins? It would be worth almost $400 MILLION. Yes, you read that right. Bitcoin, which currently trades close to $4,000, traded around 5 cents back in 2010, after its debut in 2009. There are now over 900 other digital coins out there, most trading for pennies. Think it might be time to start paying attention?

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No Slipping Past Airport Security

 

No Slipping Past Airport Security, slippers, chrisbabu.com

Young Adult Fiction Author Style

Since I left the corporate world to write full-time, my wardrobe needs have changed. My charcoal and navy suits are collecting dust in my closet, praying a wedding will thrust them into the limelight once again. Now I favor pajama pants and slippers. Pretty much around the clock. My descent into slipperdom involved a minor international incident, though.

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Buddy: Volume 3

Buddy volume 3, like a boss, sleeping on the couch

Catching Up With My Editor

Batman had Robin. Sherlock Holmes had Dr. Watson. Han Solo had Chewbacca. Harry had Ron and Hermione. Shrek had Donkey. I could keep going. Everyone needs a sidekick. Every writer also needs an editor. Joseph Heller, Toni Morrison, and John Le Carre had Robert Gottleib. Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald shared Maxwell Perkins. Has any writer’s editor also been their sidekick? I have no idea. But mine is.

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Why Can’t We Just Print More Money?

fresh dollar bills, printing money, inflation, chrisbabu.com

A Young Adult’s Guide to Inflation

  • Today’s money is known as fiat money
  • An increase in the supply of money causes inflation
  • Zimbabwe is a case study in printing money
  • Even if done in secret, printing money would not work

This is one of those thoughts that nearly everyone’s had at one point. Why can’t we just print more money? Pay off the debt, feed the homeless, make every family a little better off. Win win! Children usually ask this question. Adults often don’t know the answer, but are too embarrassed to ask. The short answer: not enough paper inflation. Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed the post. Kidding. That answer, while correct, doesn’t quite clear it up for many. Let’s fix that.

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Buddy: Volume 2

If I Don't Make It As An Author, It Was Because of My Great Dane

Okay, not really. Buddy doesn’t wield that kind of power. But he does make writing pretty damn hard, in the most charming way possible. Imagine, you’re writing an intense scene, the words flowing out of you like water from a fire hydrant.  And this is going on….

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Capitalism vs Socialism: A Young Adult’s Guide

capitalism vs socialism, car dealership - chrisbabu.com

  • In capitalism, businesses are owned by individuals and run for profit
  • In socialism, businesses are owned by the state (or the workforce), with profits redistributed
  • Why a car dealership? Because I like cars. No, really, that was it.

Before you skip ahead to the next post, just hold your horses there, Johnny. My number one goal with this article is to keep you interested. If I can prevent boredom, I have won. Maybe you dozed off when they taught this in school, or you’ve forgotten it, or you could use a refresher? Come on in, the water’s warm. Capitalism and socialism might be dull, but they’re secretly fun dry like a fine wine. Okay, they’re nothing like that. But they are relevant. Not just to my novel, The Initiation, but to today’s world. The raging debates about healthcare and tax cuts boil down to the differences between capitalism and socialism.  The fight for healthcare is an emotional one, but at its core is a clash of opposing economic beliefs.

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