E. A. Smiroldo is not only a nuclear engineer but also a musician and a novelist. She is wickedly creative and she delivers a powerful message in her debut novel, which is titled The Silent Count. It produces a harsh and bitter parody on bureaucratic inertia by combining drama inspired by real-world occurrences with her academic expertise.
As a resident of the District of Columbia, she has a lot of experience with politics and the inner workings of the nation’s Capital. This gives her a unique perspective and is the foundation of her writing. Many in the “harDCore” punk scene in Washington DC were on the forefront of the straightedge movement, like her main characters, too. Plus, the entire premise of her book was inspired by a real textbook and valid science she read while in college.
All her life experiences and more went into the creation of the book. We talked to author E. A. Smiroldo to discover more:
What is the new book’s plot summary?
The book’s protagonist is Dara Bouldin. She devises a plan to combat the effects of climate change. The revolutionary part? It requires the elimination of certain mountain formations. There is just one problem, and that is that no one in her government department is interested enough to read her proposal.
A government agency employs her, yet most people are unaware of her existence. When her long-term engagement abruptly ends, she is utterly crushed. She watches her ex, named Jericho, propel to stardom as his latest single climbs the charts, while her career lingers in obscurity.
Things get interesting for Dara quickly when she catches the attention of someone who wants to use her technology. What does this mean for Dara? What will happen to the world? Who will get hurt along the way?
These questions and more unravel in The Silent Count. Read the Q&A with the author:
Q. When did you initially decide to create The Silent Count, and what were some of the primary motivating factors behind this choice?
A. On the first page of my nuclear engineering textbook in college, it stated that specific mountain ranges could be eradicated with nuclear bombs to establish more favorable weather patterns. This interested me at the time because I was studying to become a nuclear engineer.
When it occurred, my first thought was, “Wow, this would make a terrific concept for a science fiction book with a climate change theme.” I still think that is a good idea. I couldn’t find anybody else who had done it, so I decided to give it a go myself by writing a cli-fi thriller.
Q. What has been your favorite comment/review so far about your book?
A. Kathryn Johnson is an author whose work I like. She has published various books, one of which is titled “The Gentleman Poet.” A. Kathryn Johnson beta-read The Silent Count and shouted that she “L-O-V-E-D” it!
Q. What were some of the things that you found out when you were writing The Silent Count?
A. I learned patience while writing The Silent Count! I was so very fortunate to find my publisher, Solstice Publishing. However, it took several years and many revisions to get the writing to the point where it was ready for prime time.