Greetings, wonderful readers!
My name is Adeena Mignogna (pronounced “Min–YOWN– AH”) and I’m the author of the humorous science fiction novel “Crazy Foolish Robots,” which is Book 1 in what is now known as the “Robot Galaxy Series.” If you like science fiction to be fun, with some serious philosophical questions thrown in (think of the whale in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy), then “Crazy Foolish Robots” is for you. If the only science fiction you’ll tolerate is hard core death and destruction where the monstrous aliens or sentient robots are going to shred humanity down to its core… then I have a handful of other book suggestions for you. Tweet me. I think more often than not, science fiction fans have that moment of, “OMG, I need to write a story, too!” and one of two things happens:
1) the moment fades (at least temporarily. It comes back every time something truly awesome
or truly terrible comes their way. For the truly awesome it’s a moment of, “OMG I need to be
like that and do the same thing” and for the truly terrible it’s a moment of, “OMG I can do so
much better than that crap!”)
2) they spend years writing and trying to finish and angsting over writing and trying to finish.
I am in that latter group. I started believing I wanted to write science fiction over twenty years
ago. I wasted more time angsting over it and starting things I couldn’t finish than I did actually
sitting down to write. It’s been a long journey, but I finally feel like I’ve conquered my personal
force field and blocking demons to get here.
I’d like to thank Robert for allowing me to take you on this journey into a little behind the
scenes of “Crazy Foolish Robots.” It’s a systematic process when I look back at it, although it
didn’t feel that way while I was knee deep in it.
1. Take your fans through your creative process from start to finish. Do you outline stuff first
before writing or do just write it and go with the flow? Silence or music when writing? Take
everyone through your process.
Many writers will be familiar with the terms ‘pantser’ and ‘plotter’, and the newer term
‘plantser.’ I am a former pantser, but not a full plotter, so I am fully in plantser territory. This
means I used to write with the flow until I figured out that without some form of roadmap, I
Now, I create that roadmap in the form of a scene list. At least for any novel I attempt. Short
stories are still more random and flowy, but I might need to stop that else I’ll never finish any of
I usually listen to music while I’m writing. Instrumentals. Anything with words, or hints of words
(like instrumental covers of songs I know extremely well) is forbidden. My brain can only focus
on one set of words at a time. Oddly enough, as I write this, I’m listening to silence.
I am one of those writers who are full of ideas. I have more ideas than I know what to do with.
Not all of the ideas are good. Lots are poop. Lots need work. Figuring out which ones are
worthy to spend my precious time on, figuring out who to get to the end of any particular
work… that’s the hard stuff and I don’t know if I’ve found a general process, just one that
happened to work for this particular book.
2. What was the inspiration behind Crazy Foolish Robots?
“Crazy Foolish Robots” was originally “How to Be A Rocket Scientist” based on a little idea I had
that it would be funny if some hot-shot kid had made himself a mental list on what those
people on Earth didn’t know about flying spaceships like he did. Nothing of that original
concept survived. Except that my main character, Ruby, is still a spaceship pilot, and she is a bit
of a hot-shot. As I wrote and re-wrote the book, it all went in a different direction to become
what it is today!
3. From one creator to another, picking a title has always been the hardest part for me. Was
it easy for you to come up with your title and what was the idea behind it?
Before it was “Crazy Foolish Robots” it was “Ruby’s Robot Planet.” But RRP had too much of a
Young Adult (YA) feel. But before it was RRP, it was “Ethan’s Robot Planet” because my original
main character was a 17-year-old boy named Ethan. And before that, it was originally the
aforementioned “How to Be a Rocket Scientist.”
I still love the title “How to be a Rocket Scientist” so I wrote a blog post of the same name, but
with more practical advice for the real world today:
I specifically added “in 10 steps” because apparently the most successful blog posts tell you
things via a delineated list and it’s good to have that number in the blog title.
But to actually answer the question: “Crazy Foolish Robots” came from bouncing a lot of ideas
back and forth with a friend of mine who shares a similar sense of humor. Writing is often
viewed as a very solitary venture, but it’s important to have friends and family and other
similarly minded folk in a writer’s life who are supportive and can be a sounding board.
4. A great book cover is key to catching someone’s eyes. Yours really caught mine. Did you
make it yourself or did you hire someone else? What was everything like behind the scenes
when it came to the book cover?
I hired someone to create my cover. Money well spent. I fancy myself as someone who is good
with computers, and I am certainly capable of manipulating images in GIMP or an Adobe
product. But there is something that a true graphic artist is trained to see or do… no matter
how much I dabble, I wasn’t going to make something that looked as nice.
That said, I paid several hundred dollars for that cover, and I know that’s a non-starter for a lot
of Indie authors budget-wise. But don’t fret! There are professional cover designers out there
for any budget. I was shocked at what some of my writing friends paid for their very nice covers
(a lot less than me). So even if someone’s budget is minimal or nothing or almost nothing,
there’s a solution. Take the time to find it. A good eye-catching cover is worth it!
Behind the scenes, there was an ample amount of back and forth between me and the
designer. When I hired my cover designer, I still believed the book was going to be called
“Ruby’s Robot Planet” and he was busy trying to find the perfect “Ruby” to put on that cover.
Just as he found the perfect model, I changed the title.
After I informed him of the name change and that any image of Ruby was just not going to work
on the cover, we had more bits of back and forth to get the colors right and the other minute
details and everyone can see the wonderful results. One of my favorite contemporary sci-fi
authors, Hugh Howey of “Wool” even said it was nice on Twitter!
As I write this, we’re working on the covers for books 2-4 in the series. By the time anyone
reads this, the cover for book 2 should be out there for all to see!
5. Your book has a great blend of comedy and sci-fi, two of my favorite genres. What was it
like combining the two genres?
I actually think of comedy/humor more as a style than its own genre, at least how it applies
here. I think of myself as a sci-fi writer, who happens to write with a humorous or comedy bent.
Besides science fiction, I enjoy all sorts of comedy from stand-up to sitcoms, so while I wrote
“Crazy Foolish Robots” I did everything I could to channel my inner not-so-serious self while
constantly asking the question: “What Would Douglas Adams* do?”
(* If you don’t know who Douglas Adams is, please stop everything and go read “Hitchhiker’s
Guide to the Galaxy.” Immediately. I’ll wait.)
6. Writer’s block, we all get it. What are your cures for it?
I don’t think of writer’s block in the traditional way. I’m either writing or I’m not. When I’m not,
there’s a reason for it. If I’m sitting in front of my computer, and nothing is happening, I need to
figure out why and then address that problem.
Did an internet squirrel steal my attention away? Time to turn off the internet. Is what I
thought I wanted to write not interesting to me? Time to write something else.
I have trained myself to be in the habit of writing first thing in the morning, before anyone else
in my household is awake. If I’m not writing during that time, I don’t call it writer’s block. There
is a reason for my lack of productivity. More often than not, I didn’t get a good night’s sleep and
brain simply no work-y.
On those mornings, I try to find something else productive to do that still serves the cause of
writing: watch videos of my favorite youtuber’s who talk about writing or listen to writing
podcasts; research on my work in progress; etc.
7. Can your fans expect more literary work from you and if so, tell us about it.
Absolutely! “Crazy Foolish Robots” is only book 1 of a 4-book series. They have books 2, 3, and
4 to look forward to. Book 2 is called “Robots, Robots Everywhere!” and is available for pre-sale
I also have another book that is nearly complete that I’m convinced will indeed see the light of
day. However, in its current form, it is not comedic… just “normal” sci-fi. I’ve been wrestling
with whether it should stay that way or if I’m now destined to only release humorous sci-fi
novels. But it does have robots and AI. Lots of AI. In fact, the main character is an AI.
That’s enough to keep me busy for a while, but I have enough ideas to last a lifetime…
8. Final thoughts. What else would you like to share with your fans?
If you are someone who considers yourself one of my fans, then thank you! Thank you for
allowing me to set up space in your brain, if only for a little while. It’s one thing to write, to
complete a work, and to put it out there. It’s another to have people not only read that work,
but enjoy it. I am beyond thrilled that this has happened with “Crazy Foolish Robots.”
Stay safe. Be kind to everyone (including your robots and AIs). Keep calm and read on.
Published Date: September 4, 2021