2024 Reading Challenge

2024 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 1 book toward her goal of 285 books.

2023 Reading Challenge

2023 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 5 books toward her goal of 265 books.

Guest Post: On Creating Characters Names and Locations by Felix Holzapfel, Author of CATCH-42: A Novel about our Future

Today I’m pleased to introduce you to Felix Holzapfel, whose new novel CATCH-42 brings us a peek behind the curtain at a future that is all too possible… #catch42

About the Book  
Panopticon: a disciplinary concept brought to life in the form of a central observation tower placed within a circle of prison cells. From the tower, a guard can see every cell and inmate but the inmates can’t see into the tower. Prisoners will never know whether or not they are being watched. – ethics.org.au

A glimpse into a future that could be right around the corner. Dan is an ordinary guy, scrambling to make a living, when he has the most extraordinary dream. A voice from the future asks for his help. He finds himself transported to a virtual world, where he works hand in hand with the absolute rulers trying to save the remnants of humanity. That is, until he’s recruited by an underground movement called Teccupy (rhymes with occupy) and forced to choose which side he’s on . . . and whose vision of the future he believes in.

The future Dan sees is a technological wonderland where everyone’s dreams can come true no matter how many or how bizarre. However, driven by a pandemic into Total Physical Distancing, the tradeoff is life in a panopticon where every thought is monitored and manipulated . . . and it might just be destroying the one thing that makes us human.

Before Dan can help, he must learn how we got from here to there, and so do we, in this entertaining and mind-blowing tour of breakthroughs and advances in AI, biotech, quantum computing, and robotics that may lie ahead.

A novel like no other, brimming with current scientific findings, we are right there with Dan as he attempts to think the unthinkable, make the impossible possible, and turn a hopeless situation into a solvable problem . . . which means finding the ultimate Catch-42.

Guest Post: How I Came Up with Catch-42 Character Names, Locations by Felix Holzapfel

In 2019, I took a one-year sabbatical to travel the world with my wife and our two children. You’ll find plenty of references in Catch-42 to places I visited and people I met during this fantastic journey. I also included references to people who played an essential role in my life and to some well-known or less well-known people, most of whom achieved great things that are more or less related to this book. The following is my way of paying tribute to them:

Dan and Vicky, the names of the main character and his wife, are based on a lovely couple we met at a campground at Bass Lake, close to Yosemite Park. They and their grandkids were our neighbors for about a week. They introduced our kids to the secrets of s’mores (a marshmallow melted over the campfire, combined with a layer of chocolate placed between two homemade cookies that Vicky baked for her grandkids.) In addition, plenty of other people named Daniel inspired me along my way: Daniel Kaspers, Daniel Rabe, and Daniel Zelling, to name a few.

Dan runs an Italian Deli & Restaurant that is based on an eatery we visited on our journey. At a campground in Pismo Beach, we met Nick, Jr. who told us about Antipasto’s By DeRose that he runs with his family in San Jose—200 miles north. The food sounded so yummy that we decided to adjust our travel plans and go the extra mile to visit their family business. A week later we had a fantastic lunch and a lot of fun at their place. Thus, the great time we had at Antipasto’s found its way into the book.

Steven Zeh Photography // www.stevenzeh.de

Chezana is the founder and leader of the underground movement Teccupy. The first part of the name Chezana is a reference to arguably the most famous revolutionary person of all time, Che Guevara. The second part is a reference to my friend Ezana from Eritrea who came to Germany when he was a teenager. Ezana is a fantastic person and the good soul of our neighborhood. He runs an African restaurant that’s a second living room for me and for many of my friends and neighbors. If you ever come to Cologne, please feel free to drop in. The restaurant is called Injera for the yummy flatbread that is the national dish of Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Jennifer Watson is a life designer in the world of WeYou. This character’s name is a reference to two scientists who played essential roles in significant breakthroughs in the fields of biotechnology, DNA, and genetic engineering. Jennifer Doudna researched CRISPR-Cas9. Simply put, CRISPR is a family of DNA sequences, and Cas9 is a protein that’s part of a system that can select and cut sections of DNA. To my amusement, I named my character after her before she won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. This connection didn’t occur to me until much later, during the editing process. James Watson won the Nobel Prize for discovering the double helix structure of the DNA molecule (together with Francis Crick and Maurice Wilkins).

During our journey, we visited the Moeraki Boulders—one of those places that makes people feel humble and reflect on how tiny and unimportant humans are. That’s why I chose the Moeraki Boulders for Jennifer and Dan’s conversation about human life.

Think you’d like to learn more about these and other characters and locations that inspired me? If so, I invite you to read my book.

About the Author
Felix Holzapfel is a successful entrepreneur and thought leader in digital transformation, who supported and mentored many global players on their way into the digital age. He founded a digital marketing agency with his brother based in Germany and the US. They worked with some of the leading brands in the world (Fortune 500, DAX 30 and SMB entities).

Felix has already published several books about technology, trends, and the shift in media landscape. After successfully selling his digital marketing agency to one of the world’s leading IT service providers, he now has time to share his storytelling.

Furthermore, today Felix and his brother Klaus run Quovabiz and help their clients stay focused on answering the most important questions in our rapidly changing digital world.

You can find Felix across multiple social media platforms:

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