Monday, 1 June 2015

Nick Wilford: A Change of Mind Blog Tour

Today I'm honoured to be hosting Nick Wilford for his A Change of Mind and Other Stories blog tour. Short stories will always be my first love when it comes to fiction, so this collection ticked all the right boxes for me. 

Over to  Nick!

Hello, Nick here. I’m thankful to Ellie for the use of her blog today. I’m going to talk a little about the state of neurosurgery in my novella and whether this could possibly happen in real life.

In A Change of Mind, Dr Mistuna, the beguiling, enigmatic neurosurgeon, has developed his own technology to change aspects of a patient’s personality through surgery. What if this was to become a reality?

Let’s look at the current state of play regarding brain surgery and its effect on people. It is possible for personality changes to occur, but these are unwanted side effects. Patients who have brain tumours removed may well become more aggressive or go through intense bouts of depression. And of course there’s the negative impact on emotions caused by chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Would it be possible for surgeons to deliberately target the areas of our brain that control our personalities in order to produce positive changes? Of course, here we enter the realm of speculation as nothing like this is happening yet (I hope!) And there is naturally the huge potential for things to go wrong as the practitioner could not foresee the final impact of their changes until the patient has awoken, recovered from the surgery, and had some time to adjust. Just as today, brain surgery is not always entirely successful, even if a harmful unwanted presence like a tumour is removed. And we all know plastic surgery can have disastrous consequences, or the body can reject the work done, leading to the need for further fixes. With personality surgery, one wrong move and the patient’s life could be altered drastically in a dangerous way, and this is the area my story explores.

Would you undergo a personality change operation if it was guaranteed to be risk-free? What would you have changed?


Title: A Change of Mind and Other Stories
Author: Nick Wilford
Genre: Speculative fiction
Format: Ebook only
Page/word count: 107 pages, approx. 32,000 words
Release date: 25th May 2015
Publisher: Superstar Peanut Publishing

Blurb:

A Change of Mind and Other Stories consists of a novella, four short stories and one flash fiction piece. This collection puts the extremes of human behaviour under the microscope with the help of lashings of dark humour, and includes four pieces previously published in Writer’s Muse magazine. 

In A Change of Mind, Reuben is an office worker so meek and mild he puts up with daily bullying from his boorish male colleagues as if it’s just a normal part of his day. But when a stranger points him in the direction of a surgeon offering a revolutionary new procedure, he can’t pass up the chance to turn his life around.

But this isn’t your average surgeon. For a start, he operates alone in a small room above a mechanic’s. And he promises to alter his patients’ personality so they can be anything they want to be…  

In Marissa, a man who is determined to find evidence of his girlfriend’s infidelity ends up wondering if he should have left well alone.

The Dog God finds a chink in the armour of a man with a megalomaniacal desire to take over the world.

In The Insomniac, a man who leads an obsessively regimented lifestyle on one hour’s sleep a night finds a disruption to his routine doesn’t work for him.

Hole In One sees a dedicated golfer achieving a lifelong ambition.

The Loner ends the collection on a note of hope as two family members try to rebuild their lives after they are torn apart by jealousy.


Purchase Links: 
Amazon US / Amazon UK / Smashwords / B&N / Kobo


Meet the author:

Nick Wilford is a writer and stay-at-home dad. Once a journalist, he now makes use of those rare times when the house is quiet to explore the realms of fiction, with a little freelance editing and formatting thrown in. When not working he can usually be found spending time with his family or cleaning something. He has four short stories published in Writer’s Muse magazine. Nick is also the editor of Overcoming Adversity: An Anthology for Andrew. Visit him at his blog or connect with him on Twitter or Goodreads.


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Congratulations, Nick. A Change of Mind and Other Stories was a thrilling read. You've left us with a couple of thought-provoking questions. Would I undergo a personality change operation? I'd have to say no, because a guarantee of risk-free is not the same as totally risk-free. However, if it were, I'd probably ask them to take away my ability to procrastinate!

19 comments:

  1. While I know some real jerks who could use that change, I'd say it wouldn't be worth it. What I would need to change in me is up to me.

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  2. Certain types of brain damage are known to switch a person's personality without impairing their cognitive processes, then it could well be reasonable to suggest that some day they can be done to order. Not sure what I need to change, but I am sure my wife could come up with a suggestion or two.

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  3. Thanks again for all your help, Ellie!

    Alex - Yeah, it's probably best to try and change without surgical intervention.

    snafu - It could become a reality but I find it a scary one. I mean, this is more than merely cosmetic.

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  4. Would I change my personality? Probably not. But some might think I should.

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  5. The idea of altering my personality is too frightening to me, even if such a procedure was guaranteed to be risk-free. I'll stick to being my flawed self, LOL.

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  6. While there are some parts of my personality I'd like to change, surgery would seem way too scary of an option.

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  7. I am adding Nick's book A Change of Mind and Other Stories to my TBR list. Its sounds super interesting.

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  8. TBM - Don't listen to them!

    Heather - I agree. Any surgery is scary to me!

    Sarah - Yeah, this seems to be the consensus so far.

    Rachna - Thank you!

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  9. I've had spine surgery, but the thought of brain surgery terrifies me.

    I like my personality. There may be a few negative things, but I'd rather deal with my tendencies to get mad easily and those other not-so-great personality traits than to change who I am.

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  10. I wouldn't be surprised if down the road doctors do figure out a way to do this with people's personalities. Its amazing how much advancement they have done with other types of things, like controlling heart arrhythmias through procedures, etc, so who knows. I think the only thing I would want changed in my brain is the part that controls my appetite. I think I would like it toned down just a bit :)

    betty

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  11. Very interesting about the brain surgery. I actually used that in one of my science fiction books where the brains of soldiers were altered to reduce their empathy and increase agression.

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  12. I can be tightly wound sometimes, but that is part of being uniquely me. So not personality changes for me. That is a thought-provoking question to consider, though.

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  13. Interesting post! Definitely some food for thought. I don't know if I would change anything, though I'd really love to not be a complete worry-wart, though I don't know who I'd be without that aspect :)

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  14. Chrys - Yes, I think if we're looking to alter who we are, something will go wrong.

    Betty - I wouldn't be surprised either. If only we had a time machine to look forward about 100 years.

    Susan - Interesting, that sounds like one application where it's used for sinister purposes!

    Angela - Yeah, I think we need to embrace who we are, "warts and all". :)

    Meradeth - We all have little shortcomings, I think without those we might all become robots!

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  15. I'm not really a fan of the idea of someone digging around in my brain. So "risk-free" or not, it would be a no for me. :-D

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  16. Congrats, Nick! It might be nice to be less shy. That's probably the only personality trait I'd change about me. If they can change people for the worse, who is to say they can't change people for the better.

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  17. A personality change operation? No thanks.
    Imagine the potential horrors when medical practitioners abuse this? Scary thought.

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  18. There's no way I'd have such a surgery. It's frightening to think about, but I can see it happening. I'd much rather see changes in society rather than in individuals. Congrats to Nick!

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  19. Congratulations again, Nick! What an interesting topic to explore. But honestly, the whole idea of altering the brain or mind creeps me out.

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