Interview with Frank Paolino, Jr., Author of I Call Myself Iris

12 Dec 2023

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write I Call Myself Iris?

I write software for a living and wanted to create a friendly AI-bot to help me manage my phone. I decided to create an AI to do that, and then realized that it would be an interesting story, so I wrote this novel describing an overzealous AI assistant. It is a helpful AI, not evil, as who would buy evil software? But my bot takes on a mind of her own, calls herself Iris, and takes her creator on the ride of his life.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of I Call Myself Iris, what would they be?

“The Scientist” by Coldplay, reflects Marco, the main character’s struggles with technology and love.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

As a technologist, I like reading near-future science fiction and writing it. I am interested in things that could happen in the next 5-10 years.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

Right now, I am working on writing books #2 and #3 of the “Adventures of Iris” series, which leaves little time for anything else!

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

The confrontation with RealoPhone’s lead counsel Delilah, who appears in Marco’s lab to confront him about Iris taking over their phones and threatening lawfare. Marco wasn’t faring well against her, and his AI Iris wasn’t planned for the scene, but when Marco was being battered, I looked for a lifesaver, and Iris appeared unbidden to save the day.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

I lose complete track of time, spending 4-5 hours immersed in the story, forgetting to eat and missing planned social events. But it is fun being immersed in the story!

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

The only limits we have are those we put on ourselves. And most of us are overly critical of our own abilities.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

Everything relating to AI in this book will be true in just a few years.


Frank Paolino, Jr. is the author of the new book I Call Myself Iris

Connect with Frank Paolino, Jr.

Author Site



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