I started writing way back during high school – around 2004 – but I was never able to actually finish what I started. That all changed when I started to write short stories on an internet forum for an indi-video game, TA Spring. I would post the stories on the Off Topic subforum and people would read them, then give them a thumbs up! That push to write more was what led me to finish my first novel. Eventually it got to the point where I didn’t need that “push” anymore. And here we are.
Tell us about a favorite character from a book.
Qiwi Lin Lisolet from A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge. I loved that book, love her as a character, and the fact she’s not a viewpoint character for more than one or two scenes is a major shame. Not only is she incredibly smart, talented, and charismatic, but she also pretty much singlehandedly saves every main character’s life at least three times. Plus, she’s about four feet tall and can punch through sheetmetal. Badass.
Where do you dream of traveling to and why?
In the real world? I’ve always wanted to visit the industrial ruins and closed cities of the former USSR. I love urban decay and it’d be so cool to walk around these places with coats and gas masks and pretend I’m in a nuclear wasteland.
What makes you happy?
I am a Game-Master, meaning that I am the referee/storyteller for pencil and paper roleplaying games. The most popular of these is Dungeons and Dragons, but there are many others. But the moment that makes me happiest comes when I know that the players are not just into the game: They are completely captured by the story we are creating and can’t wait for more. Nothing is better.
Tell us about your current release.
Debris Dreams is a young adult space action adventure story about a teenager born and bred in Earth orbit named Drusilla Xao. When a terrorist attack triggers a war in near-Earth space, Dru and her fellow Spacer teens are conscripted en masse to do the fighting. Dru’s only emotional support comes from the distant Earth, where her girlfriend Sarah lives. Debris Dreams is really about the emotional cost of war both on the civilians and the warriors fighting it. It is also about taking personal responsibility for your actions, even when it is difficult to do so, and about the morality of following orders when they contravene your personal beliefs. And, of course, it is about spaceships and laser guns and exciting battles fought in the cold vacuum of outer space!
Tell us about your next release.
I have two things I am currently working on. The first one is Shattered Sky, which is the sequel to Debris Dreams, so I don’t want to give spoilers when Dreams has only just hit the market. The other project is unrelated to the Dreams universe: Worldshard. Three thousand years after a magical war unraveled the very nature of reality, Worldshard is told from the POV of Vengeful Crystalline Hawk 45C (or Cee to her friends). Cee is a Champion, a creature of clay and brass, armed with magical weapons and graced with blue-jade wings that let her soar through the air. Her soul is an amalgamation of hundreds of lifetimes of heroes, collected and awakened by the expansionist, imperialistic nation Korvosa. Unfortunately, her core personality forms around a memory-shard of a two-hundred-year-old Suryan freedom fighter whose home nation had been invaded by Korvosa. Twice. As a Champion, Cee has to deal with her unique position of being caught between two nations, along with the normal enemies arrayed against her and her unwilling comrades: shapeshifting fairies, tentacled nameless, and the Champions of enemy nations. Worldshard is about super-powered magitech cyborgs battling each other with lightsabers and magical laser cannons capable of vaporizing whole city blocks. I mean, there’s deep philosophical ideas and concepts at work underneath it all, but do I really need to go into them at this point?
What are your favorite TV shows?
Babylon 5, Firefly, Cowboy Bebop, Quantum Leap, Star Trek (TOS and TNG, with the third season and the first and second seasons of the respective shows removed) and, of course, the most perfect show in the history of the universe: CAPTAIN SIMIAN AND THE SPACE MONKEYS!
What do you do to unwind and relax?
Play video games, mostly! The current game I’m grinding my way through is Final Liberation, a 1997 Warhammer 40,000 game wherein you attempt to retake a planet that has been conquered by vicious space orcs (which are like regular orcs…but IN SPACE!). This requires you to use tanks and infantry and airplanes to bomb, shoot, and stab the orcs out of cities, deserts, and forests. My favorite thing, though, is that you can use Titans: building-sized walking war machines with guns the size of cars and huge energy shields. STOMPY STOMPY!
CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Drusilla Xao
Where do you dream of traveling to and why?
Earth. Growing up 1.5 million miles away from anything approaching a planet really makes you wonder about stuff. Like, for example, why do human beings have inner ears? Do you know how much shit that little thing gives me in microgravity? Ugh. Also, WHY do we get afraid of heights? We’re descended from tree-dwelling arboreal critters, right? Still…the real reason why I want to go to Earth is because Sarah is there. But mentioning that just makes me want to curl up and cry.
What would we find under your bed?
A breather. In the case of depressurization, you need a breather so you have a chance of getting to a suit before you die horribly.
Morning Person? Or Night Person? How do you know?
…huh? Oh. Uh…neither. I’d have no way of figuring that out, because day or night does not exist in space. There’s just on shift or off shift and EVERYONE is an off-shift person. Off shift, you can sleep and play vid-games and shack up. On shift, you’re working. And if you stop working, you die.
What one word best describes you?Pathologically introspective. In Mandarin, that’d be one word.
Genre: YA science fiction
Publisher: Candlemark & Gleam
Number of pages: 294
Cover Artist: Karen Gadient, www.karengadient.com
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/CJnnk8jX2g8
1.5 million kilometers above the surface of the Earth
Drusilla Xao has only seen a tree in movies and vid-games. She has never breathed air that wasn’t recycled, re-filtered, and re-used a hundred times over again. She has never set foot on the Earth.
And now she never will.
When a terrorist attack by a radical separatist group on Luna destroys the space elevator that had called so many – including her parents – to live permanently in space, Dru is cut off from any hope of ever reaching Earth and her beloved girlfriend, Sarah. The Chinese-American Alliance declares immediate war on the rebels and conscripts everyone they can get their hands on…including Dru.
Cast adrift, forced to become a soldier, trapped in a nightmare of vacuum and loneliness, Dru’s training will help her survive, but only Sarah will be able to bring her home.
Heavily influenced by George Romero movies and bad, poorly dubbed anime, David Colby decided to start writing almost twelve years ago. It went poorly. But, despite these early setbacks, David continued to work and write and send out submissions until someone was mad enough to accept him. Currently living in Rohnert Park, California, while working on his English Bachelor, David Colby continues to be fascinated by George Romero movies and has realized that animes have subtitles.
Book Character Twitters: