Saturday, September 27, 2014

3 Joshua David Bellin on LOTR and the journey to his debut.

What is your favorite thing about SURVIVAL COLONY 9?

I love the fact that two stories unfold simultaneously in my novel: the big, world-changing story of humanity’s battles against the Skaldi, and the small, intimate story of a teen coming to terms with his past and discovering his place in an extended family. Both of these stories are equally important to the book, and I believe they work together to enrich the reader’s experience: the Skaldi may be demonic, but Querry’s personal demons are just as hard to conquer.

Quick disclaimer before this next paragraph: I am NOT comparing myself to J. R. R. Tolkien! However, The Lord of the Rings was incredibly important to my development as a reader and writer, and one of the things I loved about LOTR when I first read it at age thirteen was how the epic story of the War of the Ring and the small-scale story of Frodo and Sam’s quest so perfectly complemented each other. I’m certain Tolkien’s trilogy influenced my decision to tell a story with a similar, dual focus.

How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?

My road to publication was forty years in the making, which is probably no longer than many authors’! I started thinking of myself as a writer at around age eight, and I completed my first novel, a fantasy titled To Alter the Past, at age sixteen. A family friend who was in publishing looked at it, and of course I had dreams that he’d offer me a million-dollar contract on the spot, but instead he told me (very nicely) that I needed to work on honing my craft. I wrote two more novels in my teens and early twenties: Summer Shadows, a YA contemporary, and The S.A.M.E. Semester, a very bizarre book about a small college that’s taken over by a group of radical educators. Neither got published. When I returned to writing fiction in my forties, I produced one more unpublished novel before writing Survival Colony 9. These numbers, of course, don’t count the many novel ideas and first chapters I produced but never completed!

What are you working on now?

I’ve finished a second book in the Querry Genn series, titled Scavenger of Souls, and I’ve drafted (but not revised) a final book, titled Skaldi City. Much as I hate to leave Querry’s story behind after working on it for 4-plus years, the next project I have in mind is very different, a YA alt-history about abolitionist John Brown and the events leading up to the Civil War. It’ll take lots of research and travel, and it’ll be based in historical fact. But since it’s alt-history, it’ll still give my imagination room to run wild!

Giveaway ends 9/28/2014 at midnight EST.

ABOUT THE BOOK


Survival Colony 9
by Joshua David Bellin
Hardcover
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Released 9/23/2014

In a future world of dust and ruin, fourteen-year-old Querry Genn struggles to recover the lost memory that might save the human race.

Querry is a member of Survival Colony Nine, one of the small, roving groups of people who outlived the wars and environmental catastrophes that destroyed the old world. The commander of Survival Colony Nine is his father, Laman Genn, who runs the camp with an iron will. He has to--because heat, dust, and starvation aren't the only threats in this ruined world.

There are also the Skaldi.

Monsters with the ability to infect and mimic human hosts, the Skaldi appeared on the planet shortly after the wars of destruction. No one knows where they came from or what they are. But if they're not stopped, it might mean the end of humanity.

Six months ago, Querry had an encounter with the Skaldi--and now he can't remember anything that happened before then. If he can recall his past, he might be able to find the key to defeat the Skaldi.

If he can't, he's their next victim.

Purchase Survival Colony 9 at Amazon
Purchase Survival Colony 9 at IndieBound
View Survival Colony 9 on Goodreads

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Joshua David Bellin has been writing novels since he was eight years old (though the first few were admittedly very, very short). A Pittsburgh native, Josh graduated from Wesleyan University and went on to earn his PhD. in English at the University of Pennsylvania. He has taught college English, published three nonfiction books (one about monsters!), and taken part in the movement to protect the environment. He lives with his wife and two children in the beautiful Frick Park area of Pittsburgh. SURVIVAL COLONY 9 is Josh’s debut novel.  

Connect with Joshua David Bellin:
www.joshuadavidbellin.com
Twitter: @TheYAGuy
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joshuadavidbellin

3 comments:

  1. I've been hearing good things about this book :)

    Congrats to Josh!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I'd love to hear your reaction when you read the book!

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    ReplyDelete

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