Joining us today is Darrell Bain, the award-winning author of more than three dozen books and one of the best selling authors in electronic publishing. While Darrell has written humor, mystery, and non-fiction, over the last few years he’s concentrated more on science-fiction and suspense/thrillers. Today we will discuss one of Darrell’s latest sci-fi novels, Savage Survival, which is a limited special edition hardcover.
Welcome to The Book Connection, Darrell. I’m thrilled to have you here!
Thanks. I'm glad to be here.
Before we talk about Savage Survival, can you tell us a bit about yourself? How long have you been writing? What inspired you to become a full-time novelist?
I've been interested in writing since I was a little shaver but only got serious about it when I was around 50 years old and bought my first computer. I wrote quite a lot even after quitting medicine to become a Christmas tree farmer, but became a full time writer after closing the farm a few years ago. It's a great profession to keep you busy after retiring!
You’ve been published in a variety of genres. When you sit down to read, what type of books are you drawn to? Does your wife, Betty, enjoy any of the same books that you do?
I love to read, period. I'll read the label on a box of cereal if there's nothing else handy. My favorite genres are thrillers and science fiction. Betty likes British mysteries, but she also began enjoying science fiction after we were married. Like me, she's an eclectic reader. For both of us, we'll read anything that's interesting and well written! We swap books with each other and Santa always fills our stockings with books whether we've been good or not. Isn't he nice?
Authors of science-fiction novels amaze me in the way that they can create worlds that are so different from our own. After writing so many of these novels, does making up worlds and creatures get any easier? Do you have a starting point--is it the world or the creatures or something else?
Now here is a question I don't get asked very often. The answer is yes, it does become easier with time. It's like any other mental exercise. Do it often and you become better at it. The starting point can depend on a number of things. The theme, whether it's in our solar system or somewhere else, whether you want to portray the aliens as good or bad and so on. When creating a new world and/or other species, you have to be consistent in everything written about them.
Let’s talk about Savage Survival. What is this novel all about?
Savage Survival is both a coming of age story and a novel of survival under extreme conditions, purposely imposed on millions of humans. We follow Lyda Brightner, an eleven year old girl for over five years as she copes with increasingly harsh and life-threatening environments. But ultimately, Savage Survival is designed to portray all that is good and decent and noble in our species, even when challenged by the most horrible kinds of adversity, such as Lyda is throughout the novel.
In Chapter One, we meet Lyda’s parents. What can you tell us about them?
Luckily for Lyda, they are a good, intelligent couple who have given Lyda a basic understanding of moral and ethical behavior. Just as important, they have taught her how to think and learn, something she will need almost every instant in the future.
Also in this chapter, Lyda and her parents witness aliens taking over the world. Eleven-year-old Lyda is asking her parents a million questions. Was it challenging to portray the curiosity of a young girl?
Laugh! Not at all. I was very curious at that age and remember wishing I had someone to explain a lot of things. Unfortunately, I didn't have as good a home life as Lyda. But I certainly know what curiosity and the desire to learn is like.
After aliens put Lyda through her first survival test, she decides not only will she survive, but she will exact revenge on the creatures responsible. When she makes this decision, does she have any idea how she will accomplish this?
Not in the least. All she knows is that no one deserves to be treated like she and the rest of the people who are thrown together are, where only one of a thousand will survive. Of course she has no idea of the ulterior motives of the aliens, not until near the end of the book and then it all makes sense.
What are some of the challenges Lyda will face in trying to follow through on her decision?
Lord have mercy, what challenges doesn't she face? She has to overcome men who want to either kill or enslave her, mind bending psychological horrors, facing and overcoming her own worst fears (how about having to decide whether to run or try making friends with a spider-like creature bigger than you?) and possibly the hardest challenge of them all, resisting temptation in one of the environments and not succumbing to its artificial pleasures that are more intense than reality.
Here’s an important question, where can readers purchase a copy of Savage Survival?
What is up next for you? Are there future projects you would like to share with our readers?
Oh yes. I've been honored by the offer to collaborate on a novel with Travis S. "Doc Travis" Taylor, a noted scientist and a popular science fiction writer. The title will be Human By Choice and will be out next July or so. And Bark! my novel of an addled little dachshund doggie who saves the world from an alien invasion is being published in England in February (but copies will be available here).
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Yes. Savage Survival is my favorite out of the books I've written and Lyda Brightner is my favorite character. I'm very glad that it's out in print so others can read about her and be with her as she grows into a young woman. She has become almost real for me. I might add that this was one of those rare books that suddenly pop into an author's head already themed and plotted and the characters already vivid in your mind. It practically wrote itself.
It’s been a pleasure getting to know more about you and your work, Darrell. I wish you continued success.
Thank you very much. I've enjoyed talking to you.
This virtual book tour has been brought to you by: