Sunday, December 09, 2012

Interview with David Colby

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
          In Debris Dreams, there are many messages, but the one that was near and dear to my heart was about gender and sexuality. A common critique that I got while writing the book was that my main character – a girl – didn’t sound particularly girlish. Which was kind of the idea. I wanted to portray a future where gender doesn’t shape someone’s personality in the all-consuming way that it does today. Dru didn’t grow up with pink toys or an unwanted expectation that she WILL settle down and WILL have kids and WILL be nurturing and WILL do this and WILL do that. That isn’t to say she wasn’t raised with expectations…they were just not gendered expectations. But I do enjoy tempering optimism, so while the world of Debris Dreams has stopped judging people (as often) about sex and gender issues…that doesn’t mean that the people of the future haven’t come up with whole new things to be bigoted about.

What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?
          I have two current works in progress. The first, Aftershocks: 2,000,000 BCE is about River, the teenage daughter of a US Army major and a scientist…born two million years before the birth of Christ! For, you see, in 1962, the United States sent troops and scientists back in time via an alien time machine to recover ancient relics and bury them for future use. But this created an alternate timeline where the United States used the artifacts (discovered in a cave in Utah in 1910) to conquer the world! Of course, now, because of changes in history, the United States didn’t discover the time machine…this time, the Russians did. And so, when River’s parents arrived in the past, they arrived to find Alternate-Universe Russians waiting for them…with guns! River herself was born a few months before the war in the past ended, and now, ten years later, the alternate-universe Russians and Americans live in general peace—a peace that is shattered when a man comes from the future: a third future, unknown to either faction. He comes bearing something called…an iPhone!
          The second WIP involves lightsabers!

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
          Vernor Vinge. His work manages to have awesome, hard science and yet he keeps an emotional core to his work. His characters remain three-dimensional and fascinating. It’s awesome.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
          NEVER. STOP. WRITING. Not even for a second.

Who designed the cover of your latest book?
          The amazing and lovable and fantastic Karen Gadient. She’s awesome and you should shower her with love and affection if you ever see her. But, uh, from a polite distance away and without being a creepy stalker. She wouldn’t like that. No one likes creepy stalkers.

Do you have to travel much to do research for your books?
          Yes and no. On the one hand, I don’t need to travel the world to research my novels. On the other hand, I need to travel the universe with my mind. Imagination takes me here and there and everywhere else, and while it won’t beat real experience, I don’t think that I can take a vacation on the moon. Yet.

Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?
          I title books right away! It helps me concentrate. But sometimes, I change the titles a few times: One of the novels I wrote was, for the longest time, called The Avengers. That’s a terrible title. So, I finally changed it around to Against the Dying. Which I prefer immensely.

How did you come up with the title for your latest book?
          Well, I thought about when it was set – two million years in the past. Then I realized it was dealing with the aftereffects of a pretty major event, so I called it Aftershocks: 2,000,000 BCE. For the work that involves lightsabers, well, the main plot involves something called a Worldshard. And so, I called it Worldshard. I’m super-creative that way!

Debris Dreams
David Colby

Genre: YA science fiction

Publisher: Candlemark & Gleam

ISBN: 978-1-936460-38-0

Number of pages: 294

Cover Artist: Karen Gadient,

Book Description:


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.

Author Bio:

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.

Twitter: @therealzoombie

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