Author Chat with Bryan Davis on his New Christian Science Fiction Series

I met Bryan Davis at a writer’s conference several years ago and enjoyed getting to know him and his daughter Amanda (also an author). His books are favorites among the students I teach, and I’m honored to have him be my guest on the blog. In our author chat feature today, he shares about a brand new Christian science fiction series, with the first book releasing today.

Q: What prompted you to write this new series, or what was your inspiration?

This story began as a dream about a dystopian society with a tyrannical regime and a rebel faction trying to bring it down. In the dream, two rebels posed as fake doctors to deliver a toxic vaccine to regime troops, and the novel sprouted from that seed.

Q: What are some science fiction elements in the story that help drive or enhance the storyline (if you can share without giving away spoilers)?

The story has hovercraft drones, a scanner that can see a soul in the brain, a portal in the sky that has been breached by an alien race, weapons that shoot plasma spheres, and a missile designed to destroy a cross-dimensional conduit.

Q: Fiction often mirrors reality, even if the setting, time period, and characters are other-worldly. What aspects of the story might readers find paralleling their own experience?

In this case, the parallels are all too real. The story includes the threat of a contagion that will kill millions and a requirement to take a vaccine that is touted to be helpful but might be hazardous. I wrote the story long before the COVID-19 situation, and the current-events elements came to pass after I completed it.

Q: What message do you hope readers will take away from this story?

I try not to reveal specific story themes that I intended, because I want readers to glean for themselves, but in all of my stories, including this one, I hope to promote faith, courage, and self-sacrifice in my readers.

Q: You’re a household name for fans of young adult Christian fantasy. How is this new series different from some of your other books, and/or how is it similar?

It’s different in the target age—for older teens and adults instead of for middle-graders and younger teens. It is more science fiction than fantasy, though there are some fantastical elements. It is similar in that I continue to feature characters who display sacrificial heroism and other virtues, and the Christian world view never wavers.

Q: How have you seen God use your writing journey in unexpected ways?

In too many ways to describe here. For myself, I have seen God provide in miraculous ways during the lean years, which has helped me more fully understand His sufficiency as I practice contentment. For readers, I hear from them nearly every day that my books have helped them in their faith as well as their physical lives. For example, more than 20 readers have told me that my books kept them from committing suicide. Some have given my stories credit for helping them with drug abuse, sexual exploitation, and self harm. The feedback has been a huge blessing and an overwhelming one.

Q: I know you’ve taught teen track courses at writer’s conferences. What do you enjoy most about talking to teen writers, and what is the best advice you would give them as they work on their own stories?

Teen writers often have great story ideas, and their energy and passion are invigorating and inspiring. Most are ready to listen and learn, and they are looking to make a positive influence.

I encourage teen writers to learn the craft and to exercise patience. It can take years for a new writer to a create professional-level novel. Some, when they are unable to acquire a traditional publisher, jump to self-publishing even though their stories might not be ready to publish. I am not opposed to self-publishing, but I urge young writers to be ready for that step before leaping in.

Q: When can we expect to see the next book in the series?

I don’t have an exact date, and I don’t have a title yet, but it will probably come out early in the spring of 2021.

Enjoy this interview with best-selling author Bryan Davis who talks about his new Christian science fiction series. @khogrefeparnell

About the Author

Bryan Davis is the author of several fantasy/science fiction series for youth and adults, including the best-selling Dragons in our Midst series. He and his wife, Susie, have seven adult children, and they work together as an author/editor team.

About Heaven Came Down

In the chaotic aftermath of apocalyptic war, the strange lights in the sky heralding the coming of unearthly beings seemed like an answer to prayer. When the heavenly visitors entered selected people and transformed them into angels who demanded obedience in exchange for the restoration of order, the majority accepted their new rulers.

But Ben Garrison and his siblings, Jack and Trudy, have seen a dark side to these so-called angels. They join a rebel faction with one goal: destroy the invaders and free the world from their tyranny.

When the rebels catch wind of an angel plot to invade the resistance region and spread a deadly contagion, the Garrisons embark on a crucial mission to swap the angel troops’ vaccine with a fake injection, stealing the real vaccine to save the rebels. The catch: Ben and Trudy, in disguise as doctors, must volunteer to become implanted by angels and fake their implantation.

The rebels’ plan, however, is soon exposed, jeopardizing the mission and their lives. Their only hope for rescue lies in an odd bounty hunter, a young angel priestess, and a mysterious spy embedded among the angels—a woman whose identity the rebels have yet to discover.

Renegades Review: Inside a Superhero’s Skin

Is it possible that some villains are unlikely heroes, and that perhaps some heroes are a little villainous? Marissa Meyer’s Renegadesthe first in a young adult science fiction trilogy, trails two teen prodigies, both with superhuman abilities, but from different sides of the fence.

Nova, alias Nightmare, had expected the Renegades to save her when a villain gang murdered her family. But those lifesaving superheroes didn’t come. Instead, her Uncle Ace Anarchy, lead villain of the Anarchists, rescued her and made her his protege. But when the Renegades defeated the Anarchists in an epic battle, they killed her uncle. Two strikes give Nova reason to want revenge. Infiltrating the Renegades during their prodigy selection trials might let her do just that.

But then there’s Adrian, alias Sketch, the adopted son of two superhero Renegade Council members. Did I mention Nova herself had attempted to assassinate one of them a few days ago? Adrian wants justice for the villain Nightmare who almost killed his father and answers, because he thinks she knows who killed his mother.  Of course, he has no clue that Nightmare is Nova, the new superhero on his team who’s slowly stealing his heart. And naturally, she doesn’t realize Adrian has secrets of his own.

Fresh Twist on Superheroes 

Some of my students have raved about Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles, and after reading Renegades, I can understand why. Her writing style is delightful and relatable, and in this case, offers a fresh twist on superhero fiction. She doesn’t redo a classic good versus evil or repeat the more recently overdone anti-hero trope typical in this genre.

Instead, she presents two protagonists on missions they sincerely believe will help make their world a better place. Their motivations make sense, and even as they seek to reach their own objectives, they knowingly or unknowingly begin to sympathize with each other.

The takeaway for me is to understand other people’s perspectives. The story reminded me of what Atticus said in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee:

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”

Meyer invites us to climb inside the skins of these two characters to empathize with them both. Truth is, if they want to defeat the real villains, they’re going to have to work together.

4.5 out of 5 Stars

I recommend this mainstream book to my fellow Christian fiction readers with one word of caution. Adrian has two adoptive “dads,” superhero leaders of the Council. This lifestyle is presented as normal, though at one point Adrian jokes that he was “obviously” adopted.

Although today’s culture views such a family unit as “the new norm,” the Bible makes clear that God designed marriage for one man and one woman in a covenant relationship (Genesis 2).

I do appreciate that Meyer does not make any explicit references to their relationship, but would encourage readers, as with all books, to be discerning.

Archenemies, the second installment in the trilogy, releases this November, and because I care about Nova and Adrian, I want to find out how Meyer develops their already complicated relationship.

Read on! What books have you finished recently?

~ Kristen

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Announcing the Flag Design Contest Winner!

Congratulations to Brianna Ford for her winning entry of the fictitious ASU flag, which will be featured in The Revisionary.

I want to thank all the participants for their outstanding designs. It was an honor to share your creativity with my website readers.

Here’s some extra exciting news! My editor and I were so impressed with the submissions that we’re going to publish the runners-up in a special spread in the back of the book. All participants will have their names and designs in print.

Having these Alpha Omega Academy students be part of my book makes it all the more special to me. Thank you again to all who submitted designs and also to everyone who voted.

The Revisionary will release June 6, and the Kindle e-book is now available for pre-order. Those who pre-order will receive a special bonus feature, the prequel to Portia’s story, when they email their Amazon confirmation order to freebookforpreorder@gmail.com. For more information, click here.

Again, congratulations to Brianna and all the Alpha Omega Academy artists!

~ Kristen

 

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Announcing The Revisionary Flag Contest Winner – @kjhogrefe (Click to Tweet)

 

The Revisionary – Coming June 2017

revisionary-1I have two exciting announcements today! First, I want to congratulate the winner of the random drawing for the Women of Faith books.

Drum roll, please. The winner is … Trudy!

Thank you to everyone who participated! Remember, even if you didn’t win, you can still get these outstanding resources on Amazon or elsewhere. Also, I’ll be doing several more giveaways this year that you won’t want to miss.

Now, for my second big announcement: In partnership with Write Integrity Press, I’m thrilled to share some details about my new young adult fiction novel, releasing this spring!

The Revisionary is a dystopian suspense story laced with American history and flashbacks to its Judeo-Christian heritage. Unlike my first trilogy, which was staged in contemporary times, The Revisionary begins in a futuristic civilization, the remnants of what once was called the United States of America.

The Revisionary: Genre and Preview

A dystopia is the reverse of a utopia (ideal society), and this genre implies that all is far from right in the setting. In 2149, the American Socialists United (ASU) is a technologically barren land cut off from the outside world. Citizens in most squares eke out their existence in cube communities, remotely grateful they survived post-Apocalyptic conditions and painfully aware they owe their lives and fidelity to the Friend appointed by the Dome to rule.

At graduation, young adults receive their work assignments within their squares, except for an elite few selected for their undergraduate achievements. These draftees must report for selective training at the Crystal Globe University and ultimately, service in positions of leadership in the Dome or elsewhere.

The draft brings personal prestige and advancement for the graduate’s family, and no one dares defy it—no one, that is, except for Portia Abernathy’s brother. His rebellion condemned him to a western satellite, a sentence reserved for criminals and raiders.

Now, ten years later, the draft board calls Portia’s name. She hoped it would.

Unlike Darius, she wants to reform the system to make changes that will help the people. If she completes her Revisionary training and earns the Dome seat in her profession, she intends to rewrite the satellite rules to bring back Darius, and for that matter, other unfairly sentenced prisoners.

However, she soon discovers that citizens like Darius aren’t the only ones who need saving, and Portia must decide if it’s better to rewrite the rules or break them like her brother did.

Coming Soon

Fairly soon, I’ll be able to share a sneak preview of my cover. There’s a neat story behind it that I can’t wait to tell you!

In the coming weeks, I also want to introduce you to Portia, my heroine. In the meantime, here’s a trivia question for you:

Portia shares a name with a character from a famous play. Who wrote it, and what was the play’s title?

Also, if you have any questions you’d like me to answer in my next update, please leave a comment below. I look forward to hearing from you!

Kristen

 

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Coming this June! New YA Fiction, The Revisionary – @kjhogrefe and @WriteIntegrity (Click to Tweet)