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.

Writer’s Block: Publishing 101

As writers, we often share a dream: to see our stories in print. In today’s video, we talk about the basics of publishing: some common publishing vocabulary, types of publishing, the reality of rejection, and what you, as a young writer, can be doing today to prepare to perhaps publish one day. As always, there’s a writing activity for you at the end.

Join us on YouTube, and take a moment to comment or share your thoughts on today’s video.

What can you, as a young writer, be doing today to work toward your publishing dream? Join the conversation on Writer’s Block, a YouTube community for teen writers.

Writer’s Block: The Basics of Plot Structure

A story doesn’t just happen. The writer intentionally crafts it from start to finish–from inciting incident to denouement. In this meeting, we talk about the ten basic plots, the components of plot structure, and an example that helps visualize the whole process. As always, there’s a writing activity at the end to help you practice what you’ve learned.

Join us on YouTube, and take a moment to comment or share your thoughts on today’s video.

A story doesn’t just happen. Learn the basic components of plot structure and how to map out a storyline from start to finish.

Writer’s Block: Poetry in Everyday Life

It’s February, a month famous for sharing sweet sentiments, so what better time is there to talk about poetry? Whether you want to craft a ditty for that special someone–or not–everyone can learn to enjoy and even write poetry.

Most teens groan when their teacher talks about poetry in English class, but the truth is, we use poetry all the time. It adds beauty and extra dimension to writing, songs, and creative expressions. In this meeting, we’ll talk about the basics of meter, the difference between rhyme and free verse, and some common poetic devices. Then, at the end, I’ll share a writing activity so you can practice being your own poet.

Join us on YouTube, and take a moment to comment or share your thoughts on today’s video.

Learn the basics of poetry on Writer’s Block, a community for young writers.

Writer’s Block: “Show. Don’t Tell.”

I’m excited to share the video of our first Writer’s Block of 2020! This creative writing club is designed for young writers, but writers of all ages and experience levels are welcome.

“Show. Don’t Tell.” It’s a critique writers often receive, so how do we “show” and “not tell” in our writing? We’ll talk about how to write vividly using sensory descriptions and avoid some “telling” words that tend to slow down our writing. As always, there’s a writing activity at the end.

Join us on YouTube, and take a moment to comment or share your thoughts on today’s video.

“Show. Don’t Tell.” It’s a common writing critique writers can learn to overcome. #WritersBlock #writingcommunity

Tales of the Lonely Sun Blog Tour

I am so excited to introduce you to today’s guest blogger, Jorja Ayres! Please join me in welcoming Jorja to the blog. This teen writer and her friends are striving to raise the bar for young adult fiction, and today, she shares her reason “why” and a writing tip for other aspiring young writers.

Guest Post by Jorja Ayres

Hi, everyone! My name is Jorja Ayres, and I’m one of the writers on Tales of the Lonely Sun. TotLS is a writing and reading blog that focuses on sharing and creating stories that shine bright in our dark world. This post is part of our blog tour. If you want to find out who else is a part of the tour, enter a bookish giveaway, or read some of our posts, click here.

Why Do I Write?

I’m a writer. I’ve written blog posts, short stories, and am working on a novel. The question is: why? Why do I spend hours upon hours every week punching buttons on my laptop’s keyboard? Well, it’s the same reason that pianists press black and white keys and artists drag graphite and wax across paper. To try and create something beautiful. For me, though, there is more to it. I am part of the group of people in this world that use their creativity to create things that bring glory to God. My way of doing that is writing clean fiction with good themes and messages of hope. Whether you are a writer or not, I encourage you to think about your “why.” Psalm 119:59 says, “When I think on my ways, I turn my feet to your testimonies” Self reflection when it comes to hobbies or jobs can help us realign our lives with God’s will. 

How Do I Write?

Part of the mission of Tales of The Lonely Sun is to help people write stories that stand apart from the dark and hopeless stories that are becoming more and more common in today’s world. A common struggle is not knowing where to begin. Coming up with an idea for a writing project can be difficult, especially because inspiration tends to disappear as soon as it is sought out. 

One quick way to get creative gears turning, and come up with original ideas, is to use a random word generator. Generate random words and craft a story out of them. I recommend this word generator, because it lets you choose the parts of speech you want your words to be.

As an example, I got these five words from a generator: infamous, pocket, pass, typical, and airport. Different people would come up with different stories for these words, but my mind immediately jumped to a spy story. Combining all of the words into one sentence describes a scene: A typical looking woman in an airport passes a man who slips a piece of paper into her pocket containing information on an infamous criminal. To fill this sentence out into a story, we start asking questions. Who is the woman? Why is she a spy? Does she know the man who gave her the note? If she does, what is their history? Why is she the one getting the information on this criminal? What is her history with this criminal? Already a plot starts to emerge. Asking more questions leads to a more developed story. 

Once you have a general story idea, you must make decisions on how you want the story to go. One major step in this process to identify the theme you want to include in your story. What do you want the character(s) and readers to learn from the story? Your theme should be something you are passionate about, something you want to shout from the rooftops. This will give your story meaning; it will give you your “why.”  

Whether it’s the theme of your story or the anthem for your season in life, having a Christ-centered reason for whatever project you are undertaking makes all the difference. 

About Jorja Ayres

Jorja Ayres (pronounced Georgia Airs) is a 15 year old Christian writer, reader, and fangirl. Her hope is to help the readers of Tales of the Lonely Sun navigate around some of the beginner mistakes that she has made, as well as share some writing hacks that made things simpler for her. Her dream is to one day be able to give her readers the same feelings that she has experienced when reading some of her favorite books, as well as share positive themes that shine bright in this dark world.

She lives in Southern Arizona with her family, dogs, and hedgehog.

How to Avoid Writing Pitfalls

I’m excited to share this month’s creative writing topic on Writer’s Block, a creative writing club for young writers.

There, their, or they’re? Its or it’s? This month, we talk about common writing pitfalls and how to spot them. We also look at what makes a strong opener versus a weak opener for a story and also how to write strong dialogue. Don’t miss the hands-on writing activity at the end!

Join us on YouTube, and take a moment to comment or share your thoughts on today’s video.

Don’t let your writing get tangled. Learn to avoid common writing pitfalls this month on Writer’s Block.

Write on!

Kristen

The Challenge to Write Simply

Welcome back to Writer’s Block, a creative writing club designed for young writers. In this month’s meeting, we talk about how less can definitely be more with our writing, but writing simply is much harder than we might think!

In today’s video, we talk about ways to write tightly and clear. The writing activity is one you won’t want to miss.

Join us on YouTube, and take a moment to comment or share your thoughts on today’s class.

How can less be more with our writing? Join the conversation at Writer’s Block, a creative writing community on YouTube for teen writers. https://bit.ly/2oxdEBe

Write on!

~ Kristen

Calling Teen Writers! There’s a New Club for You

If you’re a teen writer, this club is for you! This month, I’m launching Writer’s Block, a creative writing club for young writers. Each meeting, we’ll learn about an aspect of the writing craft and have a chance to practice with a writing challenge.

At some point, all of us writers deal with the dreaded writer’s block, or creative brain freeze, but we’re not going to let it slow us down. Instead, we’re going to combat it with the best solutions possible: practical skills and lots of practice!

Learn more about my vision for this club and how I hope it can be a way to encourage and equip young writers. Watch the welcome video below, check for updates on the new page dedicated to young writers, or contact me with any questions you have.

Our first club meeting premiered today on YouTube! Check out the video where I introduce the purpose behind Writer’s Block, explain what you can expect from the club, and share how to use the sandwich method approach for giving and receiving constructive feedback. Then, dive right in to the monthly writing challenge.

Write on, friends!

~ Kristen