Saturday, November 10, 2007
Author Interview - Darrell Blain - Savage Survival
I admit I slipped up on this - for some reason I thought I was supposed to do this tomorrow but here it is - my interview with author Darrell Blain
Author’s Bio: Over the last several years, Darrell Bain has become one of the best selling authors in the world in the realm of electronic publishing, winning just about every honor available in that area of publishing. He has now moved actively into print publishing and is currently working on a collaboration with best selling science fiction author and scientist Travis S. "Doc Travis" Taylor. Most of Bain's books are also in print or scheduled for print and all of them are available as e-books. He produces a very popular monthly newsletter, discoursing on various subjects brought up by fans or by his own voracious reading habit, written in an informal, narrative style. It is available around the first of each month from his web site at www.darrellbain.com
A publisher recently became interested in both his newsletters and his memoirs, which tell of a hard childhood and early life before finally settling down with his present wife. He has signed contracts to have them published first as e-books and then in print. His autobiography is already available now at www.fictionwise.com under the title Darrell Bain's World Of Books. The newsletters will be published as annual books, untitled as yet.
Darrell is the author of more than three dozen books in many genres, running the gamut from humor to mystery and science fiction to non-fiction. For the last several years he has concentrated on science fiction and suspense/thrillers, with an occasional foray into humor and short stories. Some of his most memorable titles are The Sex Gates, Savage Survival, Alien Infection, The Melanin Apocalypse, Strange Valley, The Pet Plague trilogy and the Williard Brothers series. Savage Survival will be his first novel issued in hard cover.
Darrell served 13 years in the military and his two stints in Vietnam formed the basis for his first published novel, Medics Wild, and the sequels featuring the zany Williard brothers, where the latest book has brought them up to their present day exploits. Some of his most avid fans are constantly clamoring for more books in the Williard Brothers series and for sequels to his other popular thrillers and science fiction titles. Darrell has been writing off and on all his life but really got serious about it only after the advent of computers. He purchased his first one in 1990 and has been writing furiously ever since.
While Darrell was working as a lab manager at a hospital in Texas, he met his wife Betty. He trapped her under a mistletoe sprig and they were married a year later. Darrell and Betty operated a Christmas tree farm in East Texas for many years, which became the subject and backdrop for many of his non-fiction humorous stories and books.
The Bain family consists of he and his wife Betty and their dachshunds, Tonto and Susie, along with Velcro the cat. They still live on the site of their Christmas tree farm, although it is no longer in business. Darrell is a full time writer now and Betty is retired. They spend most of their leisure time reading.
Mail to Darrell Bain can be addressed to him from his web site, www.darrellbain.com
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I began writing when I was just a kid, and continued off and on until I was about fifty, but was never very serious about it. I was more interested in science and reading. When I purchased my first computer and found how easy writing was with a word processor, the first thing I did was write a novel—and I've been hooked ever since.
How long does it take you to write a book?
It depends on how interested I get in the characters. If I really get involved with them, I can write a book in a month. Other times, nothing seems to jell and it goes very slow, or I'll set it aside until later. I've gone back as far as ten years and picked up a manuscript and finished it.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
It varies according to how my back is treating me. If I'm not having much trouble from it, I write every day, most of the day. I'm retired and a full time writer.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Hmm. If I have a quirk, it's always asking my wife's opinion on what I'm doing. She's been wrong only once.
How do books get published?
With difficulty for most writers. It is one of the professions where supply far outstrips demand. It's almost like half the people in America have written a book!
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Oh boy. Every author gets asked that question. None of us really know. I suppose they just well up from the summation of all our experiences and something we hear or read will strike a bell and we'll think, yeah, that might make a story. Or we'll be daydreaming and something will suggest a story. Once you begin writing a lot, the ideas come easier.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I completed my first novel when I was 51 years old. I had started many others during my life, writing by hand, but never finished them. As best I remember, only one of them would have been worth publishing anyway.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I love to read. Fortunately, my present wife loves to read, too. Twice before I married a woman who wasn't interested in books and it didn't work.
What does your family think of your writing?
They think I'm kind of odd.
SAVAGE SURVIVAL is not just another testosterone driven science fiction novel. At the basic level, it explores the personalities and attitudes of men, women and children when stripped of the comforting insulation of organized society. Invulnerable aliens have captured millions of humans and are subjecting them to the most brutal and horrible environments ever encountered, in essence a survival test of a magnitude heretofore undreamed of.
Lyda Brightner is an eleven year old girl when she is suddenly and without warning separated from her parents and thrown into the midst of undisciplined humans in a harsh desert environment. Food and water and clothing are fought over. Those who control it can do as they wish—and their wishes are terrible.
Lyda is weaponless and alone, like almost everyone. Raped at eleven. Forced to kill. Grieving for her parents. All that stands between Lyda and death is her own innate bravery, her quick mind, her unwavering integrity and ultimately, her belief that someday she will find someone to love.
Lyda's strength of character and fighting spirit make her a leader, even at a very young age. Over the next six years she must constantly fight the ever changing and ever more dangerous environments the aliens subject them to. But she must fight other humans as well, those who have survived by brute strength and ruthless plundering of the weak.
But even if she lives through all this, Lyda must still face the final question: What do the aliens have in mind for the few hundred remaining humans, those few left of all the millions who died?
SAVAGE SURVIVAL is a coming of age novel like no other and Lyda Brightner is a character you'll never forget.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That you can just about fall in love with some of your characters. That was true of Lyda in Savage Survival. She's my favorite of them all. And The Williard Brothers of the series by the same name (Or sometimes referreed to as the Medics Wild Series after the first book). They're great guys.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I've written about three dozen or so and as many shorter works. Most of those have been collected into anthologies.
Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
The way to become a better writer is to think about what you're doing and to write. And write. And write. And write. And….
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
Oh yes, I get lots of letters. I love getting mail, particularly the letters where someone tells me they have been moved by one of my books. One in particular was from a reporter who said reading my book Medics Wild finally enabled her to put Vietnam behind her. That brought tears to my eyes.
What do you think makes a good story?
A little humor mixed with the drama does it for me. Any story that brings tears to my eyes is the mark of a good writer. I really don’t know if I'm that good or not, but I have had reviewers say they laughed so hard they cried while reading some of my humor.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to go into space. I've always loved science fiction and suppose it influenced me. I may actually fulfill that dream if the private spaceships get going as they promise and if I can save up enough money.
Title of Book: Savage Survival
Genre: Science fiction
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
Publication Date: September 15, 2007
Darrell Bain's finest novel to date. Savage Survival is a coming of age novel like no other and Lyda Brightner is a character you'll remember forever. Raped at eleven. Forced to kill. Subjected to suffering in one brutal and horrible environment after another, with no parents or guardian to protect her as she grows up. Millions of earthmen have been captured by invulnerable aliens and are being put through the strangest and most terrifying survival tests ever imagined. Young Lyda Brightner's first experience after being thrown into the midst of undisciplined humans is horrible enough, but she doesn't know that the trials are just beginning. She doesn't know that only a few hundred of the millions of captives will live through the vicious and cruel winnowing process. Again and again as she grows into a young woman, she has to call on the only resources she has available: her own innate bravery, her quick mind, her unwavering belief in the goodness of the majority of humans and ultimately, an enduring hope that one day she will find someone to love. But even if she lives through all this, she will still have to face the final question. What do the aliens have in mind for the few survivors?