Welcome to Travis McBee! I had the pleasure of meeting Travis at Fandom Fest a few weeks ago. He was launching Bridgeworld, and I found what he to say about the book very interesting. Especially since the book is YA science fiction. Please read on to see what Travis has to say.
DV: Travis, toward what age group is your work geared?
TM: Bridgeworld was written for young adults but it has enough mature topics and hidden humor in it to amuse adults as well.
DV: Into which genre would you say your work falls and why?
TM: My work fits very cleanly into the Science Fiction genre based on its setting alone. It also comprises elements of a Coming of Age novel as the main character tries to find out who he really is.
DV: Fantasy and science fiction create a new world for the reader. Tell us about the world you’ve built.
TM: Bridgeworld consists of two worlds, one is our own and one that exists in space. The world I constructed is as complex and different from ours as I could manage. I hae an entire spiral notebook full of notes to keep things straight. Everything from the food to polite behavior is different. In this new world there are new sports, hobbies, and bracelets that identify your relationship status. One of the favorite pastimes in Bridgeworld is known as ‘ticking’, or messing with Earthlings.
DV: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
TM: My favorite character would have to be Abby. She is a very carefree person who enjoys the little things in life and would be enthralled in the things we would think of as mundane, such as a cheeseburger or a cell phone. Every time I was writing a scene with her in it I would find myself smiling.
DV: What other writers would you say have influenced your work and why? What are some of your favorite books in your genre?
TM: I’m influenced by everything around me. The idea for Bridgeworld came as I was sitting on my couch watching some cheesy movie. I remembered a book I had read eight or more years ago called The Dark Side of Nowhere by Neal Shusterman. That book was about a a group of teenagers who discovers that their whole town are really aliens. I wondered what it would be like for just one boy to learn that his life wasn’t what he thought. Besides that book, Enders Game influenced me tremendously, helping to contribute to the zero-gravity game of zegma.
DV: What is your writing process like? Do you do a lot of background research? Do you plot every detail or do you prefer the characters to move the story in new directions, or a combination of both? Do you belong to a critique group and do you find this helpful?
TM: I write like I go to war. I spend days with a composition book or spiral notebook taking relentless notes. I plan out most of the novel but only in a vague sense. The planning is so that I will eventually get to where I want to go but I usually find myself making wholesale changes while I actually write. I usually have an idea about what the characters will be like but they surprise me a lot of times and morph into something I didn’t foresee. To me writing a book is a lot like going on a road trip; I know where I’m going. I know the basic route I’m going to take, but there are always tons of surprises along the way.
DV: Do you have any advice for young or beginning writers?
TM: I have started perhaps half a dozen novels. The reason that I finished Bridgeworld is simple, I was prepared. Start a notebook, make sure you know where you want to end up. If you just go at it most of the time you’ll wander around and get bogged down, disheartened, and quit. The most important thing, though, is perseverance. Writing is fun, any author will tell you that, but it can also get boring. I create stories much faster than I can write and many times I feel myself thinking about a new story and yearn to start writing it. I did this several times and that is why I have so many unfinished novels. Finish what you start, it will be worth it.
DV: Who is your publisher, and where are your books available? Are there e-books and hard copies available?
TM: I am published by Hydra Publications. My books are available at Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, and most online retailers. An E-book will be available soon from Smashwords as well as Amazon. Paperbacks are available now.
DV: What is your website and/or blog where readers can learn more? Can they friend you on facebook or other sites?
TM: There is a Bridgeworld fan page on Facebook and there is more information at my publisher’s website http://www.hydrapublications.com/
DV: Are there any upcoming signings or appearances you’d like to mention?
TM:I don’t have any signings schedule soon but if anyone would like me to make an appearance you can contact me through my facebook page and I will see if I can manage to do it.
Travis, thanks for joining me today! You can follow Travis at his facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Bridgeworld/172798309452043