Author Interview with Joshua David Bellin

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Scavenger

Scavenger of Souls (Survival Colony 9 #2) by Joshua David Bellin

Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books

Published on August 23rd, 2016

Genre: YA Sci-fi/Dystopia

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27206580-scavenger-of-souls

Querry Genn must face the truth about the past and fight to save humanity and the future in this stunning sequel to Survival Colony 9, which New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry called “a terrific novel.”

Querry and the members of Survival Colony 9 have defeated a whole nest of the creatures called Skaldi, who can impersonate humans even as they destroy them. But now the colony is dangerously low in numbers and supplies. Querry’s mother is in command, and is definitely taking them somewhere—but where? Some secret from her past seems to be driving her relentlessly forward.

When they do finally reach their destination, Querry is amazed to discover a whole compound of humans—organized, with plenty of food and equipment. But the colonists are not welcomed. Everything about them is questioned, especially by Mercy, the granddaughter of the compound’s leader. Mercy is as tough a fighter as Querry has ever seen—and a girl as impetuous as Querry is careful. But the more Querry learns about Mercy and the others, the more he realizes that nothing around him is as it seems. There are gruesome secrets haunting this place and its people. And it’s up to Querry to unearth the past and try to save the future in this gripping conclusion to the Survival Colony novels.


 

Hi, Joshua! Welcome to YaReads!

Hi Nichole! Thanks for having me!

Can you tell us about your newest book, Scavenger of Souls, in 40 words or less?

Scavenger of Souls completes the story of Querry Genn, a fifteen-year-old boy living in a future world destroyed by war, as he fights to save his colony, discover his past, and defeat the creatures called Skaldi, monsters that consume and mimic human hosts.

What was your favorite scene to write?

Any scene that included the character Mercy, a feisty 18-year-old girl who matches wits with Querry, was a joy to write! Mercy was one of those characters who seemed like she was writing herself–she was such a natural, I felt I couldn’t make a false move when I was constructing her action and dialogue!

What was the hardest scene to edit out?

At one point, I had a lengthy scene where Querry visits a city infested by Skaldi. It was really cool in itself, but it detracted from the forward movement of the plot. That happens to me sometimes: I get an idea that seems so visually arresting I want it in the story, but I don’t always think about whether it serves the story I want it in. Thank goodness for my editor!

Does Scavenger of Souls take place directly after Survival Colony 9 or is there a time gap?

There’s about a one-week time gap between the end of Survival Colony 9, where the remains of Querry’s colony set off into the desert, and the beginning of Scavenger of Souls. Just enough time for the colony to get lost and run into more trouble!

Scavenger of Souls is the last book in the Survival Colony 9 series, correct? Do you have anything else planned or are you currently working on anything else that you can tell us about?

Scavenger of Souls is the final book in the series in the sense that it concludes Querry’s story. I’ve flirted with the idea of a prequel, set long before Querry’s birth and telling the story of the wars and the rise of the survival colonies, but we’ll have to wait and see about that. In the meantime, I’ve just completed a stand-alone YA science fiction novel titled Freefall, a deep space action/romance set to release in 2017.

If you had to give Scavenger of Souls a theme song, what song would you choose?

Probably “Beds are Burning” by Midnight Oil. Great apocalyptic song. And I’m an 80s guy!

What has been your most memorable experience with the Survival Colony 9 series? This could be while writing the book, promoting, interacting with fans, etc.

I have absolutely loved going on school visits. Sometimes they’ve been small and face-to-face, like the time I met with a class of about 25 and one girl gave me a picture she drew for me. Other times, I’ve addressed large assemblies (the largest being a multi-school event where there were about 1000 students in the audience!). But whatever the form, the chance to talk to young people about my book, to hear their questions, and to learn about their own writing has made me so happy I chose to write YA!

What is the best book you’ve read recently?

I loved Eliot Schrefer’s book Rescued, which is the third in a four-part series of YA novels about great apes (bonobos, chimpanzees, orangutans, and gorillas). Rescued is about an American teen who tries to return his pet orangutan to the wild, and it was awesome (as were the first two books in the series). But then, I’m an ape fan!

What are the top 3 books in your TBR pile?

I’m reading Erica Cameron’s Island of Exiles, a YA fantasy that comes out next year (I was lucky and got my hands on a review copy). I’m also reading Chris Howard’s The Reckoning, the third book in a YA science fiction trilogy about a future Earth without trees. Finally, I’m reading a book by the North Pole explorer Robert Peary in preparation for a YA historical novel I’m planning titled Polar.

Thanks so much for stopping by YaReads!

Thanks again, Nichole!


Joshua

I’ve been writing novels since I was eight years old (though admittedly, the first few were very, very short). I taught college for twenty years, wrote a bunch of books for college students, then decided to return to writing fiction. SURVIVAL COLONY 9 is my first novel, and the sequel, SCAVENGER OF SOULS, is due out in August 2016!

I love to read (mostly YA fantasy and science fiction), watch movies (again, mostly fantasy and sci-fi), and spend time in Nature (mostly catching frogs and toads). I’m the world’s worst singer, but I play a pretty mean air guitar.

Oh, yeah, and I like monsters. Really scary monsters.

Website: http://www.joshuadavidbellin.com/

Twitter: @TheYAGuy

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7393959.Joshua_David_Bellin