Dave Henry is one of our newest authors here at Clayborn Press. His science fiction book, Lost and Stranded, is due out later this year. We caught up with him and got the low-down from him about his new book.
What is your book about?
It’s the story of a NASA scientist named Roger Daly who creates a wormhole and shoots through it to an unknown planet in a far-off galaxy. Lost and stranded, he embarks on a journey across the planet to find signs of life and a way home. Along the way, he encounters a band of travelers who lead him to a human civilization. There, he finds himself in the middle of a battle for supremacy by warring factions, one of which, to Roger’s shock, is led by a familiar face.
Meanwhile, Roger’s son Bill is in his own dangerous game back on Earth as he seeks answers about what happened to his father, which authorities have completely covered up. His search for answers leads him to learn the truth about his father and long-lost mother. It’s a truth that very powerful people will do anything to keep hidden.
What was your inspiration?
All the science fiction movies I watched growing up, from Star Wars to Planet of the Apes. Stephen King, too. I love his voice and the way he writes characters.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Roger. He is kind of a mild-mannered everyman who finds himself on this heroic journey for survival as he treks across this very dangerous planet with a band of travelers he picks up along the way. But also, because he is flawed and his failings as a father drive his quest to get back home more than his triumphs as a scientist.
Who is your least favorite character and why?
Alan Bannister. He’s a multi-billionaire CEO who went to school with Roger, but the two old friends took very different paths in life. Roger went to work in the public sector for NASA trying to develop his wormhole idea, while Bannister fell back on his family’s wealth and connections to launch a successful technology company.
Is there anything that you hope the readers take away from this story?
I just hope they enjoy it. I tried to keep the plot moving and the action coming, so hopefully it grabs readers and holds them. But also, it’s the story of an estranged father and son and how they reconnect, even though they are worlds apart.
What was the hardest part of writing this story?
Definitely the plot. I laid out what was going to happen in each chapter in advance, then went back and wrote the chapters after they were plotted. That was, by far, the most time-consuming part. I had to make sure all the pieces fit and that it led to something big at the end. Plus, I usually only had 30 minutes to an hour at a time to write the story, due to time constraints, so I had to make sure that when I sat down to write, I knew pretty much what I was going to say.
What was your favorite part of writing this story?
Also, the plot. While it took a long time to develop, it was a lot of fun to think about how to keep all the pieces moving towards something without getting bogged down. To keep it engaging, I’d try to start every chapter with an answer and end every chapter with a question.
Will there be a sequel or any more books in this series?
I have nothing planned at present, however, it’s possible that I might come back to it in the future as there are more places I could take these characters and their stories.
Did you discover anything about yourself while writing this story?
I guess just that I had the discipline to finish it. I had never attempted to write a novel or anything of this length before this, so I wasn’t sure how to do it or if I could do it. But I had a good idea that I completely outlined before I ever started writing it, so that made it easier. The discipline comes in stealing a few moments here and there to write it amidst job, family, and all the other priorities in our lives.
What do you plan to do next?
I wrote a comedy novel called Turtle Island, which is an alternate universe story about an America that diverged from our history before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. Turtle Island is what some Native American tribes called America. I plan to write a sequel to that story soon.