Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Q & A with Travis McBee, Author of the YA Science Ficition Novel, Bridgeworld

Mary Ann: Hi, Travis! Thanks for joining us on All Things Writing today.
Tell us a little about yourself. How long have you been writing? What genre do you work the most in?

Travis: I’m twenty-two and I’ve been writing seriously for about two years now. I don’t really pick genres, either when I’m reading or writing. I get ideas that come to me and I start writing them. I don’t really ever stop to consider what genre it is until I’m done and I need to classify it so that I can query it. It’s the same way when I pick up books to read, I just look for a good story. I guess I’m weird that way.

Your novel, Bridgeworld, is YA Science Fiction. How did you come up with this storyline?

The inspiration came from a book I had read years before called “The Dark Side of Nowhere” The book was about a small town whose residents were actually aliens who had crash landed there decades before and raised kids who they disguised and raised as humans. I was thinking about the book when I wondered what it would be like if one of the kids was forced to reintegrate into his parents’ old society.

Who is your publisher? How did you make that connection with them?

My publisher is Hydra Publications. I found their listing on durotrope and sent them a query—along with a dozen or so other houses. I got interest from several different houses, but Hydra was extremely straightforward with me and seemed to be genuinely excited about the possibilities “Bridgeworld” presented. I went with my gut on it and chose them. I couldn’t be happier.

What's your take on getting an agent? Do you currently have one?

It’s difficult. I got rejected about fifty times before I decided to just go the small press route. I’ve been offered representation since I’ve first been published, but the agents who have offered it have poor track records—most of their clients are only signed with small presses so they wouldn’t be able to offer me anything other than taking a share of my royalties as I see it. I still query some legitimate agents with most of my projects, but I’m in no hurry to sign with just anyone.

What do you think the best promotional tool is for an author? Is it easier or harder to promote science fiction to young adults?

I think the best tool is just getting out in your community. I’ve gotten more fans and readers from doing book signings and going to conventions than from anything else. It’s great to actually meet the people who like your work and talk to them as well.

What's next for you and where can our readers learn about you and/or purchase Bridgeworld?

Well writing is still just a hobby for me, but I would love for it to become a career. I’ve  sold four novels since publishing “Bridgeworld” so it’s definitely something I love. You can find out anything you want to know about me at and  you can buy a copy at

Thanks for having me on!

Here's an excerpt from Bridgeworld by Travis McBee! Enjoy!

Will’s birthday had always been an eventful day. The town would break into a large scale celebration with hotdogs grilling in every backyard and bands marching up and down main street in a massive parade. When the sun fell the occasion would be punctuated with the rolling thunder of fireworks which lit up the sky in fluorescent flowers of brilliance. Yes Pleasant Valley did enjoy Will’s birthday, because it also happened to be the Fourth of July.

“…Happy birthday to you!” the chorus of voices finished. Will took a breath and held it for a second as he made his private wish and then with a sudden burst of wind he released the breath upon the fifteen candles that were staggered about the cake causing the little flames to flicker and disappear on each one.

“What did you wish for Will?” his mother asked from the other end of the dining room table. She asked that same question every year.

“Can’t tell you that,” Will replied as he always did when his mother asked but smiled none the less.

“Stop pitter pattering around and cut the cake Will,” His father chuckled from his mother’s side, his eyes yearning for the chocolate cake with the still smoking candles.

Will grabbed the knife and slid it through the cake in clean, neat, strokes and ladled four pieces of the sticky chocolate cake onto four milky white plates that his mom saved for special occasions. He slid the plates around the table and only the etiquette of birthday boy first kept the cake from being torn apart by his apparently ravenous father. Abby flashed a smile of gratitude when he slid her a piece and looked at it closely. Will picked up his fork and dipped a piece of the spongy cake into his mouth. He closed his eyes and enjoyed the sweet ecstasy sweeping across his tongue in moist waves of delight.

The entire table followed suit with Abby and Mr. Haynes digging in with the most fervor. Abby had developed a taste for Earth food and had yet to find something she didn’t like.

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