Bryan Davis is the author of fantasy/science-fiction novels for youth and adults, including the bestselling Dragons in Our Midst Series. Other series include the Oculus Gate, Reapers, Dragons of Starlight, Tales of Starlight, Time Echoes, and Wanted: Superheroes, several of which have been bestsellers. Bryan was born in 1958 and grew up in the eastern US. In high school, he was valedictorian of his class and won various academic awards. Although he is now a full-time writer, Bryan was a computer professional for over twenty years. He lives in western Tennessee with his wife, Susie. Bryan and Susie homeschooled their four girls and three boys, and they work together as an author/editor team.
In this interview, Bryan talks with us about his latest novel, Search for the Astral Dragon. Full of unusual characters and daring escapes, the book draws readers into a world of snarky spaceship computer systems, a variety of different sentient species, futuristic tech, and magical elements. Megan is smart and quick-thinking, competent with spacecraft technology, and a person of strong character whose experiences give readers difficult questions to consider.
FF: What themes do you explore in Search for the Astral Dragon?
Sacrificial heroism is a major theme in this story. My main characters risk their lives to help innocent victims of oppression. I also explore the importance of family and the loving bonds among the members.
FF: What kind of research did you do while writing Search for the Astral Dragon?
I studied quite a bit about zero-gravity and low-oxygen environments. How things move in spaceships is an important aspect of this story. Since much of the story is fantastical, I invented significant portions. Those parts required little to no research, just a lot of imagination.
FF: Which scene in Search for the Astral Dragon did you most enjoy writing?
There is a scene in which Megan is desperately trying to save children who have been trafficked as slaves. In mortal danger from a venomous sting herself, she ignores her own peril and thinks only of saving the kids. In doing so, she drives a bus full of kids to escape villains, though she has never driven one before, then later hangs upside down from a ladder descending from a spaceship so she can haul the kids up into it. What she goes through to succeed is fun to witness, a real inspiration.
FF: What can readers learn from your protagonist, thirteen-year-old Megan?
Readers can learn compassion, endurance, selflessness, and courage from Megan. She cares for others, never gives up, helps others in need, and faces dangers at every turn. I think readers will think she’s amazing and will want to emulate her.
FF: What are the similarities between Search for the Astral Dragon and your previous Dragons in Our Midst Series?
Both stories have at least one dragon, and they are both really about the humans—their faith, love, and courage. Both focus on sacrificial love and the importance of friends and family.
FF: Do you enjoy reading science fiction and fantasy as much as you like writing it?
Not really. Although I have read many novels in the genre, I have found that authors in this genre tend to focus on unlikable characters committing immoral acts. I prefer to write about characters who choose selflessness and do their best to act according to godly principles. I want to write about characters I can cheer for.
FF: How did you become a writer, and what made you want to write young adult fiction?
I started writing about 27 years ago as a way to get my children interested in writing. We created a story together that became a full-length novel, though it has not been published and probably never will be. During my journey toward becoming an author, I had a dream about a boy who could breathe fire. My eldest son and I brainstormed to develop the dream into a story concept that fits into the young adult category. I have been writing for that age group ever since.
FF: What are some of your other upcoming projects?
I am working on book four in the Oculus Gate Series, tentatively titled The Eternity Psalm. This novel is geared toward older teens and adults. When I finish that, probably early in 2022, I hope to begin writing book two in the Astral Alliance Series, the first sequel to Search for the Astral Dragon.
Search for the Astral Dragon
Astral Alliance Series #1
Genres: YA/Teen Space Opera, Sci-Fi
Release Date: May 3, 2022
This fast-paced YA space opera (reminiscent of Star Wars) follows a strong female protagonist, Megan, on an interplanetary search for her mother. On her journey, Megan witnesses the horrors of child trafficking and slavery and joins with a group of other teens to fight against corrupt systems and stand up for the vulnerable.
Full of unusual characters and daring escapes, Search for the Astral Dragon draws readers into a world of snarky spaceship computer systems, a variety of different sentient species, spaceship tech, and magical elements. Megan is smart and quick-thinking, competent with spacecraft technology, and a person of strong character who’s experiences give readers difficult questions to consider.
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