Interview with Travis McBee, author of the Bridgeworld Series

Publisher: Hydra Publications

Publish Date: July 7, 2011

Order From:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: William Haynes was the  guy that every boy wanted to be. He was an honor roll student and captain of his middle school football team. He was dating the most popular girl in the school and had dozens of friends. Yes, life was perfect for Will…that is until a strange man shows up and forces his parents to reveal a secret they have kept hidden since he was born. He is told that he has been given a scholarship to a prestigious private school that his parents attended, a private school that happens to be in space. Will must choose between a life many would die for and a life none could imagine. A life where he is no longer perfect, where he must make new friends, and where he must survive a school rivalry like no other.

Author Bio: Travis McBee was born and raised just outside of Atlanta, Georgia. He is the younger of two children and enjoys backpacking, playing rugby, and watching football. He is the author of four novels: Bridgeworld, Bridgeworld: Encounter at Atlantis, Triton: Rise of the Fallen, and Triton: The Call of War. He is also the author of a children’s series: The Chronicles of a Second Grade Genius. He currently resides in Georgia.

Interview: Q. How did you come up with the idea for the Bridgeworld Series?

A. I came up for the idea for Bridgeworld while sitting on my couch, thinking about a book I had read years before about a boy who finds out his entire community was aliens. I wondered what would happen if he had to go back to his parent’s community without his friends.

Not being much for books with aliens, however, I decided to take it one step farther. What if there were aliens out there, and they were human just like us. From there, the idea took hold and I began hashing out the back story of how humans came to live in space, what their civilization was like, and what problems it might encounter. The first book is mostly about Will adapting to his new life, but in the second book he learns about the “true” history of Earth.

Q. Is there a message in the Bridgeworld Series that you want readers to grasp?

A. There’s a pretty powerful message of not envying the popular kids in school. Their lives may look perfect—heck, the might be perfect—but they are human just like the rest of us…even if their parents are from outer space.

Q. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything about the book?

A. There will always be things I wish I had tweaked a little here or there, but for the most part I’m happy with it. Besides, if I waited until it was perfect, nobody would ever read it.

Q. What was the hardest part of writing the Bridgeworld Series?

A. The first book was really painless. The idea just consumed me and I was almost in a trance for the three months to write it. The second book is a different story. I didn’t really have an idea of what I wanted the book to be. I actually wrote two different novels between the first and second book to try and clear my head of the story. That didn’t help much though. When I finally decided that it was time to go out in space again, it took me six months to finish. I wrote four or five completely different drafts before finally finding the one that was perfect. It was a rush to find that idea, but it took a while. So I guess the answer is: figuring out where I wanted the series as a whole to go.

Q. Did you learn anything from writing the Bridgeworld Series and what was it?

A. I actually had to do a lot of research for Bridgeworld and Encounter at Atlantis. The first book took place in space, and I wanted the books to take place on actual planets. Instead of made up names.  I spent an entire night browsing through the Harvard listing of Planets picking out names and figuring out their distances so I would know how long Will’s commute to them would be.

Encounter at Atlantis has a lot of backstory for the human race in it. I was a history major in college, so I already knew a lot about early civilizations, but I had to do even more research so that I could splice my false history cleanly into what actually happened.

Q. Did you have a musical playlist you listen to when writing? If so, what kind of music?

A. When I’m composing I have to have dead silence. I sit in absolute dark with usually just the monitor on or perhaps a desklamp. I get distracted very easily so I like to put myself in an island of writing. When I’m rewriting I’ll turn the lights on and blast music though. I listen to mostly classic rock, but I will delve into pop, rap, dubstep, pretty much whatever suits my fancy at the moment.

Q. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

A. The first time I thought about writing a book, I was in the third grade. My mom had taken my sister and me to a bookstore in the mall. I saw a book with Taz on the front and, loving Taz, picked it up to see what it was about. But there was nothing in it…Oh what wonder had I found? I could write the book! I could make up the story! My mom quickly told me it was a journal—I didn’t know what that meant—but I didn’t care. I had to have it! From that day on, I always had a fancy in the back of my head of writing a book. I still have the journal too, but I actually used it as a journal—ex’s beware.

Q. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

A. My favorite author is Stephen King. His absolute love for story telling is evident in every line of his prose. What I like most about him is that he paints vivid scenes, snares your emotions, and does it all with using colloquial language. A lot of writers seem to want to overwrite from time to time, but King doesn’t want to impress you with his writing language, he just wants to tell you a story. For me, that’s what writing should be all about.

Q. Tell us your latest news.

A. Encounter at Atlantis has just been released. I have a children’s series due to come out at any time called The Chronicles of a Second Grade Genius. It’s about a super genius boy and—you guessed it—he’s in the second grade. The books are lighthearted and quirky, and I love writing them. I also have a middle grade novel coming out sometime next year called The Bully Trap about a boy who uses a haunted hose to get back at a school bully.

Q. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

A. Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!


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