Let’s start with an introduction: Who is Dave Bara?
Honestly, I’m a just guy who was pretty much born to write science fiction. My earliest memories are of watching the Gemini and Apollo missions on TV, plus Star Trek, Lost In Space, Outer Limits, Twilight Zone. I was always fascinated with space and science fiction, so it seems like it was my destiny to write it.
Your debut, IMPULSE, will be published by DAW Books in February in the US. How would you introduce the novel to a potential reader? Is it part of a series?
It is part of a series, of which Starbound will be the second volume in early 2016 and Defiant will be the third. If I was introducing it I’d say it’s character-driven SF/action-adventure, the kind of thing I like to read. If you’re into space opera and military SF, you’ll probably love Impulse.
US Cover for Impulse (DAW)
What inspired you to write the novel? And where do you draw your inspiration from in general?
I knew at some point in my career I wanted to tell a ship-based story, putting human characters out in the unknown and facing threats to their civilization. I’d had a sketchy outline for a ship based book since college. I threw that out, kept the characters and then just started writing the story from scratch.
As far as inspiration in general, when I’m writing it just flows out of my sub-concious I suppose. That mysterious aether of creativity. I did have one incident though where I went to bed, stared at the ceiling, and asked the Universe for a new project to work on. I woke up and had a complete story that I’d dreamed, a full novel. I wrote it in 6 weeks, the fastest I’ve ever worked. It’s still unsold, but I hope it makes it out there one day.
How were you introduced to genre fiction?
Almost exclusively through my grade school library and book clubs like Scholastic. Andre Notron’s juveniles, Asimov’s Lucky Starr series, and it just grew from there.
How do you like being a writer and working within the publishing industry?
God, I love it! It’s been nothing but fun so far. I dawdled for so many years, just not getting things done or taking my writing seriously. Now I can’t wait to get out there and talk about my books and hopefully entertain readers!
UK Cover for Impulse (Del Rey)
Do you have any specific working, writing, researching practices?
Wikipedia? Lol. Mostly I just pick up stuff from media sources; the internet, magazines like Popular Mechanics, etc. The great thing about writing SF is that you can pretty much make up your own world as you go. As far as working, I just try to be consistent. Even 500 words a day is enough to move a story along.
When did you realize you wanted to be an author, and what was your first foray into writing? Do you still look back on it fondly?
I wanted to be an SF writer my whole life. I just didn’t start taking it seriously until about 2005. My first foray into writing was way back in the day, probably high school. I remember a teacher wanted me to read an SF story that I had written to the class. I was terrified. I made an excuse to go to the nurse’s office and when I came back in the room the class applauded. That was probably the real start for me.
What’s your opinion of the genre today, and where do you see your work fitting into it?
The genre is so broken up today, Balkanized into little kingdoms. SF, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Steampunk. It’s not the same as when I was growing up, that’s for sure. But there’s still a market for SF/space opera, and that’s probably where I’ll be focusing for a while. I do have a very ‘serious’ SF novel out there that’s not space opera or military SF. It’s a much deeper concept I’m keeping in my back pocket. For now, I’m very comfortable writing in SF/Military/Space Opera.
Do you have any other projects in the pipeline, and what are you working on at the moment?
The answer to both questions is The Lightship Chronicles series. Starbound will be coming in a year, and I assume the next year (2017) for Defiant, which I’m 15,000 words into. Right now, that’s enough to keep me busy.
What are you reading at the moment (fiction, non-fiction)?
What’s something readers might be surprised to learn about you?
That I’m a twin and we both write. My brother Mike writes mostly non-fic, and I’m primarily a novelist, but we have dabbled a bit on some TV and movie script ideas.
What are you most looking forward to in the next twelve months?
The launch of Impulse, finishing Starbound, and going to conventions with a real book in my hands! It should be fun!