Last week, David Bridger’s latest book was released. He kindly agreed to answer some questions for me.
Welcome, David, and thank you for being here on my blog today. Your latest YA story, Damage Control, was just released, and I love the way you describe it — “a young adult Christmas ghost story in space with sweet f/f romantic elements.” Who doesn’t love a good ghost story at Christmas, especially when you manage to reference A Christmas Carol as well?
Thank you for inviting me, Erin! It’s lovely to be here.
Q. Your main character, Kath, discovers a dark matter particle, which is a very exciting scientific breakthrough. What led you to choose dark matter?
A. There’s so much of it and we seem to be tantalisingly close to cracking its code. I love the idea that there could be so much more out there that we can’t detect yet.
Q. Will dark matter be playing a role in the other books of this trilogy, Crisis Point and Hidden Space?
A. Oh, yes. Oh, yes!
Q. I wondered whether the dark matter particle was in some way related to the black holes that the Romeo and the Juliet used for propulsion because both seem exotic to me. Was there a connection in your mind, or did you decide on these ideas independently?
A. They came to me independently, dark matter because that’s what I started writing the story around in the first place, and black hole propulsion because a friend on Forward Motion suggested it when I was building my ships and it worked fabulously for my plot.
Q. I’m amazed that Kath and Jen both manage to have very serious careers in engineering for the ship (the Romeo) and also have active outside pursuits — not just sparring at a dojo, but the pursuit of the dark matter particle in Kath’s case and marine biology in Jen’s. Is it common to have that much free time on duty on a ship, or is that strictly a function of being on a generational ship?
A. It’s very uncommon on present day ships on Earth, but in the self-contained world of this generation ship on a centuries-long journey, I figured individuals and groups of people would develop various ways of keeping themselves interested and interesting.
Q. As a follow-up, how much did your own shipboard experience inform the routines and discipline aboard the Romeo?
A. Only the crew’s watchkeeping routines, really. Nothing else on there is anything like my own experience.
Q. Although your description of the story mentions a frozen Earth and the distant goal of the planet Nirvana, they don’t come up in the actual story itself. Will you be talking more about the reason for the journey in your other books?
A. Yes. Things will get political and historical stresses will arise that could fracture the community and threaten the entire mission.
Q. One final question — right now, the JULIETS space opera is a trilogy. Do you plan to revisit this story world again later?
A. I haven’t written Books 2 & 3 yet so can’t say for certain. Right now my aim is to complete the story with this trilogy, but I never say never.
Thank you, once again, for being here and answering my questions!
It’s been my pleasure, Erin. Thank you!
17-year-old Kath Preston and Jen Stenberg are junior damage control engineers on the generation starship Romeo, 582 years into its 800-year journey from frozen Earth to the planet Nirvana. When they were schoolgirl best friends, Romeo’s population was doubled by taking on their fellow survivors from its stricken sister ship Juliet, in the disaster that claimed the life of Kath’s heroic father, Peter.
On a quiet Christmas Eve ten years later, when Kath and Jen have the duty, disaster threatens once again. The lurking ghost of the Juliet and a murderous rogue crewman stalking Romeo’s decks combine to threaten the ship’s safety and the lives of those they love.
Can they step into Peter Preston’s hero shoes?