Hello, Adventurers! Lauren here. We have a guest post for you from Joshua David Bellin, author of SURVIVAL COLONY 9, which came out this week! He’s about to get deep with the awesome Querry Genn. Take it away, Joshua!
I recently caught up with Querry Genn, fourteen-year-old star of my own novel, SURVIVAL COLONY 9. Querry’s been busy lately preparing for this month’s launch, but he took a few moments out of his schedule to answer my questions. Which was only appropriate, seeing as how I, you know, created him.
Hey, Querry! How’s it going?
Okay, I guess. I’m just a little nervous about being launched into literary superstardom is all.
That’s understandable. Have you ever felt this way before?
Very funny. As I’m sure you know, I can’t remember anything that happened before my accident six months ago.
Right, my bad. So tell me a little bit about your current life in Survival Colony 9.
Well, let’s see. We’re living in a desert after wars and global warming destroyed most of human civilization, and we’re fleeing from monsters called the Skaldi that can consume and imitate human beings. So that’s a lot of fun.
In the colony itself, I have to deal with our commander, who also happens to be my dad. He’s always getting on my case and telling me to “focus” whenever I forget something (which is all the time). His second-in-command, Aleka, looks at me like I’m some kind of dirt she wants to wipe off her boot. Then there’s Yov, a teenager who likes to call me “Space Boy” to remind me of my memory loss. Oh, and did I mention that the girl I kind of like, Korah, already has a muscle-bound boyfriend?
In other words, couldn’t be better. Thanks for asking.
As I understand, though, the colony did find a permanent settlement where you’re safe from the Skaldi.
Safe? We were forced to flee to this bombed-out compound after Skaldi attacked our camp. Our best scout, Petra, is missing, and for all we know she’s succumbed to them by now, which means if she ever returns the Skaldi might infest the compound. Plus my dad is acting really strange lately, like he knows we shouldn’t stay here but can’t make up his mind to leave. So far, we’ve managed to elude the Skaldi by keeping on the move. So it’s more than a little unsettling that he’s decided to make this place our home.
Are you worried about him?
I’m worried that he’s losing it, yeah. That he might need to take one of his own lessons and “focus” on the reality of our situation. And I’m not the only one. Yov’s been giving him a hard time lately, and my dad’s driver, Araz, seems ticked off too. The last straw for him was when the truck he’s been driving for five years broke down for no good reason. So everyone’s on edge around here, and I’m not sure how much longer people are going to put up with this.
Let’s change direction for a minute. I understand how tough things are, but is there anything positive in your life right now?
Well, like I said, there’s Korah, who’s not only beautiful but is one of the only teens in camp willing to talk to me. If I could just get around her boyfriend, Wali! But I think he knows I like her and he never lets her out of his sight when I’m around.
In terms of other things that are positive, though I still can’t remember anything that happened before my accident, I do have one really good memory of a time I played ball with my dad. That was totally unlike him, to take a break from the drills and routines and pick up one of the little kids’ twine balls for a catch with his son. I just wish there were more moments like that, times we could forget our troubles and just be.
I have to admit, it surprises me to hear a guy without memory say he wishes he could forget.
That’s not what I mean. I just mean it’s hard to always be on the alert, always focused on survival. I know we have to do it, but it wears you down. My dad says we need to forget the past and fight to stay alive, but sometimes I look at people in camp and I think the fight might be too much for them.
And for you?
I’m not about to give up. I do my job, I try to re-learn all the things I’ve forgotten. It’s just not easy to follow all my dad’s orders.
Oh, and that’s the other thing that’s really strange. My dad tells me to forget the past, but he also really wants me to remember the accident that took my memory. He quizzes me about it every night. I’m not sure why.
What was this accident you keep referring to?
Nothing special. We were escaping from Skaldi, and I fell from one of the trucks and hit my head. Our camp healer says amnesia’s common with head trauma. She gave me some memory exercises that she thought might help, but they haven’t so far.
So why do you think your dad is so insistent on you remembering the accident?
If I knew that, my life would probably be a whole lot easier. But I really don’t know. I’m supposed to remember the thing that made me forget, and to me, that doesn’t seem like a very useful exercise.
What do you want to remember?
I’d like to remember my mom, who died a long time ago. I’d like to remember the other teens in camp, whether I was ever friends with any of them and might still be friends with them again. I guess I’d like to remember the world before, but that’s impossible, because the wars happened fifty years ago and practically no one’s alive from that time.
Mostly, though, I want to remember me—who I am, what my past was like. That might not help us escape the Skaldi, but it would help me. That’s not the kind of thing I can say to my dad, though.
Well, I think we’re about out of time here. I appreciate how honest you’ve been. Anything else you want to tell readers?
According to the script you just shoved into my hand, I’m supposed to remind readers that SURVIVAL COLONY 9 comes out September 23 from Margaret K. McElderry Books, that it’s available at a bunch of links provided below, and that everyone should pick up a copy and tell all their friends.
Seriously, dude? I’m a character, not a billboard.
We’ve been talking to Querry Genn, star of SURVIVAL COLONY 9. We look forward to reading your adventures!
Thanks. I have to say, this is the weirdest interview I’ve ever done.
SURVIVAL COLONY 9 is available September 23 from Simon & Schuster, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, select Wal-Mart stores, and other online and physical retailers!
I’ve been writing novels since I was eight years old (though the first few were admittedly very short). I taught college for twenty years, wrote a bunch of books for college students, then decided to return to fiction. SURVIVAL COLONY 9 is my first novel, but the sequel’s already in the works!
To connect with me and learn more about SURVIVAL COLONY 9, check out the following links: