BD: Gateway is a military space opera that examines how our perspectives on the truth, and to some degree our reality, are formed by the civilization and culture in which we are raised. The protagonist, Major Tyler Stone, is a highly decorated officer in the Humani Elite Guard. Despite frustrations with the class-oriented nature of his society, puffed-up political officers, and abuses of the commoners at the hands of the elite, Tyler believes in the value of his society and its rules. All of this is challenged, however, when a series of events forces him to look at his society through the eyes of his enemy—in this case, a beautiful Terillian Scout Ranger named Mori Skye. What follows is a roller-coaster ride of deception, action, and revelation as Stone must determine if honor is more important than duty.
EC: I understand that you spent some time in the Navy. I would imagine that you draw from this experience in order to write so effectively. Can you tell us about something outside of your military service that influences your writing?
BD: I did spend a little time in the Navy…23 years. 😉 Although I did draw a lot from my military experience, I also draw from my academic background. I have B.S. degrees in History and Radiation Physics from Oregon State University and a Master of Social Science from Syracuse University. Although that sounds like an odd combo, the Radiation Physics and my military experience with nuclear power give me insight into the tech using in military scifi and my history and social science background were invaluable in world-building.
EC: There seems to be a fine line between Military Science Fiction and Space Opera. How would you classify your writing?
BD: I would classify it as both. In my opinion, I think it has the dramatic and epic elements that space opera fans can identify with while at the same time I definitely don’t shy away from the military/combat elements of the story—the lead and almost all supporting characters are in the military so it would be hard not to focus on that element. Maybe military space opera would be the best descriptor. Some readers have, however, stated they enjoyed the character development and interaction as much the action and military aspects of the story.
EC: You have a novella that was just published this week, Draxius Lost, which is a prequel of sorts involving one of the main characters. Could you tell us a little about it?
BD: Draxius Lost, and a follow-up novella Draxius Redeemed (which I hope to have released before the end of this year), follows Captain Emily Martin from the Gateway main series as a young lieutenant learning how to be a leader. When a mission goes bad, she is thrust into command and must deal with old enemies, some new ones, and her own demons to save herself and her men.
EC: Emily Martin has become quite a popular character, is this why you decided to make her the subject of Draxius Lost?
BD: The short answer is yes. When I started Gateway, my plan was for her to be an important, but secondary character. Over the process of writing Gateway, however, she kind of took on a life of her own…at times I think the character was actually telling me what she was going to do next, as if I didn’t have a choice. In fact, she basically shares the stage with Tyler Stone as the main characters in the upcoming second book in the main Gateway series, which is titled Saint and will be out this fall. She quickly became my favorite character to write and I received a lot of positive feedback about her, so it made sense to dig deeper into her character.
EC: Can we expect to see more side stories based on other characters in the Gateway universe?
BD: There is a bit of a plan forming. It is still tentative, but I actually spoke with my publisher about increasing the novellas supporting the Gateway Universe. Following Draxius Lost will be Draxius Redeemed which will close out the storyline of Martin’s first mission in command. After that, I think I’ll go after the story of the wolf clan from Gateway.
EC: One last question, if Gateway were to be made into a movie, who would you like to see play the character of Emily Martin?
BD: That’s a tough one, and one I’ve thought about a little. Right now, I’m thinking either Gina Carano or Rachel Nichols.