Tuesday, July 29, 2014

YA Guy Presents... This Month's "9 on 9" Feature!

I’m a bit late on this month’s “9 on 9” feature, largely because I just returned from a family vacation in Florida. (Swam with dolphins, fed gators, got sunburned, the whole nine yards.) But it got me thinking about how important place is to Survival Colony 9: the novel’s desert setting was one of the first things that came to me when I was drafting, and the physical world the characters inhabit plays a huge role in the events that unfold.

And so, I thought I’d lead you around 9 of the key places in Survival Colony 9!

  1. Desert. The world’s a wasteland due to wars and catastrophic climate change. Fourteen-year-old Querry Genn describes the landscape as “a dead reddish-brown, the color of dried blood under fingernails.” Not a place to live, just a place to survive.
  2. Hollow. A Skaldi attack forces Survival Colony 9 to flee the hollow where they’ve camped and strike out into unknown territory.
  3. River. The colony’s lifeline, a sluggish brown stream that yields barely drinkable water. But they can’t camp right by its shore, because the Skaldi have figured out humans’ need for water and have waylaid colonies there in the past.
  4. Compound. An abandoned community that Querry’s colony discovers in the desert. A place to rest and recuperate, a place to hide—or, as some members of the colony fear, a perfect place for a Skaldi ambush.
  5. Pool. Empty of water and half-filled with dust, it’s a spot where Querry and the girl he secretly loves, Korah, have a nighttime talk. It’s also the spot where Korah’s jealous boyfriend catches the two of them.
  6. Headquarters. The commander of Survival Colony 9, Laman Genn, sets up his headquarters in a bombed-out building more intact than most. It only lacks doors or windows—and its top floor’s been sheared clean off. It's the site of an interrogation that changes everything Querry believed about his colony and its leader.
  7. Tree. There aren’t many trees left in this world, but there’s one where the colony, lacking a jail cell, holds an important prisoner—a man some believe is trying to destroy the colony from within.
  8. Valley. The desert landscape is mostly flat, but Querry discovers a hidden valley where he meets someone he never expected to.
  9. Shelter. Where Querry and Korah share a secret kiss—and a much darker secret as well.

To be entered into a drawing for a signed copy of Survival Colony 9, just leave a comment below or contact me via my website, telling me which of these places you’d like to find out more about. If you leave me your address, I’ll also send you some signed SC9 swag!


  1. I'd say the tree. I am intrigued by this important prisoner guy.

  2. Uh ... all of them?
    But I was thinking either the tree or the headquarters. Is the prisoner tied to the tree? Who gets interrogated?

    1. Glad I've piqued your interest! (He says, cackling as he forces readers to wait another two months for the answers to their questions.)