Bio.: David Macinnis Gill is the author of the award-winning novels Black Hole Sun and Soul Enchilada, both from Greenwillow/Harper Collins. His short stories have appeared in several magazines, including The Crescent Review and Writer’s Forum. His critical biography of young adult author Graham Salisbury, Graham Salisbury: Island Boy, was published by Scarecrow Press. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English/creative writing and a doctorate in education, both from the University of Tennessee.
He is the Past-President of ALAN (The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents) and an Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. His non-fiction, book reviews, essays, and academic work have appeared in a variety of publications, including The English Journal, Teacher-Librarian, and many others.
David’s teaching career began in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he was a high school teacher at Brainerd High School and briefly at the Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences. He later joined the English Department at Ohio University as an assistant professor. Currently, he is an associate professor of English education at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.
David has been a house painter, cafeteria manager, bookstore schleper, high school teacher, and college professor. He now lives on the Carolina coast with his family, plus fourteen fish, two rescued dogs–an airebeagle and a border setter–and a nocturnal marsupial.
Guest Post: How I Accidentally Wrote a Series or When a Trilogy Is Not a Trilogy
Way back in 2003, when I was in a writers workshop and starting work on the novel that would one day become the first book in the Black Hole Sun series (it’s called that, but the series doesn’t have a real name). I had no idea that it would one day span three complete novels and a novella. My only goal was to create a world based on homework I was given for the workshop—find three interesting science facts from magazines and apply them to a new setting. The three articles I found were on terraforming Mars, bioadaptive cloth, and using nanobots to assist with surgery
The world I created grew from a story to the novel Black Hole Sun. After the first book came out, my publisher contracted two more books, Invisible Sun and Shadow on the Sun. As soon as I finished Shadow on the Sun, they asked me to do a novella, Rising Sun, to act as a prequel to the series. I was glad to do it, because after I agreed to write a second book, it never occurred to me that the writing would end with the third one. Or a fourth. Or a fifth. With each book I wrote, the world expanded more and more, sort of like a bowl of literary Grape Nuts.
So now I find myself as the author of what many, including my publisher, call a trilogy and others call a series. To me, though, they are four separate books, each telling about a different part of the main character Durango’s life. While the books are interconnected and on the whole, they are about the love story between Durango and Vienne, they are separate novels. They are more similar to the Narnia books than the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which was written as a single novel but broken into three volumes for publishing purposes.
There are also a few unpublished short stories, an extensive time line of events in four hundred Mars history starting from the first settlers, and a narrative describing the culture and government structure of the civilization. When I step back and look at all of that material, I realize once again that a book and its story are two very different things. The book is the final product, the polished gem (hopefully) for 70-80,000 words. The story is the larger tale that includes all of the things above, as well as stories still locked in the author’s imagination. Durango’s Sun books may have come to an end, but the story is still untold, and like the universe and like Harry’s Aunt Petunia, it’s still expanding.
Black Hole Sun (Hell’s Cross #1)
On Mars, a planetary version of the Wild West, Durango and his crew of mercenaries for hire try to prevent a feral band of marauders from stealing the settlers’ most valuable resource.
Invisible Sun (Hell’s Cross #2)
Obsessed with MUSE, the clandestine project that created the AI in his brain, mercenary chief Durango draws the ire of the government when he steals part of the secret project data and hightails it with his lieutenant, Vienne, to an ancient monastery. There, he meets the monks who raised Vienne from an orphan and also encounters soldiers working for his old nemesis, the crime lord Mr. Lyme. Lyme controls the territory surrounding the monastery, as well as the datacenters housing the rest of MUSE.
Undeterred, Durango and Vienne pull off an ill-advised raid on Lyme’s complex. During the ensuing battle, however, Vienne is captured, and Durango is beaten and left for dead. Now, wounded and shaken, Durango must overcome bounty hunters, treacherous terrain, a full scale civil war, and a warrior monk with an eye for vengeance (not to mention his own guilt, self-doubt, and broken arm) to find Vienne and free her from Archibald, a brain-washing pyromaniac with a Napoleon complex who wants to rule Mars–and kill Durango in the process.
Durango has always relied on Mimi—once his tough-as-nails squad leader, she is now the bitingly sarcastic artificial intelligence flash-cloned to his brain. Mimi is the only reason he is alive.
Durango has always looked out for his devastatingly beautiful and brave second-in-command, Vienne—now wounded, crushed, missing. Vienne is the only reason he wants to live.
Durango hasn’t always despised his father. But he does now. Lyme wants Durango to be the Prince of Mars, and he’ll stop at nothing to realize that dream. He’ll sacrifice anything and anyone in the name of domination. Even Mimi. Especially Vienne.
Lyme forgot one thing. You don’t want to mess with Durango.
Thanks for the awesome guest post & giveaway!!! 🙂
Sounds awesome!!! Thanks so much for sharing and congrats to David on the series 🙂