Interview with Joshua David Bellin

Hi everyone–today, I'm super excited to interview Joshua David Bellin, the author of Survival Colony 9 and the sequel Scavenger of Souls! Here's a little bit about Joshua before I get on with the interview:


Joshua David Bellin has been writing books since the age of eight (though his first few were admittedly very, very short). He is the author of Survival Colony 9 and its sequel, Scavenger of Souls. When he’s not writing, he spends his time drawing, catching amphibians, and watching monster movies with his kids. A Pittsburgh native, Josh has taught college English, published three nonfiction books (one about monsters!), and taken part in the movement to protect the environment. You can find him online at

Website ● Twitter ● Facebook Goodreads

Hi Josh, welcome to Confessions of a Readaholic!

How did the idea for Survival Colony 9 come about?

No one believes me when I say this, but I first got the idea in a dream. Usually when I wake up with what I think is a good idea, it turns out it was only a good idea in dreamland. But one morning, I woke up with my mind buzzing from a very vivid dream involving a group of people in camouflage uniforms moving across a desert environment, a boy without memory, and a shadowy threat in the background. That became the basis of the survival colonies, my protagonist Querry Genn, and the monstrous Skaldi.

Describe Scavenger of Souls as x meets x.

I like movies, so I’ll describe it as Mad Max meets Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

On writing Scavenger of Souls: was it easier or harder to write than Survival Colony 9?

Definitely harder! I had to decide how much backstory from the first novel to include in the second, plus I had to make sure everything tied together and all the loose ends got resolved. I had to keep the world consistent while at the same time expanding it, and I had to do the same with the characters—they had to grow yet remain recognizable from the first book. And to top it all off, the Survival Colony series was originally meant to be a trilogy until my editor and I decided to make it a duology—so I had to combine two books into one!

Did you always want to be a writer?

My mother kept an old story I wrote, when I was about eight years old, called “Slowest Runner.” It was about a kid who wanted to win the big race, but his problem (as indicated by the title) was that he was really slow. I only got a page written, and I can’t remember how I planned to resolve the story, but it’s evident that I thought of myself as a writer even at that early age.

One thing you can’t write without?

Peace and quiet! Some writers like to have music in the background to inspire them, but I find that distracting. The only sound I can deal with while I’m writing is the wind blowing through the tree outside my window. And maybe rain. So long as it’s not a thunderstorm.

If you were alone in a setting such as the one in Survival Colony 9 with the Skaldi, what are three things you would have with you?

A canteen (you gotta hydrate!), a flamethrower (the only thing that can fight off Skaldi), and a notebook so I could write down all the amazing and terrifying things that were happening to me.

What books or writers influenced you when it came to Survival Colony 9 or writing in general?

My biggest influence was certainly Tolkien, who I read when I was a teen. My first completed novel, back when I was sixteen years old, was a very Tolkien-esque fantasy, and I continue to be amazed by his ability to create an unreal but completely believable world. With the Survival Colony series, I was also influenced by contemporary YA writers like Suzanne Collins, James Dashner, and Chris Howard, all of whom have written excellent science-fiction series.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers out there?

Focus on what you can control, not on what you can’t. Writing is very difficult, and there are no guarantees—you don’t know if an agent or editor is going to love your book, or if you’re going to make the bestseller list, or any of that. All you can control is the writing itself. Write a great book, and if no one wants to publish it, write an even greater book. Don’t get caught up in the stuff that’s beyond your control—if you do, it’ll interfere with the writing.

Thank you so much for answering my questions! I can't wait to read Scavenger of Souls.

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I'm super excited to start Scavenger of Souls–I really enjoyed Survival Colony 9 (read my review), and I'm looking forward to what comes with this next instalment! Here's a little bit about the final novel in the series:

Release Date: August 23, 2016
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books


Querry Genn must face the truth about the past and fight to save humanity and the future in this stunning sequel to Survival Colony 9, which New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry called “a terrific novel.”

Querry and the members of Survival Colony 9 have defeated a whole nest of the creatures called Skaldi, who can impersonate humans even as they destroy them. But now the colony is dangerously low in numbers and supplies. Querry’s mother is in command, and is definitely taking them somewhere—but where? Some secret from her past seems to be driving her relentlessly forward.

When they do finally reach their destination, Querry is amazed to discover a whole compound of humans—organized, with plenty of food and equipment. But the colonists are not welcomed. Everything about them is questioned, especially by Mercy, the granddaughter of the compound’s leader. Mercy is as tough a fighter as Querry has ever seen—and a girl as impetuous as Querry is careful. But the more Querry learns about Mercy and the others, the more he realizes that nothing around him is as it seems. There are gruesome secrets haunting this place and its people. And it’s up to Querry to unearth the past and try to save the future in this gripping conclusion to the Survival Colony novels.

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Thank you so much to Joshua David Bellin and Nicole Brinkley!

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