It can be hard to find a new place to live, especially if you’re not moving across town but to another state or another country. But in his new military sci-fi novel Trinity (paperback, Kindle), writer Dave Bara is making one character’s life even more difficult by forcing him to move to a different planet…and be responsible for other people as well. In the following email interview, Bara discusses what inspired and influenced this moving story, as well as his plans to expand it.
To begin, what is Trinity about, and when and where does it take place?
Trinity takes place in a star system near Earth, about 11.5 light years away, sometime in the early 2500s. Earth colonized a group of stars called the 5 Suns about 300 years ago. The 5 Suns are collapsing though, due to a lack of natural resources. Our hero, Jared Clement, is put in charge of a mission commanding a prototype faster-than-light vessel. When they discover the Trinity system, with 3 rich planets, they want to colonize them. But let’s just say, things get complicated.
Where did you get the original idea for Trinity, and how, if at all, did that idea evolve as you wrote this story?
The idea started with the discovery of the Trappist 1 star system, which at the time they thought might have 3 habitable planets around a red dwarf star. I found that intriguing, and wanted to write a story in that milieu. The story for me just evolves as I go.
And is there a reason you centered Trinity around a former captain as opposed to the XO or the ship’s doctor or an ensign?
I knew I wanted to write an older character, especially one with a lot of flaws. I came up with Clement, a grizzled war vet from the losing side, who also has a drinking problem. I find that because I grew up with Star Trek on TV, and books like Dune and The Mote In God’s Eye, that I tended to focus more on ship captain’s as my heroes. Other writers like David Weber, Tanya Huff, and Mike Shepherd are much better at telling stories from a lower officer’s perspective. I’ve always liked empowering my characters with the ability to make the big decisions, the ones that require moral choices. So from that perspective, I’m still focused on the big picture with my protagonists.
It sounds like Trinity is a military sci-fi space opera story. Is that how you’d describe it?
I don’t think Trinity is space opera. It’s definitely military sci-fi, though, and I feel much more comfortable with it in that sub-genre. It also has more than a bit of sci-fi mystery in it, and I’ll explore that even more in the sequel, which I’m writing now, called Trinity’s Children.
My first trilogy, The Lightship Chronicles, was much more of a space opera, in my opinion.
Speaking of your other books,are there any writers, or maybe specific stories, that had a big influence on Trinity but not on anything else you’ve written?
How about non-literary influences; was Trinity influenced by any movies, TV shows, or games?
It’s hard for me to think of non-literary influences, but I’d have to say Firefly had an influence, and it’s impossible for me to not be influenced by the rebooted Battlestar Galactica series, which I think is the best sci-fi since Star Wars. You may not see those influences overtly, because I don’t like to steal, but they’re there in terms of storytelling and relationships.
You mentioned earlier that you were already writing a sequel to Trinity called Trinity’s Children. What are your plans for this series?
So far, it’s just Trinity and Trinity’s Children. I’m only contracted for the two books (so far) but if they’re successful, there will be more.
Having said that, I’m kind of throwing everything but the kitchen sink into Trinity’s Children. There will be some unfinished story elements at the end, but I’m not sure how a future addition to the series might develop. Though I do tend to think in trilogies, so perhaps Trinity’s Children will end up at 200,000 words, I don’t know.
Earlier I asked about the movies, TV shows, and games that influenced Trinity. But I’d like to turn things around, if I may, and ask you this: Do you think Trinity could work as a movie, show, or game?
I actually think it could be developed as an ongoing TV series, if any producers out there want to buy it from me. In my mind it could become a sci-fi version of Lost, with mysteries and a mythology, and a lot of ongoing questions that I’ve not yet explored about these three worlds.
And if some producer wanted to make that happen, who would you want them to cast as Captain Clement and the other main characters?
Well I’ve definitely based my main villain, Elara DeVore, on Morena Baccarin from Firefly and the rebooted V TV series. For Clement I’m looking for an actor in their mid-40s, Liam McIntyre from Spartacus comes to mind. For Tanitha Yan, the XO, I’d have to find a very talented Asian actress like Gemma Chan from AMC’s series Humans. I generally think Asian characters are underrepresented in military sci-fi and space opera.
Finally, if someone enjoys reading Trinity, which of your other books would you suggest they check out next and why that one and not one of the others?
Well, definitely Impulse, the first book in The Lightship Chronicles series. If you like that book you’ll definitely like the other two, Starbound and Defiant. The closest book story-wise might be Void Ship, though, but that’s never found a major publisher, for reasons I’m not sure about. I think they’re similar books in many ways. Besides those though, just wait for Trinity’s Children in 2022. That will definitely sate your appetite for more Clement, Yan, and DeVore.