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Friday, January 9, 2015

From submarines to sci-fi author: David Bruns talks about his trilogy The Dream Guild Chronicles and other writing projects

My guest today grew up on a small farm in the mountains of northeastern Pennsylvania, spent six years as a commissioned officer in the nuclear-powered submarine force chasing Russian submarines, schlepped his way around the globe as an itinerant executive in the high-tech sector, and even did a stint with a Silicon Valley startup before he fulfilled the dream of his life and wrote a book, and then another, and another.

Please welcome to the blog, David Bruns, author of the sci-fi series The Dream Guild Chronicles (on sale this week at $0.99 each!) and the military-political thriller Weapons of Mass Deception, co-authored with another Navy Grad, JR Olson.

EEG: Tell us a bit about yourself. In particular, I'm curious to know: when you were working as a commissioned officer in the nuclear-powered submarine force, did you ever ride one of the submarines? and if so... what does it feel like?

DB: My first experience with submarines was when I was still a midshipman at the US Naval Academy—this was in the 80’s, during the Cold War. I spent one summer as a crewman on a nuclear-powered fast attack sub and I knew that was the career for me.

When I graduated from Annapolis as a commissioned officer, I entered the nuclear power training pipeline and served about five years in the “Silent Service.” I should also mention that The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy came out about this time and it was huge influence on me. Although the book is fiction, Clancy does a fabulous job of describing what it’s like to drive a billion-dollar submarine around underwater with a hundred or so guys in very close quarters looking for Russian submarines. To answer your question, riding on a submarine is a very pleasant, smooth experience. There’s none of the rocking and rolling (and sea sickness!) you get with surface ships.

EEG: Tell us about The Dream Guild Chronicles and what inspired you the series.

DB: When I got out of the Navy in the mid-90’s, I went straight into the corporate world and spent the next two decades in the high-tech manufacturing space. In 2013, I took some time between jobs and wrote The Dream Guild, a story I’d had in the back of my mind for years.

Here’s the Dream Guild “world” in two sentences: Earth has a sister planet, Adelphi, on the other side of the universe. The inhabitants of the two worlds are connected by a shared dream space which is guarded by the Dream Guild. It was only after I published The Dream Guild, that I realized I’d started in the middle of a much bigger story.

Irradiance (Book One of the Dream Guild Chronicles) is the origin story of the Dream Guild, and starts on the planet Sindra in a dystopian society called the Community, living on borrowed time. Then one brave scientist learns the truth and decides to take matters into her own hands.

Sight, the second book in the series, picks up with the Sindran refugees trying to find a new home. The adults in the crew are beginning to see the effects of being separated from their home world, so they are looking for a new home for the children. Sight tells the story of Sariah as she tries to fit in with an indigenous clan of hunter-gatherers. You recently released the third book in the series, Sacrifice. Are there any more books/stories in this series?

Sacrifice, Book Three, follows Sariah’s brother, Gideon, when he is captured by a tribe of pre-Columbian natives on Earth. I like to describe Sacrifice as Lost in Space crash landing into an ancient Incan civilization. There is a fourth book in this story arc that is still in the outline stage. I had always intended the universe of the Dream Guild to be flexible, so I can add to the series as the stories develop.

EEG: Tell us about the Collector and the idea behind it.

DB: Last fall, I attended a lecture about crowd-sourced science, i.e. websites that use volunteers to classify images, such as star clusters. The lecturer told us the website curators could identify volunteers who were especially good at certain classifications. Add in some Snowden-esque NSA intrigue and that was all the inspiration I needed to create The Collector, a dark sci-fi short story about an internet-age bounty hunter with a collecting obsession. It’s on Amazon, but I also make it free to my subscribers on my website.

EEG: What are you currently working on?

My latest project is a military-political thriller called Weapons of Mass Deception. The premise of the book is that Saddam Hussein really did have WMDs. In 2003, as Coalition Forces massed on the Iraqi border, a handful of nuclear weapons are smuggled out of Iraq and hidden in the most unlikely of places. They turn up again in 2016, when the Middle East is on the verge of a historic peace deal. This is a book for all my friends in the business world who aren’t into science fiction, but do love thrillers. I’m co-writing this book with another Naval Academy grad. You can follow our progress by visiting my website and looking for the tab, Two Navy Guys and a Novel.

EEG: Sounds interesting, good luck with all your endeavors, David!

To find out more about David's current and forthcoming books, visit his website and follow him on Twitter. David's sci-fi series The Dream Guild Chronicles series is currently on sale, each book at $0.99 only, through January 12, don't miss it!


  1. Great interview! The Dream Guild Chronicles sounds incredibly fascinating...

  2. Even without seasickness, I don't think I could ever go down in a sub.
    Congratulations on your series, David.

  3. thanks so much for your comments Alex and Heather!


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