David Brush is a chemist living in Michigan. He received his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Detroit Mercy in 2014 and has published peer-reviewed research on proton exchange membranes in the American Chemical Society (ACS) journal Macromolecules. While he currently works in the chemical industry, he hasn’t ruled out returning to school to continue his study of biochemistry.
Induction, a state-mandated eugenics program, once held the promise of carrying mankind into its golden age. Now, only broken hope and ash remain. While the country of Coren continues to burn, Dr. Johnathan Nightrick, the man behind Induction and the de facto ruler of the nation, clings to power, desperate to end the nine year insurgency against his regime that has threatened to tear his empire apart. In the midst of the struggle, a young scientific prodigy, James Mercer, is inadvertently thrust into the rebellion against Induction on the precipice of his eighteenth birthday. With his girlfriend and fellow chemist, Haley Hall, James must confront the true cost of freedom and help set the course of the brutal and earth-shattering conflict that will decide the future of his people.
I’m very happy to have the opportunity to interview David today, and to show you his work !
Please tell us a little about yourself.
My name is David Brush, and I’m a biochemist and the author of the novel Induction. I started writing about three years ago, and I’ve been going strong ever since. Working on my book has been a great outlet for me over the years. There’s nothing more therapeutic than creating a world where you can set the course of things. I’m hoping to finish my next novel, tentatively titled The Ark, within a year.
How did you come up with the title of “Induction”?
Induction is a reference to the eugenics procedure that’s at the heart of the story being told. The word itself has a couple of meanings that fit well with the narrative, for instance induction is a term used in the military to describe enlistment. Foremost though, the title refers to the bringing about of love, or the induction of it.
What is your favorite character of “Induction”?
I’d have to say that it’s a tie between Dr. Jonathan Nightrick, the main antagonist for most of the story, and Haley Hall, one of the two central protagonists. The reason I like Nightrick so much is because he’s not really a power hungry dictator in the traditional dystopian sense. He’s more of a zealot than anything. He truly believes that his actions are for the greater good, and he’s sincere in his desire to bring mankind into a golden age. He’s brutal and ruthless, but he’s not without reason or conscience either.
Haley, one of the central rebels in the story, is also one of my favorite characters, for a couple of reasons. She’s really the only person that doesn’t allow herself to be radically realigned by the events taking place around her. She also acclimates better to insurgency than her boyfriend James does, largely because she’s more naturally coordinated than he is. James might be a bit brighter, but he can’t shoot half as well.
What genre do you enjoy writing the most and why?
I prefer science fiction. I think it’s honestly the perfect medium for exploring not just the future, but the present as well. In my opinion, it’s easier to examine things like politics, history, and even ethics when you have the wider possibilities presented to you through writing about some far off future, where anything is possible. That having been said, I am working on a couple of nonfiction chemistry books, but the time investment is a lot heavier because they require more careful research and citation.
How would you describe your writing style?
Honestly, I would say in development. There’ll definitely be some stylistic differences between Induction, and its sequel, The Ark. It just comes from growing as a writer. I think in a general sense, my style is a bit distant and character driven, without ever letting the reader get too close. I’d also have to say that my writing might seem pretty bleak at first glance, but I think there’s always an underlying thread of hope that runs through the narratives.
What authors inspire your writing?
There are a couple who’ve really impacted me. I would say foremost maybe is George R. R. Martin. Though my stories aren’t similar to his in any technical or narrative way, I always really respected how fearlessly he would kill his characters off if it would advance the plot. There’s a sort of tension when you read his books, because you honestly don’t know when the next head is going to roll, or if it’ll be your favorite character’s. I think that had a huge impact on Induction. I realized that even if I really loved a character, I had to be willing to let them go if their death would be meaningful to the story.
I’d say another set of authors who’ve really impacted me are Mary Shelley and her husband Percy Shelley. Mary’s story Frankenstein and Percy’s poem Ozymandias have been a huge influence while I’ve been writing The Ark. Honestly, you could almost look at Induction as a spiritual prequel to both of those works. I really try and explore the themes of empty power, the facade of divinity among dictators, and how in the end, it’s the monsters we create that invariably destroy us.
What would you like to be if you weren’t a writer?
Well I’m an industrial chemist at the moment. I write a lot, but it’s hard to make a living off of it, especially when you only have one novel to your name. I’ve honestly been considering heading back to school to work on a PhD in either neuroscience or astrochemistry. I really enjoyed working on academic research in the past, and I could definitely see myself getting back into it.
What are you working on now?
Well like I’ve mentioned a bit, at the moment I’m working on the sequel to Induction, The Ark. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to complete it within a year, but I know that every time I thought I was nearly done with Induction, the finish line got moved back another six months. It’s just the nature of the beast I guess, but there’s a lot of unpredictability in trying to set deadlines for a novel. I’m really excited for the next one though. I feel like it kind of defies the expectation people might have when they finish reading Induction.
I’m also working on a lot of short stories that take place around the two books, and I’m considering compiling them into an anthology eventually. We’ll have to see about that though. So far I only have about half of the content I’d need.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
I think the most important advice I can give is to be patient. There are going to be so many times when you think that you’re nearly there, or you can see the finish line, and you’ll want to hurry up and get the book out. Before you do, ask yourself if doing so will hurt the quality of the product. It takes a lot of time to write a novel, and you don’t want to diminish the value of your work because you got impatient in the last stretch. Put in the time, put in the effort, and put in the money (don’t skimp on editing or cover design) and you’ll release something that you can really be proud of.
Thank you David for stopping by to tell us a bit about yourself and your work!