OMG — No Dawn Without Darkness is coming out in ONE WEEK! AGH!!!

Photo on 6-10-14 at 2.21 PM #2

(This blog post is not associated with last week’s post. Last Thursday I began what I hope to be a summer-long blog series on Big Bad Books. I’m currently reading and tweeting and blogging about Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. Check out the action at #bigbadbooks. Look for my first Moby Dick blog post on Thursday. (There’s also a giveaway in the original post—comment there before Thursday to enter!))

Back to the No Dawn Without Darkness Pre-Release Blog Party Action!

“I am afraid of the dark.”

That is the first sentence of No Dawn Without Darkness. It tells you a whole lot about the book. Kinda a huge spoiler, really. But hey, I’m the author. I’m allowed to spoil!

Whatever else you want to read into this sentence, the biggest spoiler is that No Dawn is written in the first person present. All the other books in the series are third person, past tense. Really close third, but third nonetheless. So why the change?

Well, for a lot of reasons, really, Self.

The first is a kind of vague, writer-y reason, which is that this book just “felt right” in the first person present. I knew before typing a word that this part of the story would be best told in the first person present.

As I wrote, the factors driving this feeling of “rightness” became apparent. I liked the almost claustrophobic sensation the point of view gives to the narration. All you get are the narrator’s thoughts, voice, feelings, perceptions—the world as they see it, smell it, hear it, feel it. And I love that kind of intimacy with a character. Especially since these are characters readers have spent hundreds of pages with already—now, you readers get even closer to them.

On top of the intimacy of first person, the present tense lends immediacy to the action of the story. What’s happening now is happening now. (See Spaceballs for further explanation.) But it also means there’s no foreshadowing, very little room for reminiscing, and every second counts in ways not possible with other points of view. Given the type of story I wanted to tell in this book—a kind of heart-in-your-throat, edge-of-your-seat, nail-biter of a story—this point of view just worked.

But the point of view presented me with huge challenges. How do I tell what’s going on in another room, or even just across the room, to another character while the narration is trapped in a first person present point of view? Where’s the space for flashbacks or exposition? How do I keep the second-by-second narration mandated by a first person present point of view interesting? And since I have multiple first person present narrators, what makes each voice unique in terms of syntax, diction, or vocabulary?

It was a ton of work answering these questions and turning those answers into a book. I hope you like what I came up with…preorder your copy TODAY!

And now—A GIVEAWAY!

Next Tuesday—the BIG RELEASE DAY, June 17th!!—I’ll do a blog post answering any and all questions you have about the series! And I’ll also pick one lucky winner who’ll get signed, hardcover copies of the ENTIRE SERIES: No Safety in Numbers, No Easy Way Out, and No Dawn Without Darkness. All you have to do to enter is ask me a question, either below in the comments, or via the comment/message feature on the contact page of my website, or via Twitter (tweet me @daynalorentz, and use hashtag #NDWDgiveaway) or message me on Facebook. I’ll pick one questioner at random; just send in your question before next Monday—that means by 11:59:59pm on Sunday, June 15. (Open to US residents only—sorry, rest of the world!)

As for the kinds of questions you can ask—the sky’s the limit! But I will not spoil No Dawn. All questions should relate to No Safety or No Easy Way Out. So “What happened to Marco’s bike from Chapter 1?” is fair game; “What happens to Lexi after No Easy Way Out???” is not.

I can’t wait to hear from you!

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