So since I’m getting lots of questions about For Darkness Shows the Stars (and seeing the ones I’m not getting personally floating around) I thought I’d take this opportunity to answer a few of the most common. Here goes.
Q: Is this book post-apocalyptic?
A: Yes, that’s why I used to call it “post-apocalyptic Persuasion.” (PAP) The book is set many, many generations after the end of a society we would be more familiar with.
Q: Is that the same thing as dystopian?
A: I honestly couldn’t tell you. The current trend is to call pretty much anything that deals with the breakdown of society as we know it or a futuristic society “dystopian”, whether or not that’s accurate. When I was in school, I learned that a dystopia was the opposite of a utopia — i.e., an evil society. I suppose then, this qualifies. Marketing terms are kind of a mystery to me. They seem to be dependent on whatever the current trend is, less than on an intrinsic part of the book.
It’s a futuristic science fiction story.
Q: Oh, it’s sci-fi. That means it’s set in space, right?
Q: But there are stars on the cover! That means it’s set in space, right?
A: No. Stars are also visible on Earth. At night. When it’s dark.Thus, the title. However, I can see the confusion, because we, as readers, have been trained to respond to certain coded images on book covers. Like a boy and a girl on a cover is supposed to say romance. And a drawing instead of a picture on a cover is supposed to say “younger.” And pastel colors on a cover is supposed to say “chick lit” whereas purple and black and red is supposed to say “paranormal.” Sometimes, stars on a cover says “space.” Sometimes, though, it doesn’t. In my case, it doesn’t.
Q: Whatever. So in your book, the guy is a spaceship captain, right?
Q: Is this a standalone?
A: Yes. Mostly. Almost entirely?
Q: I kind of wish this book was a standalone, since I’m so sick of series.
A: See above.
Q: Do I need to read/reread Persuasion first?
A: Though I will always advise the reading of Persuasion, since it is one of my very favorite books, you do not need to read Persuasion, see the Persuasion movies, or even have heard of Persuasion to read and enjoy FDSTS. It’s like Clueless. When I first saw Clueless, I did not know it was based on Emma. I’d never even heard of Emma. (I know. It was a long time ago.)
Q: I’m a big fan of Persuasion, and I read one of the excerpts, and I want to know what part of the story that supposedly comes from.
A: It’s entirely possible the paragraph or scenelet doesn’t come from anything at all. This isn’t a shot-for-shot remake of the original. Though many of the scenes and characters you love are present in my book in forms you’ll recognize, some aren’t. To go back to the Clueless/Emma thing: Christian is gay, Mr. Churchhill is not. In West Side Story, Anita, the young, gorgeous lover of Maria’s gang leader brother, performs many of the plot functions held in the original Romeo and Juliet by the aged Capulet Nurse. And also, Maria survives. Things change in retellings. I lovelovelove my source material, and all the changes I’ve made were in service of making my version of the story as powerful and right as possible.
Q: So what kind of changes did you make? If you took out [insert favorite part of Persuasion here] I’ll be really upset.
A: Sorry. That part’s TOTALLY gone. 😉
Any other questions for me?