A thousand years ago the Darkness came-a terrible time of violence, fear, and social collapse when technology ran rampant. But the vicars of the Temple of Light brought peace, ushering in an era of blessed simplicity. For ten centuries they have kept the madness at bay with "temple magic," and by eliminating forever the rush of progress that nearly caused the destruction of everything. ~ Childhood friends, Orah and Nathaniel, have always lived in the tiny village of Little Pond, longing for more from life but unwilling to challenge the rigid status quo. When their friend Thomas returns from the Temple after his "teaching"-the secret coming-of-age ritual that binds young men and women eternally to the Light-they barely recognize the broken and brooding young man the boy has become. Then when Orah is summoned as well, Nathaniel follows in a foolhardy attempt to save her. ~ In the prisons of Temple City, they discover a terrible secret that launches the three on a journey to find the forbidden keep, placing their lives in jeopardy, for a truth from the past awaits that threatens the foundation of the Temple. If they reveal that truth, they might once again release the potential of their people. ~ Yet they would also incur the Temple's wrath as it is written: "If there comes among you a prophet saying, 'Let us return to the darkness,' you shall stone him, because he has sought to thrust you away from the Light.
connect with David Litwack
The author was very kind and answered some questions so my followers and fellow bookworms could get to know him a little better. Thank you so much!
What is your average writing day like? Do you have any strange writing habits?
I aim for two sessions a day of two hours each, but it varies with the stage of a novel. First drafts are hard, and I might go days without writing, and then get inspired and do three sessions in a day. Editing is different. I’ll sometimes edit ten hours a day, especially in later drafts and when a deadline is looming.
Do you write by hand or on a computer?
In my youth, I used a typewriter, carbon paper and white-out (for those who remember). Thank goodness, never again. With my constant need to revise and my poor typing skills, it’s the word processor for me.
Do you plot your books completely before hand or do you let your imagination flow whilst in the writing process?
I usually conceive of a new book as a series of images and scenes, daydreaming about them while I finish work on the prior novel. I maintain a notes file for the new novel and do a rough draft of these scenes—a very rough draft, what some people call "scaffolding" or “riff writing” like improvisation in jazz. The file can get pretty chaotic. Every now and then I make a feeble attempt to organize it (when I’m finishing up a novel, I try to avoid distractions and stay focused on getting it out to the publisher). By the time I’m ready to start the new novel, I usually have about 20,000 words of loosely connected prose—20-25% of the eventual novel but probably 80% of its essence. I take a couple of months to read, edit and organize that file into a dense plot outline. Then I start a new file from scratch, cutting and pasting prose as appropriate.
It’s a messy process in the early going, but unlike those who start with a more organized outline, I need that amount of writing to get to know the characters and live in the story.
How long did it take to get from the ideas stage of the Seekers series, to the publication of all three books?
The Seeker series started out as a standalone novel called There Comes a Prophet. The initial idea came to me about eight years ago, and it was published in 2011. After producing two other novels, I decided at the urging of readers to go back and turn this standalone dystopian story into a trilogy. Prophet became The Children of Darkness(with a changed title, cover and publisher) and I’ve just published the second book, The Stuff of Stars. I’m hard at work on the third and final offering, to be called The Light of Reason.
Did you suffer from writer's block at any stage? How did you overcome it?
I sometimes think writer’s block is just another way of saying that writing a novel is really hard. I try to keep writing, even if I think it’s going poorly. Then I see how it looks the next day. I remind myself that I can always revise or just throw it away. Nothing’s worse than staring at a blank page.
Long walks are another good way to get the creative juices going. Whatever the case, I try to avoid just sitting there and staring at the screen. Write, read or go for a walk.
How did you come up with the name(s) for your lead character(s)?
Names matter, especially for a SciFi/Fantasy writer building new worlds. The names need to be consistent and reflect that culture. For the Seekers trilogy, where the people have been forcibly returned to something like our 15th century, I found the passenger manifest for the Mayflower, and borrowed names, mixing up first and last names to get ones like Nathaniel Rush or Thomas Bradford. All except for Orah. I wanted her to be different, a rebellious throwback to an earlier time. So rather than picking from the Anglo-Saxon, I chose a name with Hebrew roots. As an added subtlety, the name Orah means light.
Did you get anyone in particular to read your work before sending it to the publisher i.e. family member, friend etc.?
My wife reads everything I write once I get to a middling draft. In addition, for a number of years I belonged to a writing group. Then the final line of defense is an independent editor.
What is one thing that no-one would usually know about you?
I started writing seriously when I was seventeen and continued through most of my twenties. When career and family pursuits made writing difficult, I basically gave up, frustrated with my lack of progress. Thirty years later, with career done and family grown, I had no intention of writing again. But once I had time to daydream, the ideas started to flow. Now, in this second stage of my life, I’ve published four books and am hard at work on a fifth.
"The plot unfolds easily, swiftly, and never lets the readers' attention wane... After reading this one, it will be a real hardship to have to wait to see what happens next." -- Feathered Quill Book Reviews
"...a fantastic tale of a world that seeks a utopian existence, well ordered, safe and fair for everyone... also an adventure, a coming-of-age story of three young people as they become the seekers, travelers in search of a hidden treasure - in this case, a treasure of knowledge and answers... a tale of futuristic probabilities... on a par with Huxley's Brave New World." -- Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
"The quality of its intelligence, imagination, and prose raises The Children of Darkness to the level of literature." -- Awesome Indies
"...a solid fantasy-dystopian offering, one that is not merely written by some author looking for a middling entry to the genre, but excellently crafted by an artist looking to make his mark... A timely novel beautiful in the simplicity of its writing and elegant in its underlying complexity." -- Eduardo Aduna for Readers' Favorite
"I found the world-building surrounding the people of the Ponds so descriptive that I was transported to their homes and way of life, and when the trio embarked on their journey, I could clearly picture them every step of the way. If you're looking for a classic fantasy quest wrapped in a fascinating, dark archaic world, then this novel will not disappoint you." -- K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite