Jan 12, 2016
Happy New Year! I hope that you all have had a wonderful 2016 thus far. Other than picking the losing team in literally every Bowl game that I watched this year, my 2016 is off to a fantastic start.
I've been hard at work on several stories, including a new one inspired by my nearly one-year-old son. Of course, Blink Unremitting, the sequel to Shadow Incandescent, continues to progress nicely.
As I began revisions on my first draft of Shadow Incandescent, I realized that my book was a rough retelling of Plato's "Allegory of the Cave." Though I had never read the allegory before, I was roughly familiar with the basic premises of the allegory. When I realized my book had such an obvious literary ancestor, I panicked. What if I got some important points wrong? Or worse, what if I had unknowingly followed the allegory too closely?
I immediately downloaded a critical edition of Plato's Republic and read through the cave allegory about a dozen times. Satisfied that I had paid due homage, but also told a unique story that didn't rely upon the allegory for substance, I continued to revise with the allegory and other elements from the Republic in mind.
Shadow Incandescent, Blink Unremitting, and the other planned sequels get their titles and some key ideas from images found within the "Allegory of the Cave" and other, related parts of the Republic.
With so many other dystopian series currently staking their claim within the zeitgeist, I also had to be careful that I wasn't blatantly writing a Hunger Games, Maze Runner, or Divergent clone. Though I was well into the first draft before I had heard of any of those series, I feared being written off as just another dystopian band-wagon jumper.
Fortunately, the initial inspiration for Shadow came from history. The Greenbrier Luxury Resort, where the U.S. Congress built a top secret bunker complete with radiation decontamination rooms and a human body-size incinerator, became the model for the Refuge, a secret facility where only the very "best and brightest" would be allowed to survive the end of the world. Although it sounds like something a conspiracy nut would rant about on the Internet, the truth is that Congress really planned to wait out the Apocalypse (or similar disaster) at a luxury resort.
Though the Greenbrier bunker was never needed, the fact that it existed gave the Refuge an anchor in reality that I hope sets it apart from the Katniss's Panem and Tris's factioned Chicago.
Thank you so much for your interest in this book. I'm excited to share it with you. If you haven't pre-ordered yet, make sure you do before the pre-sale ends. We need 250 pre-ordered copies to send it to print. If you've already pre-ordered, don't forget to share Shadow with your friends.