Sanctuary follows Sonny to a militarized city where he’s conscripted into the city’s guard. What were some new ideas you wanted to introduce in this book that was different from book one?
Some ideas I wanted in my book were things like showing humanity and compassion towards others. Like how Sonny agreed to pretend to be Clara’s son Nathan or sparing a bandits life. Other ideas were defending their home by training the next generation for thinking ahead. The first book was mainly about survival while the second book was about finding a sanctuary and protecting it and its people inside.
I enjoyed the contrast between the sanctuary and the outside world. Was this dichotomy intentional or incidental to the story you wanted to tell?
It was completely intentional. In a dystopian world, it brings out the worst in people. So, it would make sense that certain people would be desperate for protection and supplies to stay alive. So much so that they would be willing to slaughter innocent people for it.
I thought this story had a unique setup and an interesting premise. What were some sources that informed this novel’s development?
I was inspired by many other stories such as The Walking Dead, The Road, The Last of Us, etc. These stories helped give me an idea of how savage people can be in an apocalyptic world. As for the story, I was inspired by some of Gary Paulsen’s books and Neal Shutterman’s books. Gary Paulsen can make you feel like you’re in the action, especially through the character’s point of view. Neal Shutterman helped me learn that stories can be more interesting if told through different character’s points of view and how their events with the main character’s events collide together can build up excitement.
This is book two in your Dark Days series. What can readers expect in book three?
I’m still developing it, but readers can expect a bigger scale in conflict with forces from the outside world. The Pacific Army is trying to reclaim America by expanding its territory, but with the limited number of soldiers and resources that can take a lot of time and be difficult. The characters are growing up so they can expect romance blossoming among them, some are figuring out their sexual identity. I’ll be developing issues and situations where the characters have to deal with the fact that sometimes there is no right thing to do in a dystopian environment or warzone. I’ll try to set up where they have to draw the line in complicated situations where it’s about right and wrong or it’s about staying alive and keeping your people alive. The main theme of The Dark Days series is about humanity struggling to stay in an apocalyptic world. That can be extremely hard and even impossible at certain times like that. There’s a lot I’m working with, but it’s still in development, so there’s gonna be changes before its release.
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Dark Days follows Maya as she embarks on a quest to find her powers, prevent war, and establish herself as a leader. What were some sources that informed this books development and what were some driving ideals behind Maya’s character development?
Maya and Dark Days was inspired by giving readers something different. I found that major publishers, agents, and bloggers are saying that books with female leads have to have romance, a strong male supporting cast, and other qualities that take away from a strong female character. I wanted a lead that is smart, can fight for herself and though she has male friends, they don’t have to save her.
I enjoyed the depth of the world you’ve created for your novel. What were some themes you wanted to focus on in your story?
Overall, I think the themes that come through are greed, selfishness, and the greater good. One may not consider the next two items themes but two of the driving forces for the work were action and a strong female lead. I did not want a work filled with fluff to add pages, but a work that sticks to the heart of the adventure. This is true with Maya. I wanted to make sure that though she needs to learn and grow, she is not going to be viewed as the damsel in distress or in need of someone to fight for her.
I do explain a lot about Sori and Maya does have male friends, but I focus on making the details enhance the experience instead of slowing the pace and have her friends compliment the story instead of dominate.
Will this story continue in a series of novels?
I do intend for this to be a series. I have it planned out but will not divulge the extent of the series. I will just say that we are in for one heck of an adventure.
Dark Days is a story about a girl named Maya. who is an outcast because she hasn’t completed a traditional rite of passage known to her people as the Leighesan sect. While being born to the Leighesan sect, she belongs to the Dempsey clan and spends her days training to become the best she can be. Her goal is to achieve knowledge and skill that surpasses people of her age and the elders as well.
Maya must compete in the Cluiche which is an ancient set of games and competitions that, for years, has showcased the best of the best. Little does she know that by competing in the Cluiche, she will not only have the chance to change her future but the prospect of clans everywhere. Learning who she truly is and standing for what she believes is right, she begins her journey with her two friends Jeremias and Willum, and finds support and hardship in places she never thought she would. War is budding on the horizon and the appearance of a figure that for a time only she could see, she knows that time is running out, and her destiny might be coming sooner than she thought.
Dark Days was a compelling read that was consistently entertaining. The book’s ending leaves the reader desiring more as well as wanting to see what happens next. One minor complaint I have is the ending of the book seemed a little rushed. Maya’s strength is inspiring and I admired her ability to not care what others thought of her. It’s a nice change of pace to see such a strong and intelligent female character in a book.
D.W. Saur does an excellent job of developing complex characters such as Maya’s friends Willum and Jeremias. There were times when I wanted to yell at Willum because he wasn’t serious when the stakes were high. This shows the level of attachment I had with the characters and how much I had invested into this epic story line. Maya made some decisions that were a little questionable, and I wish she had been a little more honest with her friends, but I understand where she thought she had no choice. I am still not completely sure who the villain is and am looking forward to finding out in the next book.
Dark Days plunges readers into the depths of a complex dark fantasy world that begs to be explored. D.W. Saur sets up intriguing characters that face some enormous challenges, but watching them overcome them is half the fun of this adventure novel. I look forward to reading the sequel when it comes to fruition.
Pages: 278 | ISBN-10: 1646630491
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