Posted by Literary Titan
Die to Live Again follows Tanya through a post-apocalyptic future where she must fight for humanity’s survival. Where did the initial idea for this novel come from and how did that change as you were writing?
The idea for this novel was born out of a short story I wrote in my writing group in the year 2010 titled “The Fifth Season.” It featured Tanya and her boyfriend Jack trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic nuclear wasteland, and encountering the mysterious black trees that change them forever. I didn’t know how to end that short story, so I put it back on the shelf, until an idea struck me: why not turn this short story into a full novel? “The result was a book “Die to Live Again,” where only Tanya survives and Jack dies from radiation sickness. His death changes Tanya spiritually, just as the black trees changed her physically, setting her on a journey of survival, discovery and revenge.
This book has a good balance between action, scifi, and introduces some spiritualism. How did you want to balance these ideas in your story?
Initially, balancing action, science fiction and spiritualism was a bit difficult, until I realized an important fact that all three can be well mixed together because of the story’s plot and structure. In my story, nuclear holocaust almost wipes out the human race. The remnants of humanity would be hard pressed to survive the fallout and battle such terrible things as starvation, violence, loss of morality, law and order and disease. The element of spiritualism was necessary, because I felt that after such a planet changing horrific event all religions that we know would be gone and would gradually be replaced by tribalism and worship of the forces of nature. The action part was always there, and the science fiction part was the existence of nature’s hidden defense mechanism that offered the remnants of mankind a second change.
Writing is often a labor of love. What part of this novel did you enjoy writing the most?
I often asked myself what I would do in the similar situation Tanya had found herself in. Sometimes fiction mimics the reality, and sometimes reality resembles fiction. I grew up as a child and a young teenager during the Cold War, where the threat of nuclear holocaust was very real. It remains a threat even today, thankfully on a smaller scale. The part I enjoyed writing the most was the part of Tanya’s encounter with the mysterious black trees and her transformation from a vulnerable mortal young woman into an enigmatic being of incredible physical and mental power. I replayed that scene in my mind many times, imagining Tanya’s suffering and desperation that ends with her salvation. We all love superheroes, and Tanya in my eyes becomes a new kind of superhero but with a human heart.
Do you plan to continue Tanya’s story in other books in a series?
“Die To Live Again” does have a sequel titled “Makers of Destiny,” which takes place fifty years after the events in the first book. The characters who were very young have grown up, and the original characters have either died or are very old but still influence the events in the sequel. In the second novel, Tanya faces new threat from a new and powerful enemy as well as a political and racial conflict that results in one part of humanity changing into being smarter and more powerful than humans. This sequel also presents Tanya not only as a warrior but a diplomat as well as wife and a mother, who will do anything to protect her family in new uncertain times of the Second Civil War.
WORLD WAR THREE HAS BEGUN. . . .
Tanya Gray, a young college graduate, joins the shocked refugees seeking shelter from the approaching nuclear nightmare. They find it deep inside Crystal Temple, a high-tech underground fortress, designed to survive the nuclear fallout. But Tanya soon discovers dark and terrible secrets about Crystal Temple and joins a rebel movement.
Implicated in the uprising against the military dictatorship, she and her boyfriend are exiled to the surface. Moving across the hostile nuclear wasteland, they encounter a country gripped by anarchy and madness. Slowly dying from radiation poisoning, they prepare to meet the end. Then a masked stranger appears, offering them a chance at survival. . . .
Tanya undergoes a physical and spiritual transformation that will send her on a mission of discovery and vengeance. For as the world changes, the remnants of mankind must change or face extinction.
Posted by Literary Titan
Die to Live Again is a story about Tanya, a young woman whose existence becomes a perpetual question when the world faces nuclear destruction. She is one of the lucky few who survive and for a time she is housed in one of the pre-prepared military shelters. This arrangement does not last. She goes from being a preferred informant for a budding dictator to an outcast, left to survive off the contaminated wasteland. For a while she has Jack, her boyfriend with her. This also does not last as two humans are no match for the unfiltered aftermath of nuclear destruction. Jack dies and she finds herself transformed but surviving. Soon enough Tanya realizes the existence of humanity is under threat and it is up to the survivors to decide what new Earth looks like, this time, with mother nature paving the way.
David Crane combines post-apocalyptic confusion and political drama in some exciting ways in this captivating book. Although most of the action takes place on the American mainland, we still get a glimpse of what happened around the world. This perspective was a very interesting take and political drama lovers will undoubtedly find it engaging. All of this balances well with the friction between nature and scientific input. There is even a religious aspect that is explored. These aspects are the underpinnings of human existence, and I felt that the spiritual inclusion added an intriguing dimension to this novel. The combination of politics, science and religion makes for a possibly overwhelming experience but I felt that it was balances just enough to never become too much. Additionally, although there are several drastic turning points throughout the novel, they are rarely, if ever, predictable.
Although this is a well written novel, I felt that there were some inconsistencies in the timeline, and a few things seemed too unrealistic. I would have liked the buildup and explanations of occurrences to be more robust.
Overall, this is a fantastically engaging novel that I found to be both interesting and entertaining; both things I’m starting to associate with David Crane novels.
Pages: 334 | ASIN: B00FZW20AQ