No, this post isn't disturbing. The statement summarizes some of the comments I've received from people on the content of Book One of the WWIV series. Perhaps I should elaborate.
As I mentioned last week, the first outside opinion I ever received on my writing is when I dared to send the fore-mentioned book out for editing. I chose Rob Bignell as my book editor. Rob is local, only 10 miles away from my home. And I read some reviews on his editing, so he came highly recommended.
Admittedly, from Rob, this was not his typical genre. I got the feeling that he could do dystopian, but he preferred other genres to it. Still, I sent him my manuscript. After 4 weeks here's his reply:
Please find attached the edited manuscript. Your book deeply disturbed me, and I mean that as a compliment. It's not often that I find a manuscript sticks in my thoughts for a long time after I've read it. While part of that might be familiarity with all of the communities you described, what really struck me was the examination of humanity in terms of the lows and the highs that it fall and rise to in a crisis. I found the portrayal of the days after such a disaster reasonable and believable.
Well, that was certainly interesting, I thought. Again, Your book deeply disturbed me, and I mean that as a compliment. I took this as a compliment, a huge compliment. My goal with the book is to move the reader. I believe everyone who has ever written a word has this as their ultimate goal.
A month or so later I braved further into my family for readers, and gave the book to my Mother for her honest thoughts. Again, I will take her words directly from her email reply:
I like the cover for your book. I finished reading the last book that you sent me, couldn't stop when I got toward the end. Was a late night for me. It made me anxious and concerned. I couldn't go to sleep, I had to get up and have some cocoa and a graham cracker!
I suppose I should be ashamed for causing my mother such anxiety, but I'm not. Her reaction is exactly what I've intended with the book; the series for that matter.
My intent is to create a realistic, believable body of work portraying what happens to humanity, our own humanity, when suddenly everything we depend on is gone. Rob's honest input gave me goosebumps. My mother's words made me smile. I know, how much stock should a person put in their mother's opinion of his work? For me, her honest words say it all. I value her opinion, greatly.
These books are dark in many ways, yet not overtly and only dark. There are still moments of levity and joy. Most will have what we can call "happy endings." Perhaps not as happy as we'd find in a romance novel. But still happy given all the humanity that has disappeared.
Book One (In The Beginning) and Book Two (Kids at War) are created with that in mind. These two books are at the beginning of the struggle. Book Three (The Secret) and Book Four (Finders Keepers) come along later in the struggle. Book Four is set almost 16 years after our technology is gone.
Next time, we'll dive into our protagonist for Book One: Bill Carlson. Just who is this man and how did I create such a flawed person.
Until then, read a good book!