The Dark

And then came book 2… And what a blast it was! Having set up Lazarus with a pretty nasty beginning, this was where I could let things get really out of hand. so I did. This is the blurb: “Lazarus Stone has been killed, resurrected, and attacked by demons. He’s all that stands between our world and the Dead. But things are getting complicated: he’s alone in the land of the Dead, his best mate Craig is missing, and he’s no idea who – or what – tricked his dad into trying to bring back his long-dead mum. Oh, and he’s wearing a corpse’s clothes. Life, he might think, couldn’t get much worse. But it will…” Writing The Dark was a steep learning curve, as most books seem to be. Here though I was seeing just how far and dark I could go, but also wondering all the way if I could sustain Lazarus’s story not just for book 2, but on into book 3.

When I do my school visits I often explain that the best way to think about a story is this: in the first part, get your character into a tree, thus presenting them with a problem – how to get down again. Then, to make the story interesting, it’s my job as a writer to do everything I can to make their journey back to the ground as difficult as possible. So throw stones at them, spears, rockets, try to chop the tree down, burn it, kidnap their family, train a flock of flesh-eating crows to take up residence in the tree…

Essentially, what I’m saying is that to make a story interesting, I have to make sure it’s nigh on impossible for a character to achieve a purpose. So that’s what I do in The Dark: I throw everything I’ve got, and a little bit more, at Lazarus. And through it all he gets stronger, more determined, and we can’t help but want to keep turning the page to find out what happens next…

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