Day of Reckoning
As an author, I hear it all the time. “Write what you know.” I prefer “write what will give you a challenge.” Well, Day of Reckoning gave me that challenge. When I finished book one, Dawn of Rebellion, I wasn’t sure I’d write more. Before I wrote that ending, I’d planned it to be a one off. Then I made the decision to end it without a satisfying resolution and gave myself no choice.
With the first book, I’d thought about the story for years. I knew what the bones would be. That wasn’t true here. I realized I’d written a world with so many possibilities. Here I had a desperate future, ruined by all of the things we are doing today. How could I not explore that?
First I had to decide who would still be there. What factions would have survived so long after the collapse of the US. That’s when it came to me. Texas. Of course. I’ve only been there once, as a child, but I knew enough about it. If any state was still around, that would be it. Maybe California, but geographically, that was too far for the group to travel.
Texas had a large enough government to survive without the federal government. They would just cut themselves off.
Another interesting possibility came when I started thinking about the coastline that would disappear if the seas rose and I realized I had the opportunity to ignore where things were now. So, I chose three cities to make up Texas – Baton Rouge, Vicksburg, and St. Louis. I planted each on a river for travels sake and suddenly a plan was forming. How would these civilizations survive in such dire times?
They would have to be under someone’s strict control. I’d already made England into a military dictatorship so Texas became something more. A cult. This was fascinating to me. How does one person gain so much power over a group of people? Why do they follow so blindly? Religion. Resources. Force. Wrap it all up and it has a lot of possibilities for an author.
You know what else it does? It creates an enemy; someone that needs taken down.
In this book, we have three groups of people vying for supremacy, or just survival. The Texans. The British rebels who have made their way to the colonies. And an American town.
The most intriguing group for me were the British rebels. Are they good or are they bad? We start the book out with them committing terrorist attacks in England, killing innocent people – including children. You’d think we’re supposed to hate them. Some of them are horrible people – which the sisters soon find out – so the fun was changing people’s opinion of them and then twisting it again until not even Dawn and Gabby know what’s going how.
The question this asks is “How do you fight for what’s right in a war where no one is right?”
Reviews & media
GENRE: Science fiction (dystopian, young adult)
PRINT LENGTH: 377 pages
PUBLICATION DATE: June 15th, 2014
FORMAT: Kindle, paperback
Excerpt from the book
So, this is Texas. Vicksburg to be exact. The capitol.
I’m with my sister Dawn holding her hand and talking to her like nothing has changed when, in truth, everything has changed. They tell me that she’ll wake up when she’s ready and I anxiously wait for that day. I want her back. I also dread that day. When she comes around, I’m going to have to be the one to tell her that Drew is gone.
They found Drew in the woods with Dawn but there was nothing they could do for him. They also found another body with a bullet in his head. I had to identify him. Sam. My mind drifts back to that night. Tears well up in my eyes. I blink them away and try to force those images out of my mind. Dawn, how will I be able to tell you that he’s gone?
It's noon and I desperately need some air and to stretch my legs. Reluctantly, I get up to leave Dawn’s bedside and as I walk by the mirror over the hospital sink, I stop. I barely recognize myself. I’m a grotty wreck. My beautiful hair is no longer sleek and smooth. It has been frayed and damaged by months on the run. I have a scar above my right eye that is still red and painful to touch. I have grown thin and gaunt and the clothes they have given me hang on me like sacks. I would have never worn anything like this back home; lightweight blue pants and a white shirt; the same as about half the people here. I hate it because I was made to stand out, not to disappear in the crowd. I take the stairs and soon find myself outside.
The Republic of Texas. It’s a strange place. Everything is so…orderly. The streets are pristine and the buildings, every one of them, are made of red brick to match the wall that encircles the city. I’ve been told that this is only one of three walled cities that make up the Republic. I don’t know whether to feel safe or trapped.