It was always that way with my friends, everything a kind of a game, pushing back against the threat of growing up, not shirking responsibility so much as feeling the gravitational pull of our childhood asking for a little more time, a little less reality, a little more breathing room. But it was 1940, there was a war on, and we were teetering on the edge of a precipice. Looking back, I think we understood that. I think that’s why we went so far as we did. (p 46, Suddenly the Light Was Gone, 2017)
We may be just a couple of weeks in, but the experience of publishing this first novel has already proved a deeply satisfying experience. I have to admit I have been surprised and pleased. Not just the enthusiastic response from the first set of readers but this understanding that I am now a novelist. The possibilities engendered are both inviting and empowering.
Suddenly the Light Was Gone is a simple story. A nation – and then a whole world – turned upside down by war; the threat of imminent invasion; mass evacuation; broken family relationships; friendship; love; a young man learning to find his way; a middle-aged man coming home to remember; grief; tragedy; a surprising twist; a poignant ending.
What I’m most excited about is the opportunity I have to share stories where deeper truths are revealed, not contrived; evident, not forced; lived, not lectured. In this story, the characters experience not just challenge and conflict but also hope and grace, and the possibility remains that light may yet slip back into the picture even where darkness seems to have gained an unassailable foothold.
So I am very much looking forward to where this new journey is going to lead me next. In the meanwhile, please support this blog and help make it possible for me to continue to write by purchasing your copy of Suddenly the Light Was Gone: a novel of WW2.
And, please, help me to spread the good word. It would only take a few hundred of you to push this book far enough up the ratings to get the ball rolling in terms of television interviews, magazine reviews, and more. After that, how could Oprah possibly say no?
Peace, in every way – Derek