A while back I wrote a book, Days Too Dark, and while it’s been pretty well received there are a few questions about it that keep popping up. While I’m always down for some creative critique, answering the same questions over and over becomes a little tiresome.
So that’s why I’ve written this handy FAQ for people who’re reading Days Too Dark! If you’ve got any questions, then check this before you come and ask me…
Is Mars you?
Ugh… yes! How is that not clear at this point? There’s literally a photo of me in the damn book.
You just wish you were as badarse and cool as Mars is!
Did you even understand the point of the book? Does he seem like he’s happy, about anything?
A protagonist who’s a straight white male? That’s sooo original… you Alt-Right Nazi!
Well, it’d be weird if I wrote a story about myself… but then I wasn’t who I am in the real world.
Also, just FYI - there’re multiple fleshed out characters who aren’t straight, aren’t white and aren’t male. There’s also a heap of handicapped characters, too. They’re all in there, I just don’t make a big deal out of it.
So, basically… #FOAD
Did you really kill someone and take their lungs?
No, but then the whole world didn’t end in 2011 either… because that’s the point of divergence.
Why is this written so weirdly?
Have you ever heard Australians talk? We’ve got a pretty weird accent and most people have trouble understanding our lingo. I figured that after two decades of no outside influences (like American television) the dialect would only become more pronounced.
If you don’t like it, then ya shit outta luck ya bloody drongo!
Why did you call it “the Gloom”?
It’s a metaphor for depression!
Did you really get in a car crash?
Did your mum really drive you through a bus fire?
Were you really in a cyclone?
Did you reeeeeeea-
Why do mushrooms grow from corpses?
Ever heard of “waiting until the sequel”?
A spear, a bayonet and a trench knife… pretty weird weapons for a post-apocalyptic story, don’t you think?
They’re symbolic. One was his fathers, the other his grandfathers and the final belonged to his great-grandfather. He’s inherited their weapons, as well as their demons, and he’s carrying on their fight.
But why a spear?
It’s the most widely used weapon in human history.
The spear looks totally different in different pictures, you fucked up!
I know it does. No, I didn’t.
Brisbane is on the east coast of Australia, not the south. Wtf is going on?!
Just read the bloody book.
Mars is such a Mary Sue, he even has different colored eyes!
1) I don’t think you know what Mary Sue means…
2) I have different colored eyes, hence Mars having different colored eyes.
Mars is sleeping with a woman who is fifteen years younger than him, that’s nothing more than disgusting wish-fulfillment!
There’s not a lot of options for either of them, and neither are mentally or emotionally healthy enough to be in a relationship. It’s not an ideal situation for either of them, which is kind of the point.
Why do all the characters have such weird names?
They’re not weird, they’re just not Western European. Russians have Russian names and Pacific Islanders have Islander names, etc. The only character who’s got a truly weird name is Maralinga, and even then it’s a name that’s found in the country of his birth and it has narrative significance. So basically, shut up.
The military being the bad guys is such a cliché, this story sucks!
I know it’s a cliché…
What’s with all the roses?
Inside joke. Count them and then google it.
There’s an awful lot of 9’s in this book.
There’s a good chance that there’s a lot more than you think there is…
What’s with the cover?
It’s one of the cards from the Rorschach test. Can you guess which one?
This is a blatant rip-off of The Last of Us!
Why? Because it’s got an arsehole protagonist and lots of mushrooms?
I started writing this before the Last of Us was even announced. I did a university speech on the Cordyceps Virus jumping to humans and creating fungi-zombies before The Last of Us was even announced. Trust me, I don’t need to steal anything from The Last of Us.
The Last of Us is one of those interesting titles that achieved such mainstream success, that people start to see shadows of it’s influence where ever they look… regardless of whether or not the connection is actually there. They’re both character driven, Post-Apocalyptic stories that focus on broken men and their relationships with those around them. It’s easy enough to see how people could think I was “inspired” by The Last of Us, but that simply isn’t the case.
That’s it, probably only for now though… I’m sure there will probably be more questions that get asked over and over and I’ll update this FAQ accordingly.