Nobody’s funeral, for there is no one to bury.
I said to my soul, be still, and let the dark come upon you
Which shall be the darkness of God.”
–T.S. Eliot, East Coker
One of my favorite parts of the writing process is finding the perfect epigraph. I stopped doing dedications years ago, mainly because I ran out of people to dedicate things to. I decided it was more meaningful to the READER if I found an epigraph that would echo the theme of the story, perhaps give a clue to the story’s mystery. If I can’t find the perfect epigraph, I make one up and sign it with my favorite pseudonym, “Darien Haynes.” (Ha! Find that in a book, can you?)
So if you don’t read the epigraphs . . . you’re missing out. 🙂 I loved the one above, because it does everything–hints at theme, gives a clue, adds a spiritual note, echoes the title . . . mostly because I took the title from the epigraph. Had no other ideas of what to call the book, except “The Intruder,” which didn’t seem quite right.
Choosing the POV for this book was tricky, too. I knew I wanted to use present tense because of its immediacy. I knew I couldn’t use first person because that would put the reader too much in the minds of Briley, Erin, and the murderer, giving away my secrets. So I chose third person, and through that I was able to “zoom in” when necessary and “zoom out” when appropriate. The first scene, of course, is from the murderer’s POV, and the rest of the book alternates between Antonio Tomassi, an antagonist, Briley, Erin, and the murderer.
LET DARKNESS COME was one of those books for which I had no ending until push came to shove and I knew I HAD to come up with something. Often I will write all of a book except the final scenes, then I go back and rewrite again and again, trusting that the final scene will occur to me just in time. It always does, usually after a few desperate prayers. I knew from the beginning who the murderer was, but wasn’t sure how to reveal that person, or how to sell it to the jury.
And one night I was watching one of those obscure health shows and learned about the mammalian diving reflex, and how you could drown and stay under really cold water for a long time and still preserve brain function, and I knew I’d found my answer. Just in time. 🙂
P.S. Tomorrow: the editing