Eve of Darkness was such an incredible read for me that I just had to ask S.J. Day some questions about this great book and this new series that is sure to be some of the most wanted books this summer...
S.J. Day: I was in the shower washing my hair when the idea just popped into my head fully formed. I haven't had that happen before or since. (The scene that came to me is in the one just after Cain kills Abel in Eve's living room.) I wrapped a towel around me, sat down at my laptop, and started writing before I forgot anything.
KB: You don’t gloss over the issue of religion in Eve of Darkness. I really did want to go back and read the bible after I finished reading. Did you have some concerns about readers being a bit wary because of how involved the bible stories and characters are to the plot?
S.J. Day: I was concerned, yes, but there was nothing I could do about it. The story came to me that way and I couldn't change something so fundamental to it. However, I was careful with my research. While I painted the picture with fiction, the defining lines are solid research. So far, I've heard three different takes on it--one, it wasn't a factor; two, it made the reader want to read the Bible; three, they had to completely divorce the story from the Bible and look at it entirely as fiction. I'm grateful that it hasn't offended anyone... yet. Hopefully, it won't.
KB: How long did it take you to write all three books in the Marked series?
S.J. Day: I wrote the first few chapters for the proposal back in Summer '06. That took a couple months. The rest of the first three books were written over 15 months.
KB: Did you use the bible for research? Were there any other sources you used?
S.J. Day: Yes, I used the Bible. I also used non-canonized texts such as the Book of Jubilees, Books 1 and 2 of Adam and Eve, the Book of Enoch, as well as the Qur'an. I also built a collection of books on the holy angels and demons of various cultures, and I purchased documentaries from A&E, the History Channel, and the Discovery Channel.
KB: The covers for all three books are great! Did you have any input on them?
KB: What made you decide to use a new pen name for this series?
S.J. Day: I wanted to make it clear that Eve's story isn't a romance. That was important to me in regards to reader expectations and also for bookstore shelving. Changing my name helped to ensure that the books would be placed in the SF/Fantasy section.
KB: I loved how both Alec and Reed are so very different from one another with their personalities and how they interact with Eve. How important was that to get across?
S.J. Day: Cain and Abel are two men who are more alike than they care to admit. Their goals, their plans, their likes and dislikes are very similar. Unfortunately, they see the worst sides of themselves in each other and I think that's contributed to the dissention between them. I think their outward appearances are their way of distinguishing themselves from each other. However, they do have some fundamental differences that make each unique and they share those traits with Eve, because they trust and care for her. It's been a real treat getting to know them. They're both such distinctive personalities, yet they're clearly brothers. I don't envy Eve having to deal with two such alpha males. She manages them far better than I would!
KB: If you found yourself marked, what would you do? Which brother would you want to be your mentor?
S.J. Day: I have no idea what I'd do in Eve's shoes. Having children was important to me, as it is to Eve, so I'm not sure how I would feel about having that taken away from me. I guess I'd start out by learning the motivations of those around me so that I could work on my own agenda while staying out of the way of theirs. As for mentors... both brothers have valuable information--Cain is king when it comes to killing things, but Abel is the better politician. I'd need to learn from both in order to survive.
KB: So… which brother does Eve choose?
S.J. Day: LOL Honestly, I wish I knew! I consider myself more of a narrator than a creator. I don't know what's going to happen until it happens. Right now, I'd say it's Cain. But Abel could surprise me. He already has on a few occasions. Like Eve, I love them both but for different reasons.
Tor was so nice to send me a copy of Eve of Darkness. I would love to give this book away! Just leave a comment here or a question you may have for S.J. and when I come back from merry Old England I will pick a winner.