Frater, Rhiannon: In Darkness We Must Abide
In Darkness We Must Abide, Season 2
by Rhiannon Frater
Publication date: December 16th 2013
Genres: Adult, Horror, Paranormal
In Darkness We Must Abide is the epic saga of one young woman caught in the dangerous world of the creatures of the night.
Vanora is haunted by the night her faith in those she loved was shattered. After fleeing Houston, she takes refuge in Austin and creates a normal life with her roommate Rhonda. Despite her newfound happiness, Vanora is tormented by dreams and visions of an enigmatic and dangerous albino vampire.
When her world starts to fall apart and Armando comes back into her life to warn her that her brother is in danger, Vanora realizes that she can’t escape her destiny. Evil threatens her family, and she must venture into the darkness to save everyone she cares about.
As she seeks to uncover the truth about the terrifying albino vampire and her purpose in his schemes, Vanora starts to realize that the man she loves most may be her greatest enemy. Rhiannon Frater delivers a chilling adventure once again with this multi-part epic serial with a dynamic cast, old school vampires, bloody action, a smoldering forbidden love, and a terrifying villain set against the backdrop of a modern day vampire war.
This book includes all five episodes of the second season of the serial.
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The Creative Aspect and Business of Writing a Serial
Interview with Rhiannon Frater
Why did you choose to release a book in this format?
I love episodic television when done right. Dexter, Breaking Bad, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, LOST, and Spartacus are just a few of the shows that have enthralled me with their story arcs, character development, and season long plots. I have always wanted to write in a similar format, but for the television in my reader’s mind.
I also love the old penny dreadful, or serial format from long ago. Fiction used to release in installments that could be weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Readers anxiously looked forward to the next part of the story and the serials continued until they lost steam or ended. Varney the Vampire is a very famous serial that lasted for a very long time.
I absolutely love discussing my favorite shows with other people and getting into long discussions about episodes and anticipating the next one. I hope to inspire that same sort of fervor in my fans for this serial.
Are you writing as we go along?
I have a very rough draft of In Darkness We Must Abide. It’s my first full-length original work. I wrote it years ago when I had no real idea about word count limitations, story structure, or had the life experience to address some of the deeper, more adult themes. When I found it buried in the depths of my hard drive and started to read it, I was struck at how episodic it felt. It reminded me a lot of Dark Shadows in that regard. I also realized how immense it was, how much it needed to be revised, and how I had fallen short on several points of characterization and plot. I saw an article about taking a full length manuscript and making it into a serial. That was my a-ha! moment. All the missteps of my youth made it immensely plausible to do a serial.
The story that is being revealed in the serial already exists, but is bare bones. But it’s a very, very rough draft. Therefore, every episode is completely revised.
The beauty of doing the serial is that I can revise the old stuff into a much more dynamic work. Since I don’t have to worry about a word count, I can delve deep into characters and plot lines. It’s incredibly liberating.
To give you an idea of how large this story is, the first complete season is 98,000 words long. Most novels come in between 70,000 and 90,000.
This is one big baby!
Do you keep feedback from your readers into mind while you’re writing?
Absolutely! I’ve been listening to everything people have said about the serial. It’s been an overwhelmingly positive experience. Just as I hoped, people are talking about the serial and sharing their thoughts with me.
The fandom for Armando has definitely inspired me to expand upon his character and he has many more scenes than he did in the original. He still plays the same role, but the serial has enabled me to explore his character with a bit more depth.
Of course, sometimes one fan will say they hate something (for example: the inclusion of sexual content), while other fans will tell me how much they love it. One fan’s favorite episode may be another fan’s least. It’s just how it goes.
What I try very hard not to do is make filler episodes. Each episode is layering on top of the previous one to build to the major events later on.
How do you feel about this type of format?
As a writer I find it to be a challenge, yet liberating. It creates a unique set of problems (such as the cost of publishing it), but it also allows me to give my fans something to read EVERY month. I love that. They don’t have to wait for six months or a year to read something new from me.
Have you ever read a book in “installments”?
I have and I do! I love serials that are done well. I can always tell when someone just chopped up a book. It reads just like a book that was chopped up. There isn’t an episodic feel to it at all and usually it just ends abruptly with no sense of suspense. I drop out of those quickly. Other serials read like a favorite TV show and I eat those up.
Also, I read trilogies and series, which are often just one larger story distributed along multiple books. I find those a bit aggravating because I have to wait so long read the next installment, yet, I know a writer can only write so fast.
I have the wrist and finger pain to prove that.
Has the overall response been positive?
Overwhelmingly, so. It’s been so encouraging. I wrote As The World Dies as an online serial years and years ago and really missed the interaction with the fans. I love that constant feedback. I notice I’m much happier as a writer right now.
Do you enjoy the process more than writing a traditional novel?
They are totally different beasts and serve totally different purposes in my creative mind. I can’t pick one over the other.
Are there people who have issue with the cost?
I have only had it mentioned twice.
Some readers may think of the 20+ episodes that will make up the entirety of the In Darkness We Must Abide serial as one complete book, instead of realizing its actual length is the equivalent of 3 (possibly 4) complete novels. In Darkness We Must Abide‘s shortest episode, the pilot, is over 10,000 words long. That’s about the size of 3 to 5 chapters in a regular Rhiannon Frater book. The complete first season is 98,000 words long, which is much longer than most full length novels. If someone buys all the episodes of the first season (.99 per episode plus the free first episode), it’s about the same price as the compilation of the season (3.99).
Because In Darkness We Must Abide is written in episodes that make up complete seasons, and not in a novel format, it doesn’t have actual chapters. In fact, when we compiled the first season for the paperback edition, we didn’t even attempt to chop it up into chapters. The flow of the story doesn’t work in the regular chapter format. Therefore, we kept the episodes intact within the paperback.
The serial demands the same behind the scenes work as a full-length novel. It needs a cover, editing, copyediting, and formatting. Just because the episodes are 15,000+ words long, doesn’t make it that much cheaper to produce. A serial is actually a quite expensive endeavor.
I’m writing the serial because: 1) it’s fun; and 2) the fans love it.
Rhiannon Frater is the award-winning author of over a dozen books, including the As the World Dies zombie trilogy (Tor), as well as independent works such as The Last Bastion of the Living (declared the #1 Zombie Release of 2012 by Explorations Fantasy Blog and the #1 Zombie Novel of the Decade by B&N Book Blog), and other horror novels. Her next novel for Tor, Dead Spots, will be published in 2014. She was born and raised a Texan and presently lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and furry children (a.k.a pets). She loves scary movies, sci-fi and horror shows, playing video games, cooking, dyeing her hair weird colors, and shopping for Betsey Johnson purses and shoes.
You can find Rhiannon Frater online at:
- Website: rhiannonfrater.com & astheworlddies.com
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/astheworlddies
- Twitter: twitter.com/rhiannonfrater
- Blog: rhianonfrater.blogspot.com
- Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/rhiannonfrater/
- Email: rhiannonfrater at gmail.com
(Open to US and Canada):
–Paperback of both season 1 and 2