From the Author
This 36,000-word prequel novella, Enter the Darkness--is another entry point into the Darkness After Series for new readers and provides a bit of backstory for those of you who have read all the later books. Some of the scenes in Enter the Darkness were cut from the first-draft manuscript of The Darkness After because of length restraints. In the revision process at the time, I decided to jump right in with the first action scene where Mitch Henley meetsApril Gibbs on the road, rather than tell the story beginning with the occurrence of the EMP event.
This prequel goes back and fills in the gap, beginning with Mitch getting stuck on a busy New Orleans street when his dad's new pickup suddenly goes dead at a red light. It also tells the story of the worst day in April Gibbs' life--the morning she wakes up to learn that her child is stranded more than a hundred miles away from home. What she decides to do at that point leads to her fortuitous meeting with Mitch, who happens to have the means and ability to help her out of a dire predicament. Enter the Darkness also gives you a glimpse of how those first days play out for April's boyfriend, David Greene, and Mitch's little sister, Lisa Henley.
The Darkness After Series can certainly be read without this prequel, but those of you who have read the other books might enjoy learning a little more about the main characters and who they were before their lives changed forever with the collapse of the grid. For those readers who have not read any of the other books in the series, Enter the Darkness is probably the best place to start to get the full story from the beginning.
I'm often asked how likely it is that such a powerful solar flare could occur, and whether or not I think the effects could be as devastating as I portray them in these stories. The answer is that scientists who study these things say that it is possible, and even probable, because it has happened before, just not since civilization has become so dependent upon vulnerable electronics technology. No one can predict for certain when such a solar event may occur, but many of those who study the subject have advised government planning and preparation for such a catastrophe, including measures to harden the grid infrastructure to better withstand the effects.
As for the human impacts of such a disaster, I only know what I saw in the wake of a far lesser event--Hurricane Katrina--when the grid in my local region was down for several weeks and people were stranded without the essentials for survival. It doesn't take a great imagination to see how things would play out if a complete blackout of power, communications, and transportation were to occur across an entire continent and beyond. The darkness would manifest in more ways than the obvious; and regrettably for many, in the darker side of human nature.
This series of stories is meant to be fun and entertaining for both Young Adult and older readers, but be warned that it is also at times violent and perhaps a bit frightening in its portrayal of the savagery to which some would undoubtedly resort in the absence of all law and order.