Home > Newsletter > What if? Two little words that created the world of S. J. Day’s Eve of Darkness

What if? Two little words that created the world of S. J. Day’s Eve of Darkness

December 10, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

Written by S. J. Day

In January, Tor will rerelease #1 New York Times bestselling author Sylvia Day’s Marked series, first published in 2009 under the name S.J. Day. Here, the author asks the “What ifs?” in this sexy urban fantasy series.

That’s the core question that sparks story premises. In the case of the Marked series, that simple question blossomed into hundreds more. The end result is a heroine and world that continually surprise and delight me.

What if an ordinary person was suddenly sucked into a heretofore unknown preternatural underground? What if she was completely mortal, with no fangs or claws or magical tricks? What if she had a close family unit, a great job, and an upscale condo on the beach in Orange County, CA — all of which would be jeopardized by her new circumstances? What if she wasn’t trained in combat techniques, was terrible with knives, and was clueless about the skills of her new supernatural enemies? What if everything was stacked against her—she’s an agnostic forced to work for God, a woman mentored by two on-again-off-again lovers, and a newbie with a big target stuck to her back because she’s important to important people?

The what ifs also encouraged me to explore different perspectives on familiar Biblical stories. What if Cain wasn’t a villain? What if Abel wasn’t a saint? What if the archangels are as famous and powerful in their mortal guises as they are in their celestial lives? The more I researched, the more it all fell into place. Some projects seem to take on a life of their own and the Marked series definitely did that for me.

The books were so much fun to write. The process was an experience unlike anything I’ve known before. Although Evangeline Hollis is an ordinary person in an extraordinary world, she is a force to be reckoned with because she makes her liabilities work as strengths—for instance, her agnosticism gives her a unique perspective. As a writer who considers herself more of a narrator than a creator, I have been amazed by her resourcefulness in getting out of the amazing amount of trouble she runs into. She manages to come out on top every time using mulish determination and keen intelligence. It’s easy for me to say that Eve is one of my favorites out of all my heroines.

So now it’s your turn to answer a question. What if you picked up Eve of Darkness on your next trip to the bookstore? Would you enjoy Eve’s adventures as much as I enjoyed writing them? I’d love for you to stop by my website and let me know!


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  1. December 10, 2012 at 11:16 am

    “heretofore unknown preternatural”


    No fangs or claws or magic tricks (would hope not, these things imply supernatural not preternatural)… but wait, her enemies are supernatural.

    I mean, come on, you could do better than this. You’re not a creator your a narrator? The way that rhymes and is so casually meaningless makes me think the book will be full of this sort of throwaway / make-it-up-as-you-go-along stuff.

    What if Cain wasn’t a villain? Then there’d be no point to the Cain story. He was the first villain, that’s what makes him interesting. If it wasn’t him it would have been someone later on down the line. You’re basically saying “what if Cain was Abel and Abel was Cain”. This whole article feels cock-handed.

  2. December 10, 2012 at 11:45 am

    At least wait and see what the first few pages look like before painting the book so broadly.

    Do you write? Do you read about the process of writing? All fiction is based, more or less, on ‘what if’. Good or bad, many authors have commented on the moment when their writing stops feeling controlled and comes out more like a real narrative interview. Some folks feel that and immediately believe they must channeling a past life. Others rationally know they are just extrapolating more details about their characters and settings. We humans are pattern-matching animals, and very good at it.

    I’ve never read Ms. Day’s work. I might not read it at all. But I have been around enough to be able to judge the writing quality of certain reviewers and forum posters, as proportional to the importance of their arguments.

  3. December 10, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Never mind, I should have checked your website before I responded to a troll. Sorry, Sylvia. For this, I’m taking a look at your book next week.

  4. WolfgangK
    December 10, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    The interesting question to me is, if this time the series is going to continue after book three or if it will be cut off again with everything open.

  5. Livie's Mum
    December 10, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    I have already read the series (when it first came out) and I loved it – so sad it never got finished at that time!

  6. Alyx Smith
    January 10, 2013 at 12:50 pm

    Sounds interesting.

  1. December 10, 2012 at 10:49 am
  2. December 10, 2012 at 10:49 am
  3. December 10, 2012 at 10:49 am
  4. December 14, 2012 at 1:03 pm

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