Please welcome Jay Posey back to the blog! The 2nd book in his Legends of the Duskwalker series, MORNINGSIDE FALL, just came out yesterday, and Jay was kind enough to answer a few of my questions!
Welcome back, Jay, and congrats on the new book! Will you tell us a bit about what we can expect from MORNINGSIDE FALL (Book 2 of the Duskwalker Cycle)?
Thanks so much for having me back! MORNINGSIDE FALL picks up about a year after the events of THREE, and follows Wren and Cass as they’re confronted by changes and challenges within Morningside. With threats against Wren’s life, the introduction of the Awakened into Morningside, and struggles for control of the city, there’s danger at every corner. And that’s just inside the wall, where it’s supposed to be safe.
Outside the wall, the Weir are changing, and their evolution hints at terrible things on the horizon.
What did you enjoy most about writing this installment of the Duskwalker Cycle?
There were a several highlights, but just to pick a couple, I guess I’d have to say writing Wren’s team of personal bodyguards was a good time for me. They’re an elite squad, so building them up as a unit and getting to watch them in action was fun for me.
I also really enjoyed writing the blindfolded man that gets introduced in this installment. I had a really odd experience with him from a writing standpoint; he kind of insisted on being in the book even though I had no idea who he was at first. Even when I wrote his first couple of chapters, I wasn’t exactly sure who he was … I just knew his intent, which itself was kind of scary. I hadn’t had that experience before as a writer, and when I finally discovered who he was it was a bit of a shock. I hope readers enjoy him as much as I did.
Have you done any specific research for the series?
It’s funny because I think of myself as having done a lot of accidental research for this series. I never really sat down to study a particular topic before I started writing, but at the same time, I’d already done so much reading and thinking about a lot of the ideas and technology just because I’m naturally interested in the stuff. When I started writing the series, the world I created was really a big bucket for me to cram all the things I found cool and interesting into, so I guess that’s kind of a natural outcome.
I did a lot of spot-checking as I wrote, of course. Double-checking certain facts or looking up articles I’d read long before and what have you, but a lot of that happened at the moment of use, rather than prior to writing.
What is your writing process like? Is it organized, organized chaos, or just chaos?
Well, calling it a process is probably generous, if that tells you anything. Organized chaos with a splash of fear and self-doubt is likely the closest. When I sit down to write, I tend to have the beginning, the end, and several key points along the way figured out. Then I’ll start in and kind of see where the writing takes me, and do my best to keep steering things towards my nearest Key Point. It works okay, but I’m still trying to find the right process for myself that maintains some flexibility for when cool moments emerge in the story, but is also more productive than sitting there staring at the screen wondering what’s a particular scene is actually about. I don’t much like outlining, but I’m trying to train myself to do it more thoroughly. We’ll see how it goes for Book Three!
What do you enjoy most about writing, and reading, SFF?
Science fiction for me is at its best when it’s tackling big ideas at the human level, or when it’s exploring the implications of new ways of doing things. It’s easy to get wrapped up in emerging technology or what it’d really take to colonize the moon or Mars, but I think it’s most interesting to look at how those things change (or more likely don’t) human nature. Science-fiction and fantasy both have such a great tradition of creating new contexts to discuss contemporary issues, and they have such power to shape culture. I also think it’s amazing how often science-fiction informs and inspires real-life research and development, and getting to contribute to that community is genuinely a privilege.
Speaking of reading, have you read any good books recently?
There are so many good ones, and so many still to be read! Lately I’ve really been enjoying Dave Hutchinson’s Europe in Autumn. Usually I read several books at a time, but that one’s been hogging all my attention for the last week or so.
What’s next for you?
I’m currently working on the third book in the Duskwalker Cycle, and that’s my main focus for the time being, though I’ve also been putting together some notes for a couple of other projects that I’m not quite ready to talk about yet. I’m also hoping to discover a new source of energy for myself so I can do all the work I want to do.
About MORNINGSIDE FALL:
The lone gunman Three is gone.
Wren is the new governor of the devastated settlement of Morningside, but there is turmoil in the city. When his life is put in danger, Wren is forced to flee Morningside until he and his retinue can determine who can be trusted.
They arrive at a border outpost to find it has been infested with Weir in greater numbers than anyone has ever seen. These lost, dangerous creatures are harbouring a terrible secret – one that will have consequences not just for Wren and his comrades, but for the future of what remains of the world.
New threats need new heroes…