Our chat with Michael D. Nadeau, author of The Darkness Returns, A Lythinall Novel: Book One begins now! Thank you for hanging out with us on your big day! What else do you have planned to celebrate your release?
Michael: I’m having a book signing at my local Barnes and Noble (Manchester, NH) with some other authors (a lot more famous than myself I might add) and generally having a great day handing out coloring pages to kids there as well!
Us: That’s right! We wish we could be there to support you. We will be in spirit! 🙂
Michael: I could use a good couple of ghosts there with me to keep things light – LOL.
Us: Getting right into it, here’s a question submitted by Sam Hendricks. “The characters in The Darkness Returns are so real, and the world is so lived in, that at times I forgot I wasn’t really there with them. How long did it take you to build such a realistic world?”
Michael: I’ve been building worlds for so long in our weekly games that it just kind of happened without much thought. Steal a piece from this adventure, a castle from that one and it just fell into place. So really if you fall in love with Lythinall, you’re actually playing in all of our games and worlds reimagined in book form. Kind of surreal now that I think of it.
Us: That’s actually very surprising. Everything fits together so well, I would never have imagined it came together like that!
Michael: All I had to do was draw a rough map and it was like…”Oh yeah, I’ll use that piece here, and OH that story with the faeries I sent to my friend Kevin would fit there…”
Us: Your answers to that last question apply to this one as well, so maybe you can expand on it. This is a question submitted by one of your editors, B.K. Bass. “I know you’ve done a lot of tabletop roleplay gaming. How did that influence your writing and worldbuilding?”
Michael: It’s a huge influence. That’s how I started to tell stories after all. Once I started running games and realized I had to come up with details for the players I kind of found my little piece of heaven. It was like breathing clean air after living in smog. It was so much fun to create taverns and cities that sometimes that’s all we did, and when I learned to create Gods and pantheons, along with entire worlds…well let’s just say we went through our fair share of burning them down as well. And the fun part is that even my wife played. That’s who Shyi is in the beginning of the book. My beloved Shyi was her character. We had so much fun that writing just came as part of the deal. I started even writing short stories for my friends for gifts and such.
Us: That’s amazing. Speaking of characters, here’s a question submitted by another one of your editors, Sarah LaChance. ” If you had to pick only one of your characters to have a drink with, who would it be and why?”
Michael: Wow… Ok, I would have to say Karsis. Even though he is the personification of my oldest character, mixed with all the sarcasm I have bottled up inside of me at any three moments, I would love to just talk shop with him and see what trouble we could get into… epic.
Us: The Darkness Returns is the first novel in the series. Without giving away any spoilers, what’s next? Is the whole series already written? Do you have a plan for how many there will be? Will you ever open the world and let others write in it?
Michael: LOL! Well yes, the main story is all written so don’t worry I won’t let anyone hang. The next book is The Darkness Within where we see the rest of the Companions of Everknight and everyone meets in that great city. Then I have a set of short stories based on side characters and tertiary characters. explaining some of the little things in the other books. Then we move on to the finale, The Darkness Falls. War, bad guys, and a finish that gave me goosebumps and tears. I honestly can’t freaking wait for all of you to see it, and I have plans to pull a Star Wars thing. Go back and tell the companions stories and then jump back forward to the Kings messengers as well, maybe expand to the other nations around Lythinall.
*We’ll try and keep this updated as new questions are posted on Twitter (July 12th, 2019).
DK Marie: What inspired you to write The Darkness Returns?
Michael: Besides the role-playing? Well, I was telling a friend to find a job that included the things he liked to do and he turned it back on me saying that I haven’t done that. So I took a step back and said, “Shit he’s right.” So I decided to try my hand at a fully fledged story. Viola!