DARK EDEN Available now!

I’m excited for the release of DARK EDEN today! Lots to explore and many ways to help me spread the word. Check out all the stuff!

Visit the website and share it with a friend: www.enterdarkeden.com

Take the fear test, it will show you what you’re really afraid of (seriously!) www.thefeartest.com

Join the Facebook fan site, updates daily: www.facebook.com/enterdarkeden

Order the book (author smiles!): www.enterdarkeden.com/get/book.php

And read the DARK EDEN interview below!

Come join me in DARK EDEN, where fear is the cure.

Patrick

Dark Eden Interview

How did the idea of DARK EDEN come about? Was there extensive research regarding the symptoms and emotions of teens going through the process of overcoming their phobias?

One of my best friends also works as a counselor for teens and adults. We were on a long drive, heading to Montana for some R and R on a river, and we got into a long conversation about the physiology of fear. Interesting things happen to us when we’re afraid beyond just ‘fight or flight’. That got me thinking about people with extreme fears who live otherwise ordinary lives, and how a villain could take advantage. For almost a year after that, every drive we took to a river included this topic. I had lists and lists of unusual phobias and fears, and we had some fascinating conversations.

Which character do you relate to most? Least?

I relate to Will Besting most, probably Kate Hollander the least. I grew up in Will’s kind of environment – a brother, a lot of video games, a fascination with music and sound. And I, too, would have rather watched than participated in the things that went down at Fort Eden. With Kate, I’m just not an alpha personality. I’ve been around people like that my entire life (haven’t we all) so I understand how they operate when they enter a room. But it’s not generally the company I keep, so she was a tough one to work out.

What fears and phobias, if any, did you have when you were a teen? Do you have any now?

I am mortally afraid of being home alone late at night, always have been. Waking up after midnight is especially troubling. I hear things in the house, people walking around upstairs. I am cursed with a vivid imagination after the sun goes down. As a teen I feared the usual: asking girls out, dances, acne, grades – those kinds of fears overshadowed any other one’s I might have had.

If you could have immortality, would you take it? Why?

No, I wouldn’t. Tuck Everlasting was an important book for me, because it explored this idea in a way that made me understand the cost of living a very, very long time. Everyone I loved would grow old and die. I’d have to start over a lot (the older I get the less I like that idea). For a guy like Rainsford in DARK EDEN, immortality is an elaborate trick. He’s figured out how to jack the system, and we get a sense of what kind of person it takes to pull those levers. I’m in no rush to die, and there are mysteries there that can haunt me late at night. But I think we’re going somewhere, not nowhere. I am ever hopeful it will be someplace good.

Did you learn anything while writing/revising DARK EDEN, and if so, what was it?

I learned about a lot of unusual fears people have, and that turned out to be more interesting than I expected. I also have a habit of connecting older books to what I’m writing, partly because it’s a chance to re-introduce those books to new readers, but also because I want to re-examine them myself. With DARK EDEN, I went back to The Pearl, The Woman in the Dunes, and The Masque of the Red Death. DARK EDEN has a strong class underpinning, and all those stories dealt with class struggles: trying to move up a level in society, feeling superior, feeling trapped. Those themes run through the story, and I learned a lot about how to write them in a way that will make readers think about them.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything?

I’m happy with the book, it’s what I wanted to write. And really, once a book is printed, I’ve let it go. DARK EDEN is what it was meant to be.

What was the book that most influenced your life, and why?

If only there were one book that influenced me most, that would be nice! I’d just read it over and over again. I can’t answer this one with even ten or twenty books. It’s a list, books get added. Just this year I had to put The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall on the list of books that deeply influenced me. This question of books and their influence has a lot to do with seasons in one’s life. There were books early on – Dr. Suess, Where the Wild Things Are – that I know had a profound effect on my habits as a visual thinker. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nymn, the Narnia books, everything by Roald Dahl showed me I could escape completely into worlds that were not really there. Edgar Allen Poe and Mary Shelley showed me so much as a young writer. The Brothers K (David James Duncan), The Grapes of Wrath, Catcher in the Rye, Ender’s Game – the list is much longer than this, but all these books influenced me in ways that make it impossible to pick one. And there will be many more, I’m sure.

How and when did you come up with the idea for DARK EDEN?

One of my best friends also works as a counselor for teens and adults. We were on a long drive, heading to Montana for some R and R on a river, and we got into a long conversation about the physiology of fear. Interesting things happen to us when we’re afraid beyond just ‘fight or flight’. That got me thinking about people with extreme fears who live otherwise ordinary lives, and how a villain could take advantage. For almost a year after that, every drive we took to a river included this topic. I had lists and lists of unusual phobias and fears, and we had some fascinating conversations.

You have written many books, what can you say is your favorite topic or genre to write about?

All of my books are mysteries, and I’m especially fond of writing a story that has a surprise ending. So while I like to jump from genre to genre – thriller, fantasy, adventure, sci-fi, realistic fiction – all my stories are rooted in mystery.

If you had to step into one of your seven characters in Dark Eden’s shoes which one would you pick and why?

Will Besting. I’d much rather not know the cure is coming. And I’m an observer, so what he’s doing fits with my personality. I’m very happy sitting in a café watching people go about their lives and trying to guess what they’re up to. Also, he falls in love, which is an enjoyable experience.

Would you say your book is scary? And if so, to what extent?

I think DARK EDEN is more of a psychological thriller than a horror novel. I’d compare it to Shutter Island, with a similar surprise twist ending.

What else would you be if you weren’t an author?

I love all kinds of storytelling. I think if I weren’t a novelist I would work in movies, television, or video game development. A great story is a great story, I’m not hung up on what the delivery method is.

You are undoubtedly the innovator in multi-media/interactive novels and I love the DARK EDEN app! Why does DARK EDEN work so well with multi-media?

Thank you! The truth is, I never know how the multimedia aspect of a project is going to work until I get pretty deep into the woods (publisher cringes). I wrote DARK EDEN twice – once as a straight up book, again as an immersive multimedia app – and then re-wrote the app as we moved through development. Many things come into play: what the app will look like and how it will operate, hiring actors, editing scenes, recording audio diaries – there’s just so much that goes into these things. Along the way my team helps me make the right choices, many of which are made only days before sections of the app go live. We’re dialing this thing in right down to the last second!

What led you to start developing stories in this non-traditional way?

School visits top the list of reasons why some of my projects include multimedia. I’ve visited over 1300 schools in the past decade, and every year students get more and more distracted. It’s a highly entertaining world they live in, and for a lot of readers, they need a lifeline back to books. Projects like DARK EDEN are designed to blend in with the technological world many teens have become immersed in. My hope is that DARK EDEN is an opportunity for some of our most jaded readers to build some confidence about reading, then move on to a more traditional book.

I read that there will be an enhanced e-book version of DARK EDEN for Nook and Kindle. Will the e-book experience differ from reading the printed book in conjunction with using the DARK EDEN app?

Actually, the printed DARK EDEN book is totally stand alone and does not interact with the app version. The printed DARK EDEN novel is designed for a traditional reader, words only (and some amazing illustrations). The app is the same story told in a multimedia format (words, videos, maps, audio diaries). Nook will have the full app version of DARK EDEN. The enhanced ebook will include around ten of the 100+ multimedia elements.

What other projects are you working on at this time?

DARK EDEN II! Also, a YA trilogy I’m not at liberty to talk about yet, and the second FLOORS book, my current middle grade series for Scholastic. And if you want something really different, check out www.315stories.com, the short story re-imagined for modern teens.

In honor of Halloween, tell us your best/scariest Halloween memory.

We used to play this old record on a turntable with all kinds of scary Halloween sounds, then hand out candy and scare all the kids who came by. We were moderately famous for it in our old 1970’s neighborhood. That was some fun!

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