Name: U.L. Harper
Name of Book: In Blackness
Guest Post for The Story Behind the Book:
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I had the general story idea for In Blackness for quite a while. There were numerous pieces that added up but it never really worked, but then one day something clicked and I was like holy cow, I’m going to go with it. From there everything clicked and writing finally started to snowball. This was the idea I came up with: A fifteen foot tall Cannibal. I was sure this is what I wanted to do but I still couldn’t find something to make the story plausible. You have to understand that the story at the time was about a young man searching for his missing mother, using the journal of his dad to find her. Now I was adding a fifteen-foot cannibal, right, believe it or not I began researching fifteen foot tall cannibals. Somewhere along the line, I ran into the bible and the Nephilim that are in there. I Couldn’t believe it when I read it. It seems that apparently there were these enormous people called Nephilim way back when. Keep in mind I didn’t do any real extensive research. I only did enough to add to my confidence in writing the story.
The more research I did the crazier the bible stories got. You can find all these web sites dedicated to bible passages depicting Nephilim as aliens that mated with humans and apparently God made the flood as to wash away the Nephilim. Yeah, that’s what I thought too, but it was great meat for the story.
Before I knew it I had another storyline to work with and a character to go with it. So I had Dustin searching for his mom, and his adopted sister on a path to run into some Nephilim. She is being followed by her brother, and after that I simply tied the storylines together. You want to talk about unpredictable?
But a lot of a story is its setting. A chunk of the story takes place in a small town in Washington. I remember going to this small town when I was a kid. There was a barn that they had turned into a fire station. The doctor’s office was in someone’s house as was the school and the post office. I couldn’t believe it. This place just kind of stuck with me. This might have been the smallest town in the history of smallest towns. I swear the place was the size of two elementary school playgrounds, unless you counted all the houses built off into the woods. I told my mom I couldn’t live there. I was sure the people there turned into werewolves on full moon nights and I really just wanted to play in a band. I had no intention of becoming a werewolf. Anyhow, this, I knew, would be the best place to discover a Nephilim, or a creature like it—in the woods, in a small town, at the back end of a journey. Yeah, sounds crazy, but that’s just how it goes. Got to say, some of In Blackness is pretty scary. Pretty scary, indeed.