Today I have a special treat for you, book addicts!
Please welcome author Glenn Dakin! He is the brilliant mind behind the fantasy/steampunk/YA-middlegrade novels Candle Man #1: The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance and Candle Man #2: The Society of Dread. Click on each title to refresh your memory on what my thoughts were on each book (hint: I loved them!).
Glenn was kind enough to give us a piece of his creative mind through a guest post. This is what he wanted to say:
Candle Man – and the Approaching Revelation
by Glenn Dakin
I have always loved mysteries. Even minor ones like if nothing existed before the universe, then where did they make it?
One of my favourite puzzles is the enigma of STENDEC. In 1947 a passenger plane vanished over the Andes Mountains.
Before it disappeared it sent out one baffling radio message: the word STENDEC.
This word was sent, very clearly, by an experienced crew. What did it mean? Why was it so important? Why send out a word that does not exist… and then vanish?
All kinds of theories have been put forward, including possibly an alien encounter… The solution has never been found. Maybe one day YOU will figure it out.
It is a useful word though, sometimes when my friends baffle me, and I have nothing left to say, I simply reply, ‘stendec.’
My love of mysteries of all kinds feeds into my writing. When I first had the idea for Candle Man I imagined it as straight-forward adventure. My hero, Theo, would become Candle Man quite early in the story and then face the menace of many dark foes.
I began writing, but knew something was missing. That sense of mystery I had always loved – a feeling of desperately fighting through layers of darkness and deception until you reach the truth.
An author I learnt a lot from is John le Carré. He writes page-turners – the ‘unputdownable’ kind that make people miss their train stations. His books contain what I call SOAR – the Sense Of Approaching Revelation. Actually, I don’t really call it SOAR, but it just struck me it makes a pretty good acronym. Don’t forget, young writers of the world: SOAR!
Yes, LeCarré gives you that feeling that if you just turn the next page you will find out the one thing you really need to know.
I settled on this approach with Candle Man. I raced off, setting up my shadowy scenarios, but carefully leaving important bits out, to drive the reader on. Here’s one of the ways to do it.
Way One: (The wrong way)
Boy hero: Where are we going now?
Girl mentor: To see a doctor in Harley Street, who is a specialist in weird diseases and will finally help solve the mystery of this rare condition you are supposed to have.
Way Two: (the SOAR way)
Boy hero: Where are we going now?
Girl mentor: (mysteriously) No time to talk now, you twit – you’ll find out soon enough!
So the tale moves on, with wonderful, unexplained possibilities ahead, instead of a clear road-map.
Now, in Society of Dread, the second book in the series, the mysteries grow deeper. My young hero, Theo has discovered he is the Candle Man. But what is a Candle Man? What is his power really for? And who is the dark figure that threatens his survival – the maniacal Dr Pyre?
After that we head to book three, as Theo finds he is part of a destiny more terrible than he could possibly have imagined. He learns the truth behind his power, and how it could affect the whole world…
I could reveal all but that would go against the principles of SOAR. Goodbye for now and, of course, Stendec!
Thanks for dropping by, Glenn!
I love how I can recognize his witty, fun tone even in a guest post! If y'all haven't read the Candle Man books yet - you should. And I'm sure I am in agreement with all you guys who have read them when I say the third book can't come soon enough!!! :)