Into the Home Stretch

The Dark Zone by Dom TestaBy Dom Testa

Writing the fourth volume of a six-book series places you squarely on the turn heading into the home stretch. Your characters are established, the direction is firmly in place, and you just know that the overall series climax is ready to poke its head out. But you’ve also created a subliminal sense of pace that behaves like respiration; your story breathes in, breathes out.

In the case of my Galahad series for young adults—including the fourth book, The Dark Zone, due in stores this May—that pacing has involved looking inward and then outward.

From the beginning I knew that the success of the series depended largely on a healthy balance between internal and external conflict. The setting certainly allows for both, with a starship dispatched to colonize a new world (external), but with a crew consisting entirely of teenagers (internal – a LOT of internal!) In fact, the third volume, The Cassini Code, had pretty much pegged the drama meter to the max. I wanted The Dark Zone to not only turn outward, but to explode in that direction.

I hope you become acquainted with the crew—and the adventures—of Galahad. I’ve deliberately created a six-book series that pulls you forward inch by inch before slamming you back into your chair. With volume four, The Dark Zone, I’ll warn you to keep your arms and hands inside the car at all times.

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