Cara Malone: Thanks for joining us, KC - for you and anyone else who’s new to book club, how this usually works is it’s a Q&A that goes for an hour, and you can either respond directly in the book-club channel or you can click the little speech bubble button to reply in a thread.
KC Luck: Got it
Glad to be here. I've never used this format before so looking forward to the experience.
Cara Malone: We’re happy to have you!
Reader 2: We will be easy on you
KC Luck Thank you!
Reader 1: What was the most difficult thing to research for this book?
KC Luck: I was most concerned about getting the impacts of a solar event correct
Like what would work or not work.
Reader 2: You hit it pretty spot on.
Reader 1: Also, great book by the way. I should have led off with that. I wanted to ask my question before I forgot it.
KC Luck: So I answered [Reader 1] in the thread but I can answer it wider. The most difficult part of writing the book was getting the science right.
Reader 1: I would have thought that all electricals like the smartphones would have been fried, not just their call and text service.
KC Luck: Opinions vary on what would stop working actually. Cellphones are a gray area for sure.
All the larger electronics would go
Reader 1: My poor computer.
KC Luck: Yeah. We wouldn't be sitting here chatting. LOL
Reader 2: Since most of our lives are digital now it would be a disaster anyway you look st it
KC Luck: It would be. But simplified so that might not be so bad.
Cara Malone: Is there a difference between the solar event you described in Darkness Falls and an ‘EMP’ that some of the other apocalyptic books like to use as their disaster? Or is it the same thing by a different name?
KC Luck: Yes
When I read EMP I think manmade though
Actually, the solar flare is the event and the EMP is the result. Right?
Cara Malone: Ah, that makes sense. I do tend to think weapon when I hear EMP too
KC Luck: Exactly
Reader 1: Well, manmade would be an EMP device of some sort.
Reader 2: Did you do a lot of research about the space needle and the electronics of it?
KC Luck: Luckily I live close enough I could go visit it again (I went a couple of times growing up). My details are "close enough" for fiction.
Reader 2: I was going back in my memory vault for the last time I was up in it.
Cara Malone: Haha did you get any weird looks during that? i can just imagine them thinking you were casing the place
KC Luck: LOL. That didn't occur to me. Probably thought I was creeper.
It made for a great setting
Reader 2: Perfect setting
Reader 1: One thing I want to know... is there a limit to how badass Taylor can be?
KC Luck: Nope. Taylor is solid all the time. Although I am playing with ideas for book six... might have to really challenge her.
Reader 2: What a cast of characters you created
KC Luck: Although Jackie certainly has Taylor's number
They are my favorites for certain
Reader 1: I feel bad for Taylor, having to wait for Jackie to sort herself out. It's understandable though. Her entire world, her place in it and her image of herself have all just shifted considerably.
Reader 2: How did you come up with the storyline and did the characters come first or the story
Cara Malone: I was just about to ask, characters or story 1st - great minds
KC Luck: The idea of an end of the world as we know it story came first
Reader 1: I'll need to read the rest of the series when I have time so I can see what happens next.
Which character was the first one to be created?
KC Luck: I love reading them so thought I would write one. Then I decided a solar flare would be interesting and then I thought of Taylor.
Reader 1: Is it weird I had a feeling it would be Taylor?
KC Luck: Actually, not so much because Taylor is my most popular character across all the books I've written. I did a poll and she won by a landslide.
Cara Malone: Ooh, that’s interesting! Did you see it coming?
Reader 1: Well, I'll plus one that.
Cara Malone: I love that she has her perfect opposite in Jackie - if anyone was ever totally unprepared for an apocalypse
Reader 1: I'd also add her to my list of all time favorite characters.
Cara Malone: replied to a thread: Actually, not so much because Taylor is my most popular character across all the books I've written. I did a poll and she won by a landslide.
Ooh, that’s interesting! Did you see it coming?
KC Luck: Jackie is awesome. And no. Taylor is popular beyond what I thought could happen with a fictional character.
Reader 2: Did you draw on what has been happening in real life to augment what ended up happening in the story i.e. riots in the street, guns coming out, fear?
KC Luck: I did draw on some of that chaos, yes.
I did research to see what scientists thought would happen to humanity and a lot of the predictions were depressing.
So, I decided to write my world a little differently. I added some hope in there.
Reader 2: Always good to have hope!
KC Luck: Yeah. I like to think people would come together/work together to overcome but I might be wrong.
Reader 2: your characters had the perfect mix of strength, medical knowledge and brains.
KC Luck: Thanks!
It was fun to decide who would make a good team. What they would bring to the group sort of thing.
Reader 1: I do hope in the rest of the story Anna thinks a little bit more before rushing to help others so Taylor doesn't have to keep getting so banged up all the time.
Cara Malone: And goldies! When they first got back to the farm and Lexi was thinking, this isn’t right, I was on the edge of my seat. Did anyone else get Homeward Bound vibes?
KC Luck: LOL. She does that a lot, doesn't she?
Had to include some animals. Love animals.
Reader 2: I certainly did!
Animals always seem to ground people.
KC Luck: Yes
I include more dogs and add horses to the next books.
Reader 1: For my "me" question this time, Artificial Intelligence is starting to advance at an amazing rate. They have AI that has learned to draw to a limited degree, but they are also teaching AI to create music and to write books. I was wondering what you think of this advance in technology. Is it something you would ever take advantage of yourself?
KC Luck: Honest answer. I've never really spent time thinking about how AI advances will impact my world. I take technology for granted and just assume things will continue to be faster, smarter, lighter, etc.
I have Alexa and my lights and such all work on voice commands, so I think I would embrace AI if it became mainstream.
Maybe if I can find some AI to write my book blurbs, I'd buy that!
Cara Malone: Whoever invents that will be an overnight billionaire
KC Luck: For sure!
Cara Malone: Do you have an apocalypse plan for real life?
KC Luck: When I wrote the book, I did. I was a huge prepper for about a decade, but then I had a major life change that made me scale it way back. I have a bug-out bag and enough food in my apartment to last a couple of months, but before I had provisions for a year, plus trade goods, etc.
Cara Malone: Oh wow, nice. I’m sure that made the survival aspects of the series much easier to write!
Reader 2: I just watched 5 days at Memorial about the crisis after hurricane Katrina. They didnt have an apocalypse plan and wasn’t a good outcome there.
KC Luck: Yeah, that was an eye-opener for a lot of people. The forest fires also have people rethinking evacuation plans and stuff.
Writing the survival parts of the story was a lot of fun. A nice mental exercise of "what would I do if" and then having my characters react.
Reader 2: Since the fires last year, i have a bug-out bag that includes all my essential and one for my dog.
Cara Malone: My rabbits are more prepared for emergencies than me - priorities
KC Luck: I have to admit I was so into prepping that I shut off the power to my house for a weekend to see what I would be missing in that scenario. I loved it, but it was not popular. LOL. Another reason I'm single.
Reader 2: That would definitely test a partners devotion.
Cara Malone: I would immediately be upset at how hard it is to read by candlelight… provided I didn’t have bigger things to worry about
KC Luck: It is hard to read by candlelight! And so dangerous. Fire is a big post-apocalypse problem.
Cara Malone: Where are some places you look for inspiration when you’re plotting a new book?
KC Luck: I love to go on a road trip actually. I think in the car. And then the beach seems to help me channel ideas. In fact, this next weekend I have a couple of nights booked over at the coast because I am brainstorming a new book.
Cara Malone: That sounds ideal
KC Luck: Yeah, about a four-hour drive to get there and then it's right on the beach. Should do the trick.
Reader 3: I just want to say I love your books KC!
KC Luck: Thank you!
Reader 2: What is your writing process? Do you have an outline of the chapters and progress that way or do you just start writing and collate the ideas later?
Reader 4: Do you ever have a story not go the way you planned on it going?
KC Luck: I am a planner. I like to have at least a rough outline and an ending in mind before I start. I try to keep a structure to the story (three acts sort of thing). And I track each chapter on a spreadsheet - what day it is, characters in it, etc.
Hi, [Reader 4]! Yes I have in midway points but the endings are usually what I have in mind from the beginning.
Cara Malone: Not asking for a spoiler, just curious - do you know how your Darkness series is going to end?
Reader 4: What's the most unusual occupation you've given a character?
KC Luck: Yes, in a general sense although I have no idea how many books it will take to get there.
Reader 1: Can this fortune tell tell you how many books it will be?
KC Luck: She probably could!
Reader 4: I think I need to start reading this series
KC Luck: It's a fun series. And on audio too.
Cara Malone: I couldn’t put book 1 down - definitely gotta start on book 2 soon
Thank you for saying so.
Reader 4: I love listening to books
KC Luck: Violet Dixon does the narration and she did a great job.
Reader 4: Have you ever thought of making a character an author in one of your books?
Reader 2: I love audiobooks also but when I’m reading and fall asleep at least i have the place i had read to. With audio it goes on whether I’m asleep or awake. Bummer trying to find where i was before i lost consciousness.
Cara Malone: I can only do nonfiction audiobooks - I listen mostly when I’m driving and I’m just too distracted to catch the nuances in fiction
Reader 2: I belong to a neuroscience book group. I listen to the books on audio in my car or bike. This is so I don’t fall as;eep.
Cara Malone: Haha I was about to say ooh, that sounds interesting, but maybe not based on your listening strategies
KC Luck: Oh, I have! Lexi is an author in the Darkness series.
I have the same problem with audiobooks! I have to be doing something while I listen or I fall asleep.
Reader 4: [Reader 2] I hear you I've had that happen once or twice
Cara Malone: We are at the top of the hour, does anyone have any more questions for KC?
And KC, any questions for us? Or recommendations on where in your catalog to head next?
Reader 4: Is it weird to write about an author while your writing the story?
Thanks KC for being here
KC Luck: This has been fun! And I understandably recommend the other books in the series. I add new characters in every book as well as keep the original four. Gets a little crazy, but fun to read!
Have a great rest of your day, everyone! Thanks again for having me here. I'd be happy to come back anytime.
Cara Malone: Thanks for joining us!
Reader 4: Thanks Cara and KC
Reader 2: I have enjoyed your other books outside Darkness and thanks for spending the hour with us.
KC Luck: Thank you!
Cara Malone: If you all want to nominate an author for next month, I’ll post the poll tomorrow. Here’s our list of past chats so you can see who we’ve already talked to: https://sapphficbookclub.com/about
Reader 1: Take care.