Saturday, January 12, 2008

Kyle Mills' "Darkness Falls"

Kyle Mills is the New York Times bestselling author of nine books, including his award-winning The Second Horseman. Growing up in Oregon as a Bureau Kid, Kyle absorbed an enormous amount of information about the FBI, which he incorporates into his novels.

He applied the "Page 99 Test" to his latest novel Darkness Falls, and reported the following:
I had no idea that Ford Madox Ford ever said such a thing. I’ll keep that in mind while I’m writing my next book.

In Darkness Falls, page 99 is actually only a half page — the beginning of chapter fourteen. In it, one of my protagonists is attending an extremely uncomfortable meeting in which the President discovers that a number of oil fields have been attacked with a biological weapon.

So, by a wild stroke of luck, this page represents my book pretty well. Darkness Falls is constructed around the possibility that someone could use one of nature’s many hydrocarbon-eating bacteria to wipe out the world’s oil supply.

What page 99 only gives the reader a glimpse of, though, is the chaos that would ensue if someone actually attempted this. In the United States, we rely on oil for virtually everything: food, transportation, medicine, heat. Many of us live in large, densely populated cities that must be constantly supplied from the outside. And almost none of us have the kind of survival skills that someone a hundred years ago would have taken for granted.

It’s a frightening thing to think about. What would you do if grocery stores were suddenly empty? If your power went out indefinitely? If everyone around you was suddenly cold, hungry, and willing to do anything to survive?
Read excerpts from Darkness Falls and learn more about the author and his work at the blog and official website of Kyle Mills.

--Marshal Zeringue