I was faced with a quandary yesterday when I had to write the synopsis for ‘BEFORE HIS TIME’, the sequel to ‘ABOVE HIS STATION‘, in that I really wanted to give readers a glimpse of what they can expect from the book, but at the same time I wanted to make sure nothing was spoiled for anyone that hadn’t read AHS. It was a difficult balance, because who do I focus on? Do I focus only on those people that have read AHS and write the blurb on the understanding that they know what happened at the end? Or do I write it designed for new readers picking up the book for the first time – but then, why would they pick up Book 2 of a trilogy without having read Book 1?
Some readers have suggested that even the blurb to AHS gives too much away, and readers should just dive into it and follow the journey of the Station Guard and the rat. I would love to be in a position where I was successful enough for readers to go out and buy ‘the new Darren Craske book‘ without needing to know what it’s about, but at the same time, as an author writing a synopsis is a lot of fun. Or at least I think so. Some authors dread writing it, but for me I always treat it as an exercise in plot retention. If I cannot describe, or give sufficient hints, what my book is about in 200 words or less, maybe that means my plot is too confusing, or too much happens, or I haven’t got to grips with the story enough.
It’s impossible to describe everything that happens in a book in its synopsis – you might as well just read the bloody thing. But it’s got a double function. It must serve as a teaser (without being a spoiler) for existing readers, but at the same time it must be open enough to entice new readers. It’s a lot harder with a trilogy or a series, to maintain the level of surprise for the reader. But at the same time they also need to know whether the story is in the same vein as the first one, or if it’s a radical shift in the foundations, or if it’s any good or not.
Well, from my point of view, ABOVE HIS STATION is one of my favourite books – and not just out of the ones that I have written either – which sounds very egotistical maybe, but I think that even if I hadn’t written it, I would still have bought it and loved it. So that’s not egotism at all, is it? It’s actually something a lot like pride in your own work and confidence in your abilities. And because AHS is one of my favourites I needed to make sure that BEFORE HIS TIME was just as good. It is, I hope. And I also hope that everyone that read AHS and just switched off their brains and let the story take them on a journey – as bonkers as it was – will see that BHT shares the same DNA.
BEFORE HIS TIME will be released in December 2012, and below is that synopsis that I spent so much time on.
The eagerly awaited sequel to ‘ABOVE HIS STATION’…
The rat is back! And so is the Station Guard in a pulse-pounding, consciousness-expanding, mind-bending, side-splitting adventure even more absurd that the last!!!
When the Station Guard found out that he wasn’t the last human being on Earth after all, his spirits naturally took flight…until he realised that he’d have to travel all the way to Switzerland to seek out the rest of his species and it’s ruddy cold there this time of year.
After a quick stop at Marks & Spencer to pick up some last minute essentials, the Guard and his rodent companion – aided by Astrid the articulate reticulated python – journey to a remote United Nations outpost in the Schöllenboden region.
But maybe Astrid’s calculations were a bit off…
And maybe they might not be where – or when – they thought they were…
And if they’re not careful maybe they might sort of accidentally end up triggering events that could potentially obliterate everything that ever existed and everything that ever will.
On the plus side, the rat gets his leg over.
And here is the front cover to the book…………