When I was little, one of my best friends was a boy who lived down the street from me. We spent hours together climbing in apricot trees, playing soccer, and letting our imaginations run wild. He was mischievous, always looking for ways to tease me—or trying to trick me into kissing him. However, in the second grade, his family moved across the country and we parted ways.
Several years later, I’d all but forgotten about my old friend when I walked into my ninth-grade history class, and was shocked to find a new guy sitting in the seat behind mine. In my quiet suburban neighborhood, this guy looked like Breetrouble with his long hair and torn clothes. I couldn’t see his face, and the idea of sitting near him made me nervous. I took my seat, reassuring myself that if I didn’t bother him, he wouldn’t bother me.
Except, the second I sat down, he started hassling me with obnoxious questions about my life. After I’d had enough, I turned around and snapped, “Who the hell do you think you are?”
He looked up at me and said, “So you don’t recognize me, then?”
I looked at his eyes—the only thing still recognizable about him—and gasped. This frightening boy was my old best friend. I was so shocked; all I could say to him was his name before our teacher started class.
And that’s all I ever I got to say to him . . . because he got kicked out of class before it was over, and ultimately was expelled from school by the end of the day.
I never saw him again.
For years, this memory haunted me. I wondered what had happened to my old friend to change him so much. I wondered what might have happened to him, to me, to us, if he hadn’t disappeared again. Could I have helped him somehow?
But eventually, the memory faded away.
Several years passed again. I was out of college and pursuing my dream to become an author, when one dark January night, I was driving down the street and suddenly remembered that encounter with my old friend. I looked up at a billboard while at a stoplight, and a conversation between a brother and sister started in my head. They were discussing a former friend who had suddenly returned to town. “He’s dangerous,” the brother warned his sister. “He’s not the person he used to be. You have to stay away from him.”
I didn’t know who this brother and sister were, but I couldn’t stop thinking about their conversation. I was extremely curious about their friend who had disappeared and why he’d come back, so I started writing about them that night. The memory of seeing my own old friend again became the first scene in a book, and the conversation between the brother and the sister became the third scene. I’d never felt so much passion for a set of characters before, and I knew that I had to write their story. I kept on writing, and that story became The Dark Divine—the first novel in the Dark Divine trilogy.
The response to The Dark Divine has already been amazing, and now I’m pleased that this special promotion will spread the story to even more readers. I hope you’ll take advantage of it, read TDD, and then share it with your friends.
- Bree Despain
ALERT: Today is the launch of the paperback version of The Dark Divine and during the month of December we will be bringing you excerpts of Despain’s next novel, The Lost Saint, which will be released on December 28th!