Lucy Christopher, Kat Ellis, Rhian Ivory
This was a lovely project to be involved with. Here my novella, THE DARKNESS, is part of a collection of three darker themed YA novellas, together with authors Kat Ellis and Rhian Ivory. It’s quite long for a novella at about 32, 000 words. I even toyed with the idea of making it a whole novel by itself.
This is what my publishers, Firefly, say about this book - Three Strikes is a collection of three dark novellas from three star YA authors: The Darkness - Lucy Christopher: Kasha has answered the advert for The Tribe. Now she sits writing alone in the darkness of the jungle. Is she the only one left? Then she spots a red light blinking at her from the darkness. Cat’s eyes? A camera? The Twins of Blackfin - Kat Ellis: Every evening Bo visits her best friend Sky s grave. One night she hears a girl s voice. Following it leads her to a journal and a crypt. Matchgirl - Rhian Ivory: A modern YA retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Match Girl. Busking, runaway Nia is mugged and left badly hurt in a tunnel. All she has is three matches, and she starts seeing pictures in the light... A story of grief, love and music.
I really love my story in this collection. In some ways, I think it’s the best story I’ve written! I wrote this version of it very fast, over the course of one hot summer month. But that doesn’t mean this story was easy to write! I actually started it almost a decade before while on a trip to Cross River National Park in Nigeria. I wanted to write about a reality show going wrong; I wanted to talk about the dynamics of troubled teenagers dealing with this. I also wanted to explore another story: a teenage girl’s grief, confusion and guilt over the death of her mother. I wanted to do all this with the backdrop of the most amazing natural environment - the rainforest of Nigeria. I think I sat on this story for so long because I didn’t know how to tell it; I also didn’t feel like I knew this environment well enough for the story I originally wanted to write. When I found the trip journal device, together with Kasha’s voice, the story suddenly was released in a torrent of words and emotions.
"The Darkness' by Lucy Christopher is such a beautiful story - mysterious, exciting, deeply emotional and with a rare spiritual depth. It stays in the mind like a prayer."
"A raw tale, reminiscent of Black Mirror, with compelling characters stranded in a stark landscape, all bound together in gritty, gripping writing."
"YA as it should be - dangerous, dark and daring. I loved it."