That First Hour by Kody Boye is a literary preview trailer for his new book series, When They Came. Described as a prequel, this short story has action and drama mixed with science fiction on every page...a great way to draw readers into this new universe crafted by Boye. Through the eyes of Jason Parks, an eleven year old running from a waking nightmare, we are introduced to an alien species that breaks away from the traditional black-eyed, grey creatures. The invasion is so brutal and abrupt, I can't imagine how the survivors are going to last through the first night, but Boye's series is to take place six years after this story.
Perhaps we will never find out what happens to Jason, but I am looking forward to this series. Kody Boye has always found ways to twist and expand various genres with his previous novels, so I am certain both science fiction and horror fans will enjoy his latest creation.
I asked the author to stop by the Lair and answer a few questions...
Q. How did you get into writing?
A: I started writing when I was seven years old, after a teacher assigned a creative writing assignment to my then second-grade class. Though I’ve been hooked since, I officially decided to pursue writing as a career after reading Stephen King’s Bag of Bones, then after stumbling across the now-defunct Permuted Press message board back in 2006 (when I was fourteen.)
Q. Who or what has influenced you over the years?
A: Writers such as Tamora Pierce and J.K. Rowling fostered my love for fantasy and inspired me to write in those genres when I was first beginning to write. It wasn’t until I was around thirteen that I began reading Stephen King’s work (most specifically, Bag of Bones.) I credit King for my willingness to pursue writing as something more than just a hobby.
Q. Where did the idea for this new series come from?
A: The idea for the When They Came trilogy was initially inspired by a short story I wrote called Animals. Though the characters from that short never appear in the novel, the first line of When They Came (the first novel in the trilogy) entered my mind on the night I was preparing to move from Austin, Texas to Fort Worth in 2015. I’m often struck by opening lines and simply expand upon them from there (thus how When They Came and its subsequent sequels was born.)
Q. Is it difficult for you to switch between the different genres for each of your series?
A: I’d say switching tenses is usually more difficult than switching genres. When a story strikes me, it consumes that creative sector of my brain. World-building comes naturally, as do the characters that thrive within them. So no: I would say switching genres isn’t as difficult as maintaining a proper tense/point-of-view when starting a new project.
Q. What can readers expect from the When They Came series?
A: When They Came tells the story of seventeen-year-old Ana Mia Sophia Berrios who, as she comes of age, faces the grim reality that the community she lives within needs protection from Them—the alien creatures who invaded her world six years prior. As such, she decides to join the Midnight Guard—a civilian-run organization who protects the walls from an alien species known as Coyotes (basically: the ground troops of the alien movement.)
The novel, while young adult in scope, is very much a coming-of-age story in a dystopian landscape, and heavily features themes such as loss, recovery, and the conquest over obstacles in a world that seems unwilling or unable to be changed. In the end, it’s a science-fiction horror crossover which I feel fans of traditional alien invasion stories will enjoy.
Thanks for stopping by, Kody!