Victoria: Who exactly is the omniscient narrator meant to represent?
That's a question with a few twists and turns I'll have to leave alone for those who haven't read the book... but basically the narrator is the town's Everyman. He's lived there, and died there, and seen it all.
Dave: How did you develop the concept of the October Boy himself?
I've always loved horror stories about scarecrows that come to life. I've been trying to write one for years. In fact, I wrote one novella called "Red Right Hand" several years ago that involved a gang of Depression-era bank robbers who come nose-to-nose with a scarecrow and some bad mojo in a cornfield -- but something else happened when I got to the part of the story where I expected the scarecrow to come down off the pole. And since that something was better for the story, I went in a different direction than I'd originally intended and figured I'd save my scarecrow story for another day.
When I got the idea for Dark Harvest, I knew it would be my scarecrow story. Kind of. Because the other thing every horror writer wants to do is create their very own monster, one that hasn't been seen before. That's what I did with the October Boy, and it's one of the things I liked best about crafting Dark Harvest. Sawtooth Jack is my guy, from his flaming pumpkin head right down to his twisted root feet. Making him up was a lot of fun.
Emily: Why are the boys starved before the Run?
I wanted the night of the Run to be a wild, anything-goes kind of thrill ride. Starving the boys was just a way of amping up their internal hunger -- both in their bellies and their souls. They're desperate. They want the October Boy so bad they can taste him, and since he's packed with candy that's a literal possibility.
* * *
Check back for Part 4 on Thursday, when we'll talk about questions and answers, and a writer's obligation to the reader when it comes to both. On Wednesday we'll have a little intermission and a surprise you may have anticipated if you've been paying attention. Tune on in!