Now that Darkness on the Edge of Town is out, I thought I’d take a moment to answer some of the more common questions I see at The Keenedom. That way, instead of re-typing my answers over and over again, I can simply point readers to this Blog. Please note: If you have not read DotEoT, the following F.A.Q. may contain spoilers.
Q: Does DotEoT take place in the same reality as Ghost Walk?
A: No. In Ghost Walk, Levi defeated Nodens, sent him scurrying back into the Labyrinth, and then sealed the gate behind him. DotEoT takes place in a world where Levi lost that fight.
Q: How much difference is there between the limited edition hardcover and the paperback?
A: The hardcover is 60,000 words long. The paperback is 80,000 words long. This means that 20,000 words of extra story were added to the paperback. Scenes like the trip to the pet store did not appear in the hardcover, because I had originally cut them due to length considerations. Several characters who played merely a walk-on role in the hardcover are expanded upon in the paperback. There are subtle differences in the ending that take on a whole new context (and if you read carefully, you’ll realize they are two different endings). Ultimately, I consider the hardcover and the paperback to be two different stories taking place in two different universes. Both have a subtle but important impact on my overall background mythos.
Q: Was this a homage to The Mist?
A: Not a homage in the way Castaways was a homage to Richard Laymon or Urban Gothic was a homage to Edward Lee, but DotEoT was certainly influenced by The Mist, and the novel proudly wears that influence on its sleeve. The Mist is one of the most important works of horror fiction in the last fifty years, and remains one of my personal favorites (it also influenced The Conqueror Worms).
Q: Who stole all the shaving cream?
A: We may never know.
Q: Dez mentions that he and the alternate-reality Levi fought Meeble. Will we ever see this battle?
A: I don’t know yet. But you will see Levi take on Meeble (or at least his minions) in this summer’s A Gathering of Crows.
Q: Plot-wise, DotEoT seems similar to Under the Dome?
A: In the sense that people are trapped inside a small-town, yes. But both are riffs on a much older theme, and DotEoT was published (in hardcover) a full year before Dome.