Sunrise, Sunset…

(and by that I mean the actual time the sun rises and sets, not the song from Fiddler on the Roof, which is a fine song, but only when sung by Zero Mostel in the original Broadway production)

I’ve touched on this before, because daytime vs. nighttime is very important when a subset of characters WILL DIE in the deathgiving rays of the sun. (Also, you’ve got characters like Miss Takeda, who says things like “Sunset is at 1942 tomorrow evening. I will pick you up at your apartment at 2000.” And she’s very punctual…).

The reason I’m giving this thought right now is because I’ve decided to change the date of when Blood for Blood takes place. Originally it was in April, about three and a half months after the events of Bandit’s Moon. Now it’s in August.

Why?

Well, as you might recall, Bandit’s Moon was pretty dark, and it took Charlie Welles to a VERY dark place. He’s killed in self-defense. He’s killed for revenge and justice. But in Bandit’s Moon, he acts, for all intents and purposes, as an assassin. And it was bound to affect him, even four months later.

When thinking about Blood for Blood over the past month or so, I gave it a fair amount of thought.

Ignore it? Sure, that’s the easiest way to go. In fact, that’s the way it ran in the first version that I’m rewriting. Suck it up and drive on. But the more I thought about it, the more I felt like that was doing a disservice to the Welles character. That he could just let that kind of thing roll off of him.

Of course, the other obvious option would be to have it haunting him, but let’s get real –  who the hell wants to read about his angst. Maybe he could tear up every now and then, or start spending time with a shrink talking about his feelings. Wouldn’t that be a great addition to the story.

Or I could just work it in somehow, but it would be a balancing act to keep it from being maudlin and putting the brakes on the forward momentum of the story. Because, in the end, I do have a story to tell and Charlie Welles, the Emo Detective, is not that story.

So I decided to take the coward’s way out, and will just put some time between the end of Bandit’s Moon and the beginning of Blood for Blood. I will probably still address the situation at one point or another, but it won’t be as raw for Welles.

But there’s another reason.

The world of Night and Day is changing. The “war” (such as it was) ended six years ago. Humans came out of the internment camps almost four years ago. Two years ago, was Night and Day, and thing were still pretty rough between humans and vampires.

Now, it’s different. Pendants are falling out of favor. Humans are no longer looked at as “property” by their vampire employers. The police department is integrating. Chief Northport, a human, is running police operations. And there are further changes still to come (and actually, some of those changes will have an impact on the next book, Crimson Star).

For that reason, a little more time needs to elapse since last we visited the world of Night and Day. Not years, because the snowball is picking up speed as it rolls down the hill, but a few more months. That should set things up nicely for the next book.

And finally, to wrestle it all back to where I started, the time of sunrise and sunset between April and August is noticeable, though not enormous. Days are about 15 minutes longer, plus or minus a few minutes. (and if you were wondering, I use Birmingham AL for sunrise/sunset in No Name City. I could use Atlanta, or Chattanooga or maybe even Columbia SC, since all are roughly in the area of No Name City, but I go with Birmingham because, hey, that’s where I live.)

In any case, the days are a little longer, the nights are a little shorter, and Miss Takeda will have to just hang out at home and polish her sword till the sun goes down…

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