Hello everyone and welcome to my stop on the Escapist Book Co. virtual book tour for Sev Romero’s Sci-Fi/Dystopian/Thriller novel Hello Darkness! Today, I am excited to help kickoff the tour by sharing an interview with the main character from the book, Rye!
You can find our Q&A below, along with all of the info about the book, the author, and links to purchase a copy of Hello Darkness for yourself! Also, be sure to take a look at the schedule here or at the top of the post and follow along to see the stops from our other awesome hosts!
Hello Darkness by Sev Romero
Intended Age Group: Adult
Published: October 12, 2022
Publisher: Loud Minds Press (Self Published)
We all carry the insidious disorder—a ticking time bomb that can explode at any moment with murderous consequences.
There are no answers, no cure, and seemingly no hope.
Rye Thorburn is a member of a rapid response team that scouts the night skies and responds to each frightening outbreak, confronting its violent perpetrators in a deadly game of cat and mouse. For Rye, it’s more than a job—it’s his refuge from his conscience.
Faced with this unprecedented threat, society has become an enclave of autocratic leaders, invasive high-tech security, corporate propaganda, and a populace sick with fear and suspicion.
However, all is not what it seems. Rye and his colleague Kate Mbachi become entangled in a conspiracy that involves a ruthless scientist and powerful hidden forces that thrive from suffering.
Can Rye overcome his demons to expose the horrifying truth before all is lost?
Hello Darkness is a pulsating dystopian thriller, set in the near-future. Readers who love the grim, gripping worlds of Cormac McCarthy, Emily St. John Mandel and Margaret Atwood will be swept away by this heart-racing novel.
Orwell meets The Last of Us • Sometimes the Difference Between Life and Death is a Pair of Nail Scissors • They’re Not Zombies!
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/hello-darkness
Could you please introduce yourself to our readers?
Hey, my name is Rye. I’m a father during the day to my 10yo Charlie, and by night I work with the Rapid Aerial Response Unit. Sure, responding to outbreaks of K2 is a dangerous job, and I’d like to say I do it because I’m trying to make a difference, but the truth is I like working under the shadow of night.
What music do you listen to?
Oh man, I used to listen to a bit of everything, but lately I’ve been trying to get into stuff that calms my mind, acoustic stuff like Bon Iver, or electro-ambient.
What are 3 items you can’t live without?
My car, it’s my refuge and the portal between my two lives. Second would be my coffee machine. I need that syntho-coffee pickup before work. Last one, I’m a little embarrassed to admit. It’s my handgun, though I never want to use it outside of work, not again anyway.
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what is one thing you’d like to have with you?
Easy, my son, Charlie.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
Arrogance. I have no time for it.
What do you do in your free time?
Hanging out with my son, which includes going to the park and watching old films with him. Lately, we’ve been watching old action actions films from the turn of the century. Also, every couple of weeks we walk Fel and Henry’s favourite hiking trail. It’s a nice thing to do in their memory, and it means a lot to Charlie. And me.
What makes you want to get out of bed in the morning?
Technically, I get out of bed in the afternoon to pick Charlie up from school and then to get ready for work. If it wasn’t for Charlie, I’m not sure if I’d want to get out of bed.
What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
My boss, Jess, once told me that if you keep looking back, you’ll never be ready for what’s coming.
What do you carry in your bag?
In my work backpack, I keep a first aid kit, a knife, and plenty of hand ties.
What’s your favorite animal?
Jess once said I was like an ostrich… so let’s go with that!
What do you think about [other MC(s)]?
Well, I’ve mentioned Jess a couple of times. She’s amazing, and both my mentor and rock. Then there’s Kate—she’s loud and opinionated, but I’ve really grown to like her. She sees through all the bullshit and, most of all, she’s a good person, a genuinely good person. I think I have feelings for her.
Then there is Dr Albrecht. Honestly, I find her intimidating. Scary even. And there’s a falseness there that gives me bad vibes. Not that I would dare cross her.
Oh, and I forgot to mention Avery, he’s an inquisitive old bastard at times, but he has a heart of gold and has helped me and Charlie a lot since… well, you know.
Do you have favorite saying?
‘It’ll be okay’. I have to keep telling myself this, not that I ever truly believe it. But I try.
What is your favorite holiday?
Holiday’s? Who would want to holiday these days? Way too dangerous, in my opinion. But when I think back before the pandemic struck everyone, Fel and I used to go to the coast, rent a cabin, and spend the weekend in bed, listening to the waves. Those were the days. How I miss her.
If you could go anywhere in [the book’s world], where would you go and why?
Back in time. Back to when Fel and little Henry were alive. Before the world turned to shit, because of K2.
What do you do to relax?
Relax? I hardly know what that is. I’m trying though. Listening to music I guess. Maybe it’s work? Funny thing is, that’s where I feel least anxious.
What is your favorite food?
Fel’s Bolognese. I miss it.
What is your favorite season?
Summer’s are getting unbearable. Spring used to be my favourite season, but not anymore. So I guess it’s cold, dark, winter.
How would you define happiness?
What are you passionate about?
I used to be passionate about a lot of things. The environment, equality… these days, I don’t think I can anymore. Why bother? Then again, perhaps Kate is right that I need to stand for something. Like I used to.
How do you feel about your government?
They’re bastards. They’re in it for themselves and no one else. But we’re stuck with them, I guess. Ah, please don’t use that. Technically, I’m a government employee and it wouldn’t look good for me rubbishing them. Last thing I want is my captain, or that weasel from the Premier’s office on my case.
If you could change one thing about [the book’s world], what would it be?
Find a cure for K2 – to get rid of the disease. And to create a future for the young again.
What’s your biggest secret?
Well… you see… no, it hurts too much. I don’t want to talk about it.
What do you hate?
K2. It has taken everything from me.
What’s your biggest fear?
I fear for Charlie’s future.
What do you think your best quality is?
I’m good at my job. These days, that’s probably the only good quality I have left.
How would you describe the world you live in?
Like a train that is slowly heading off the side of a cliff. And there doesn’t seem to be a damn thing we can do about it. Or is there?
About the Author
Sev Romero is a writer based on Ngunnawal Country (Canberra, Australia). Sev enjoys writing dark speculative fiction novels and short stories that hold a mirror up to today’s world. These tales feature gripping plots, authentic characters, and a healthy dose of social commentary and dark humour.