Freshman Alexa Turczynski’s novel Whispers of Nightfall is scheduled for publication in bookstores on June 5. Turczynski began the writing process for the novel at the age of 15 in her sophomore year of high school.
“I suppose one of my influences was Christopher Paolini who wrote the Inheritance Cycle,” Turczynski said. “He was about my age when he started writing, so that encouraged me.”
The story is that of a 16-year-old girl named Lauria and her narrative counterpart Jestun, a felled soldier who must battle with creatures of darkness (in a very literal sense) in the fictional universe of Austurea.
The story begins, as described on the back of the book, with Lauria witnessing “a strange raindrop [which] changes her world forever. It bursts forth into a vortex of light and sound and releases a creature of unnatural beauty and power who tells her there is a task she must complete.”
The two central characters’ respective story arcs are brought closer by their independent struggles, because they are two people bound by their common affiliation with the power of Light. Predominant themes in the novel are those of the conflict between light and darkness (personified as literal beings known as Light and Dark), and that of family. Lauria attempts to understand and come to terms with the struggles in her own family while Jestun searches for his family’s history. Turczynski described the novel as being about “the search for goodness in the midst of an evil world.”
Whispers of Nightfall is the first in a four-part series written by Turczynski, all four contributing to a single large story arc. As of now, parts two and three of the series have been completed, and she has begun writing the fourth and final installment.
“The ending is basically worked out,” she said, when asked whether she had the entire series’ plot outlined.
Though the genre of the novel is that of fantasy-adventure, Turczynski said that she was influenced by great classical writers such as “Shakespeare, Dickens [and] Austen, as well as a lot of original medieval history documents.”
After being rejected by two publishers, Turczynski said she “kind of stopped looking for a while until one day I discovered Tate Publishing online. Submission of manuscripts was really simple, so I sent them one chapter electronically.”
Shortly after she submitted the single chapter, and subsequently the entire manuscript, Tate Publishing sought a deal for the book, which she accepted. Turczynski has not declared a major, but plans to major in English. Whispers of Nightfall is available now at Tate Publishing’s website or through Turczynski personally.