A local author has rewritten one of his novels as the book’s themes become more relevant, he siad.
Author and DeForest Area High School graduate Darin Preston said his novel, “Sequence 77,” was originally published in 2011. It takes place across a number of decades spanning the 20th and 21st centuries and said the story has become more relevant since it first debuted.
The book incorporates themes of redemption when a scientist discovers he unwittingly partook in experiments under Nazi Germany. Preston, a 1992 DAHS graduate, was scant on plot points but said the intricate story takes readers on a journey that can be related to today’s heightened fears of outsiders and increased levels of xenophobia.
“It’s a hard one to sum up without spoiling,” Preston said. “It addresses some of the biggest issues we have in the world, especially our country. At the time I wrote it I thought there were things going on that would pertain to it… but now more so than ever.
“It’s intended to get people to think rather than preach at them,” he added.
Settings of the novel include Madison, the FBI Academy in Quantico, and during World War Two. Preston said he researched each setting to assure accuracy and immersion.
“Sequence 77” was Preston’s first novel. Now with three titles in print, Preston said he has subsequently grown as a writer. He took nearly a year rework the story and improve the quality of his writing “voice.”
“I made it more my own,” Preston said.
The process included a new configuration of chapters and paragraph structure, Preston said, although the overarching plot points have remained consistent. He’s also included new illustrations and the cover art was created by his nephew.
Preston said another DAHS graduate, Jean Turman, played an integral role in getting his books out on the market through her publishing company Lucid Style. She and others assisted in editing “Sequence 77.”
The concept for the novel originally came to Preston when he was just a teenager. The story remained with him for quite some time until he finally decided to give it life on paper. So when he finally set out to pen it, Preston said the words came flowing out.
“When I sat down and actually wrote it, I had it written in six months,” Preston said. “My editor could barely keep up with me. She’d say something simple like, ‘I want to know more about this guy,’ and then I’d send her four chapters.”
Preston lives in Fond du Lac and is a school psychologist for the New Holstein School District. He started writing in college when professors influenced him to take up the craft.
Along with “Sequence 77,” Preston has written two other novels – last year’s “Benchley” and 2014’s “Sheldon’s Song” prior to that.
He doesn’t plan to strike it big as an author, nor does he plan to link up with a major publishing house.
Preston writes because his vivid imagination conjures up stories that refuse to subside, he said, until he fleshes them out in his novels. His influences are wide-ranging, including major names like John Steinbeck and Steven King.
“You think, ‘I’m going to be a joke,’ because they’re obviously masters of their craft,” Preston told the DeForest Times-Tribune when “Benchley” was published last year. “Most people aren’t masters of their craft – they just have a story to tell.”
In the end, Preston said he’s pleased with the new iteration of the story
“It was a project that you wouldn’t think it would take a year to do,” Preston said. “…It took quite a while and I’m just happy with how it turned out.”
Preston’s books can be purchased through Amazon.com.