A Dystopian Setting—Deep In the Heart of Texas by Vannetta Chapman
Deep Shadows is the first book in my upcoming Remnant Series. It’s a dystopian Christian fiction novel, and instead of using a fictional setting I decided to use the area I know best—central Texas.
So what is dystopian fiction? At it’s core this type of story deals with a major shift in society—a plague or a global natural disaster or a man-caused universal change across the breadth of society. In Deep Shadows, a solar flare causes a disruption in all things electrical for the foreseeable future.
Yikes! No cell phones or a/c or television? No internet? I know. It’s a horrible thing to imagine. I had a lot of fun with it because I love torturing my characters and seeing if they are strong enough, smart enough, faithful enough to survive.
But it’s not all fiction.
· Gorman Falls and Colorado Bend State Park do actually exist, and it provides a dramatic, remote setting for the opening scene of Deep Shadows.
· Fort Hood is located in central Texas and is one of the largest US military installations in the world. The close proximity of this base provides a nice tension to my plot.
· There is no town called Fort Croghan; however, the US government established Fort Croghan in 1849 to protect settlers from hostile Indians along the Texas frontier. You can still visit the grounds and museum. I had a lot of fun imagining that a town had grown up around this historic site.
· Townsend Mills was established in 1856 and was a base camp for surveying crews. It no longer exists today but the small town Adamsville is located near the old site. Townsend Mills provides a nice transition from small town living to a life spent hunkering down on the farm, waiting for things to improve.
· There are more than 2900 natural springs in 183 Texas counties. Water quickly becomes a scarce resource in Deep Shadows, which would especially be true in central Texas where much of the area is exceedingly dry. In my story, any place with a water resource becomes a place of refuge as well as a designated target for those in need of that resource.
While I enjoyed using real places, the main setting—Abney, Texas—does not exist. I could not bear to destroy a town that I know and love, so instead I used a compilation of several towns in central Texas.
Deep Shadows is a story about relationships and how they survive or crumble when what we’ve feared, as a society, occurs. It’s also a story of faith and hope. What do I hope readers take away from this story? The assurance that God’s grace is always sufficient. Take the worst scenario that you can imagine, and you can still count on our Heavenly Father—maybe not to make things instantly better, but to lead, guide, and care for us regardless the circumstances.
Back cover blurb: All It Takes Is One Night to Plunge the World into Darkness
Life in Abney, Texas, is predictable and safe–until the night a massive solar flare wipes out all modern technology.
Shelby Sparks, novelist and single mom, had one goal: to provide for her diabetic son. In the wake of this global disaster, her mission hasn’t changed. Only now, medication is a priceless commodity and the future resembles an apocalyptic nightmare.
Max Berkman and Shelby were once sweethearts, but he lost his chance at claiming her love years ago. When the abrupt loss of power ushers him into a leadership role, he rises to the occasion. But his highest priority–to keep Shelby and her son safe–could prove to be the biggest challenge of all.
As the brilliant northern lights give way to deep shadows, Max and Shelby’s faith will be tested like never before. Only one rule remains: Find a way to survive.
In this first book in an eerily plausible dystopian series, a memorable cast of characters must navigate a familiar world thrown into chaos.
BIO: Vannetta Chapman writes inspirational fiction full of grace, including romantic suspense and Amish romance novels. She is the author of seventeen novels, including the Pebble Creek Amish series, The Shipshewana Amish Mystery series and Anna’s Healing, a 2016 Christy Award finalist. Vannetta is a Carol award winner and also received more than two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She was a teacher for 15 years and currently resides in the Texas hill country. For more information, visit her at
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