Tuesday, July 13, 2021

If the book If Darkness Takes Us by Brenda Marie Smith was made into a TV series...


Post-apocalyptic science fiction often makes for a great screen time. And many authors dream of seeing their work played out on the screen. Today, author Brenda Marie Smith tells us about hers. You can also read an excerpt of the book before you download your own copy. Be sure to follow the tour for even more. Best of luck in the giveaway!

In suburban Austin, Texas, Bea Crenshaw secretly prepares for apocalypse, but when a solar pulse destroys modern life, she’s left alone with four grandkids whose parents don’t return home. She must teach these kids to survive without power, cars, phones, running water, or doctors in a world fraught with increasing danger. And deciding whether or not to share food with her starving neighbors puts her morality to the test.

If Darkness Takes Us is realistic post-apocalyptic science-fiction that focuses on a family in peril, led by a no-nonsense grandmother who is at once funny, controlling, and heroic in her struggle to hold her family together with civility and heart.

The book is available now. Its sequel, If the Light Escapes, is told in the voice of Bea’s eighteen-year-old grandson, Keno Simms, and will be released by SFK Press on August 24, 2021.

“Bea Crenshaw is one of the most unique characters in modern literature—a kick-ass Grandma who is at once tough and vulnerable, and well-prepared to shepherd her extended family through an EMP disaster, or so she thinks."
—Laura Creedle, Award-winning Author of The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily

"There is real, identifiable humanity, subtle and sweet and sad, and events utterly shattering in their intensity."

—Pinckney Benedict, Author of Dogs of God, Miracle Boy, and more

Read an excerpt:

Through the upstairs window, we watched a fire burning yellow along the western horizon. It didn’t look like a huge conflagration, but this drought-ridden place was a tinderbox.

“Um, kids. That’s more than a fire over there. There’s a yellow glow behind it, all the way across...”

Keno and Tasha crowded up next to me at the window, making anxious sounds in their throats. We ran to the front window and saw the same glow to the north…

“What is that?” I asked, though my breath had left me. “It’s how I always imagined the northern lights would look...”

… “It could be a glow from a geomagnetic storm,” Keno said...

I whirled around to face him. “What do you mean?”

“Back in the 1800s, the sun took out all the telegraph lines once... The sky all over the planet lit up with colors, like the strongest Northern Lights ever seen, except it was in Australia, too... This doesn’t seem as strong as that. There aren’t bright colors all over the sky, right?”

“Good… Good,” I said, releasing a breath. I hugged Tasha hard. “Don’t worry.” I was trying to be comforting, though I needed comfort myself. I pulled a chair in front of the big front window and sat down to study the yellow glow that rose and fell as though it was breathing. The kids stood watching with me, all of us seeming to breathe in time with the undulations of the glowing pulses of light.

Buy Links

Amazon * BN * BookPeople Austin 

(affiliate link included)

If I could be lucky enough to have my book, If Darkness Takes Us, made into a television series…

First of all, my husband would be ecstatic if I were to sell movie or series rights to any of my books. “I could retire,” he says, and he really needs to retire. Happy retired husband, happy writer wife.

I’m not sure the book would fit into a movie and, since the sequel, If the Light Escapes, comes out this August, and I have a third book in the works, then a television series, in my mind, is definitely the way to go. The first two books alone should be good for two, three, even four seasons. Some of the scenes I cut from the books for the sake of brevity could be added back if they’re needed.

Bea Crenshaw is the protagonist and hero of If Darkness, which takes place in Austin, Texas. She’s 70-years-old, smart, funny, a little too controlling, and she is fierce about protecting her grandchildren. She has to teach them to survive after a solar electromagnetic pulse fries the grid and also takes out the cars, phones, running water, and so much more. Sissy Spacek, of a similar age and also from Texas, would be perfect for the role of Bea. We’d better hurry up and make this series since old folks only get older. (I know this from experience.)

Jack Jeffers is an old flame of Bea’s. A retired manager of a grocery store, he’s the go-to guy in the neighborhood for wisdom and advice. Since Bea’s husband and grown kids don’t return home after the solar pulse, she is lonely, grieving, alone with four kids, and she increasingly turns to Jack as a trusted source of emotional support. Keith Carradine would be a really great Jack. He’s the same age as Sissy Spacek, and he currently plays a similar character in Fear the Walking Dead. Viggo Mortensen would also be good. He’s often undervalued, but he has range, and he’s only eight years younger than Jack’s character. Gives us more time to get the series made.

All four kids are forced to grow up fast in the story, and I’d like to see them played by fresh new faces: Tasha, 15, is pretty and buxom with long chestnut hair, and she chafes against her Nana’s rules. Milo, 12, has a blond mop of messy hair. He’s funny and gets in trouble by being oblivious. Mazie, 6, has blond, stringy hair, and is freaked out most by their situation. She squeals a lot at the beginning, but soon toughens up and becomes a source of good cheer.

Then there’s 17-year-old Keno, a snot-nosed science nerd who adores his grandmother and follows her example by taking care of his sister and cousins until he’s not so snot-nosed and nerdy anymore. And Keno goes on to become the married 18-year-old protagonist of the sequel, a guy who wears his heart on his sleeve and is trying hard to be a man. Whoever plays Keno needs to be a strong actor with the chops to continually grow and to show a wide array of emotion in his face and demeanor.

There are around twelve more important characters between the two books, and a couple of dozen secondary characters. It would be so much fun to choose the actors for all these roles, although I realize that, as the writer of the books that would be adapted by someone else, I would probably have zero control.

Still, I can dream, can’t I? And then I can get on with the serious business of deciding how to spend so much imaginary money.

Thank you so much for hosting me and my book on your blog. Please wish me luck on this endeavor of selling the books for a series. I guess this means I have to figure out how to offer them up for sale.

Brenda Marie Smith lived off the grid for many years in a farming collective where her sons were delivered by midwives. She’s been a community activist, managed student housing co-ops, produced concerts to raise money for causes, done massive quantities of bookkeeping, and raised a small herd of teenage boys.

Brenda is attracted to stories where everyday characters transcend their own limitations to find their inner heroism. She and her husband reside in a grid-connected, solar-powered home in South Austin, Texas. They have more grown kids and grandkids than they can count.

Her first novel, Something Radiates, is a paranormal romantic thriller; If Darkness Takes Us and its sequel, If the Light Escapes, are post-apocalyptic science fiction.

Social Media:

Website: https://brendamariesmith.com/

Twitter: @bsmithnovelist

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrendaMarieSmithAuthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brenda_marie_smith/

Brenda Marie Smithwill be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you so much for hosting me and my book at Andi's Book Reviews. I really appreciate the opportunity, and I look forward to chatting with your followers.

  2. Thanks so much for hosting me and my book on your blog. It's a real pleasure to be here, and I appreciate it.

  3. This is a great book. I’m excited for the sequel.­čśŐ

    1. Thank you, Branwen. Very kind of you to say. I'm also super excited for the sequel.

  4. You are a new author to me. I have to check out your book more closely. Best of luck with the tour.

    1. Thank you, Michele. Always happy to have people check out my books. I hope you decide to take a chance on it and that you love it.

  5. I love this genre and this story sounds like an excellent read. I am looking forward to it. Thank you for sharing the author's guest post and book details

  6. This book will sell based on the title alone. It had my attention before I read the first excerpt.

    1. Aww... Thank you, Dennis. I hope you get a chance to read the book.

  7. Sounds like a very good book.

  8. How does she know she should be preparing?

    1. Good question. She sees danger on the horizon, kind of like I did when I wrote the book. A few months after it came out, we were plunged into an isolating pandemic, and then in Feb. 2021 we had the Texas Snowpocalypse, and I found myself using the same survival skills that Bea and her grandkids had to use.

  9. The book sounds great and your lifestyle sounds absolutely inspiring!

  10. The book sounds great and very interesting


Due to tremendous amounts of spam, all comments are moderated and will be approved and published throughout the day.