An interesting thing happened when I was writing The Last Full Measure. By the time I was drafting it, I had already worked on and listened to the audiobook for Divided We Fall and Burning Nation, and I began to think a lot more about how The Last Full Measure would sound. I made quite a few writing decisions with the audiobook in mind.
The Scholastic audiobook crew did a fantastic job with the final audiobook in the Divided We Fall trilogy. I think Andrew Eiden only improved his performance, if that was possible. The Last Full Measure is by far the longest book in the trilogy, so I salute Mr. Eiden for hanging in there through the whole thing.
My agent, editor, and some other friends at Scholastic studios came together again to join me in recording the voices of a few characters. I reprised my role as conservative radio talk show host Buzz Ellison, and I played some other parts. My editor had a lot of lines as Laura Griffith and some other voices. Emily Heddleson of Scholastic joined us as well. It was all so much fun, and it was a little sad for me, knowing I wouldn’t be making the trip back to Scholastic studios to record more Divided We Fall books.
Below are sample clips from The Last Full Measure audiobook. Be advised, the best way to experience The Last Full Measure is by reading the book or listening to the audiobook. THE CLIPS BELOW ARE THE BIGGEST SPOILERS POSSIBLE!
The Cliffhanger’s Calling:
I have always been fascinated by the idea of the voice in the dark, that lone broadcaster calling out to people in difficult times. For The Last Full Measure, a story in which so very much happens away from Danny Wright and his people, there is more media noise than in either of the first two books of the trilogy, and I added the Cliffhanger to bring some of it together.
Nuclear Attack Announcement:
I needed a way to accelerate the civil war to make The Last Full Measure the sort of book I wanted it to be, so I wrote in a horrific fictional nuclear attack. I watched a lot of 911 news coverage on YouTube to get the tone of these news stories right. Even now, this scene makes me sad.
Danny Feels Guilty About the War:
A big part of the Divided We Fall trilogy in general and The Last Full Measure in particular has to deal with the devastating effects of war on the psyches of soldiers. Blaming himself for the Battle of Boise that sparked an already tense political scene, Danny is pushed to his limits, physically and mentally, by the Second American Civil War.