When I started writing Escape from the Overworld, I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t know if it were going to be a stand-alone book or a series, or what kids would think of my Minecraft/Earth worldbuilding.
Now there are six books in the series: Escape from the Overworld, Attack on the Overworld, The Rise of Herobrine, Down into the Nether, The Armies of Herobrine, and Battle with the Wither, which was just released this month. With all these books out, I can sit back and think how fun it’s been to tell all these stories and get to know these characters.
There are always bumps in writing, and some days my main character Stevie was a little more helpful than others in getting the words down (sometimes when you’re writing, it feels like your character is dictating it to you). Stevie turned out to be a really fun voice to tap into, because he’s so well-meaning but still makes plenty of mistakes, so he feels really honest.
Some of my favorite things about writing this series included Stevie’s total cluelessness about Earth culture and how to respond (like how he thinks fingers look like squid tentacles), the cast of characters (the kids Stevie, Maison, Alex, Yancy, and Destiny all have very distinct personalities), and trying to come up with cliffhangers for every chapter to keep the pace up. Yancy is the most entertaining character to write, because you never know what’s going to come out of his mouth (sometimes I don’t know until I’m writing!).
I also liked watching the characters grow, because on top of the action, I also wanted these books to have depth. Stevie is not the same person in Battle with the Wither that he was in Escape from the Overworld. I feel as if I grew as a person and as a writer during the course of this series. I’ve been writing stories since I was very little—I was dictating stories to my parents when I was three, and regularly writing novels starting in middle school—but after years of closed doors and rejection letters, these were my first published books, and they allowed me to call myself a professional novelist. I’ve wanted to be called that for years!
When you’re a writer, you get attached to your characters. Sometimes I even dream about these guys. I had a dream not long ago where Stevie was helping me sell copies of my books. Apparently he wanted everyone to know his story!
By the way, the release of each book was also a good excuse to pose my pets with the latest book, because I figure just about everyone likes pets. Can you say no to a pet and a book? I know I can’t, and I can’t say no to my characters, either.
Battle with the Wither by Danica Davidson
After finally defeating Herobrine and rescuing his father, Stevie is looking forward to putting the prophecy far behind him. Bidding his friends farewell, Stevie returns to the Overworld to make up for lost time with his dad.
But their reunion is cut short when a Wither attacks the Overworld, destroying their house. When Stevie rushes outside to survey the damage, he can’t believe his eyes; they’re surrounded by deadly ghasts, blazes, and zombie pigmen from the Nether! Somehow, Herobrine has found a way to retaliate from beyond the grave—and now the entire Overworld must face his vengeance.
In the exciting conclusion to the Unofficial Overworld Adventure series, it’s up to Stevie, his dad, and their friends to restore balance between the Overworld and the Nether, defeat the Wither, and—most importantly of all—protect each other.
Danica Davidson has written for MTV, The Onion, the Los Angeles Times and about fifty other publications. She is the author of the rest of the Overworld Adventure series, as well as the how-to guide Manga Art for Beginners, from Skyhorse Publishing.