Interludes appear in every book of the Independence Day series, generally at the end of the book. There have been five interludes so far.
Interlude: Wonderful Christmastime
Released on November 27, 2009 as webfiction and on April 20, 2011 as part of book one, this was the first interlude ever written. It was intended, at the time, to be a one-off, holiday themed chapter, as the holidays were approaching in real life, and I realized that I was the only person affiliated with the APN (a former webseries network) that would not be releasing a holiday chapter. Quickly, I decided to rectify this, by penning this look at Haven Park, on Christmas Day, 1965.
Carol Mathison, drunk before eight am on Christmas morning, argued with Jeff about the way he'd overtaken her holiday celebration. Jeff maintained that he was only trying to do something for her children, because he viewed this their first Christmas as a family. Carol sneered back at him that they were not a family, and Jeff replied, "Well, we could be", brandishing an engagement ring. Before Carol could accept his nonchalant proposal, however, Lance showed up with gifts for the children (it was later revealed that Lance did this not out of the kindness of his heart, but because Jeff came to him and asked him to do it, saying Carol was too drunk to do anything for her children). Carol asked how Terri was faring in the aftermath of her parents' recent deaths and Lance said she was doing as well as could be expected.
It was far from true. Terri grieved deeply on Christmas morning, as did her brother Brett. Marnie and her hesitant boyfriend Evan paid a visit to Brett and Julia that was incredibly awkward, to say the least. Overwhelmed and unable to bear anymore sympathy, Brett pointed out the very obvious fact that Evan loved Marnie very much, especially given that he'd ventured to the home of a couple he barely knew. Evan, meanwhile, realized he had far more in common with Brett than he ever thought.
On Christmas morning, a young man thumbed a ride out of Cheyenne and found himself in a truck with a pleasant man named Jim, who was headed to Haven Park. The young man hesitantly introduced himself as Lucas Brady.
- Aside from Michael (who had not yet debuted in the series), Shane is the only regular character not featured in this interlude.
- This is the first time (and last, until book three) that Evan shares a scene with someone other than Marnie, though she is there.
- It is heavily implied that Caleb, having said his goodbyes to Cheyenne the day before, christened himself Lucas Brady on the spot in this interlude. It was the identity that he would assume for the next six months.
- During the webseries era, this interlude was posted between chapters six and seven, and thus, it was included in book one. Book one is the only book that will contain two separate interludes, due to this special circumstance.
Interlude: Fireworks (Part One)
Released on March 3, 2010 as webfiction and on April 20, 2011 as part of book one, this was the first installment of the Fireworks interlude series. Originally, I had no plans to write another interlude after Wonderful Christmastime, but when I reached the end of book one (then known as arc one), I realized I needed something of a break in the action and decided to delve a little deeper into the events of July 4, 1966.
Marnie encountered Carol in the diner, the morning of July 4. She intended to use the opportunity to defend Jeff to Carol, but Carol refused to listen. She told Marnie that she saw right through her and even insinuated that she knew Marnie still had feelings for her Jeff -- an allegation that Marnie vehemently denied. Carol also dropped the bombshell that Jeff was sleeping with Julia. Unable to believe such things, Marnie got out of the situation as quickly as possible...but not before resolving to tell Jeff all about the encounter.
Shane loitered, as he often did, at First Baptist and Brett took great pleasure in teasing him about his over zealous ex, Peggy. The joviality was short lived, however, as Lance then called and demanded his wife's whereabouts. Brett later lamented to Shane that he was tired of being in the middle and that he didn't know nearly as much about the state of the Englund marriage as Lance seemed to think he did.
That afternoon, Carol interrupted Lucas' attempt to prepare for the evening's delivery. He wanted nothing to do with her at first, but Carol refused to be deterred. She invited herself in, then threw an envelope containing almost a thousand dollars at him, announcing that she'd come to make a deal.
- When written, this was designed to only be a two-part interlude. However, the more I began to delve into the events, the more I began to see the need for three parts to really tell the story.
- The reason the first two books conclude with "...to be continued" is that the interludes concluded this way. I did not intend for it to mean that the books themselves were to be continued, but many readers took it that way.
- This interlude provided the first direct reference to an affair between Jeff and Julia. Up until that point, it had all been innuendo and awkward encounters between the two of them.
Interlude: Fireworks (Part Two)
Released on September 23, 2010 as webfiction and on June 19, 2011 as part of book two, this was the second installment of the Fireworks interlude series. I began writing this interlude while still writing book two, and would come back to it periodically, when I found myself stuck on the current chapter. Thus, it took some time to finish. This interlude picks up exactly where the first Fireworks interlude left off, and continues to examine the events of July 4, 1966.
Carol attempted to bribe Lucas into leaving town, which he did not take very seriously. Carol then raised the stakes by calling him Caleb and thereby revealing that she knew about his criminal past. Lucas refused to be intimidated, however, and grabbed Carol by the throat, yelling that he was not afraid of her. He also told her she might want to think twice about messing with him, because he might have to do something about it.
Julia placed a call to Jeff and once again confided her guilt over their affair. She attempted to end things, but Jeff wouldn't hear of it, convincing her to meet him in the park at midnight.
Marnie weighed the conversation she had with Carol and attempted to talk to Evan about it. However, Evan became distracted by how deeply a conversation with Carol had pushed Francine over the edge and vowed to never let the same thing happen again. Under the guise of going to get dinner, Evan left the house. Where he went remains unknown.
- This interlude references many of the subplots in book two, such as Carol realizing Caleb's true identity and attempting to use it against him and Julia doing her best to call off the affair with Jeff. This continues with the third, and final, part of this series, in the next book.
Interlude: Fireworks (Part Three)
Released on August 31, 2014 as part of book three, this interlude concludes the Fireworks series, and leaves us moments before midnight, July 4, 1966. It is strongly implied that as the interlude closes, Carol has met up with her killer.
Evan paid Carol a visit, intent on confronting her about what she'd said to Marnie earlier in the day. Evan asked Carol about what she'd said to Francine shortly before her death, and while it was never explicitly stated, it was strongly implied that Carol somehow found out about Evan's affair with Harold and told Francine. She insisted that she did not know what she was doing, but Evan angrily tore into her, calling her a cancer to everyone around her. He swore that one day, she would have to answer for every single person she'd hurt, before Carol made a hasty retreat into the house.
Shane paid a visit to Brett, where he was taunted further about his encounter with Peggy. Conversation turned serious, however, when Shane recounted a visit from Mrs. Spears earlier in the day, and the fact that she'd mistook him for his late father. Shane admitted that he barely remembered his father, but Brett said that he did - he particularly remembered when Shane's father paid a visit to his father after Brett broke his hand. Julia interrupted this conversation and worried that their silence might have been due to her not-so-subtle attempt to diffuse Shane's earlier anti-Jeff rant, then vowed that she would make her meeting with Jeff that evening short and sweet, because she could no longer bear lying to her husband.
Upset over another fight with Lance, Terri showed up at Caleb's door, ranting about how much she hated her husband. Caleb pointed out that she always seemed to align herself with controlling people, a pattern that dated back to her oppressive childhood, and related that Carol had come by earlier in the day to offer him money to leave town. Terri, irate, demanded that they do something about it and vowed that Carol would never interfere in her life, or anyone else's again.
Shortly after midnight, Carol sat in the park, hoping to catch Jeff and Julia, as she had a few weeks before. She lamented having trusted Jeff and vowed that in the morning, she was going to throw him out of the house. She also decided that in order to hit him where it hurt, she would have to keep him away from the children. Then, she was joined by an as-yet-unknown person, who was strongly implied to have been her killer.
- As with the second installment of the Fireworks interlude, this piece referenced several subplots which took place in book three, such as the reveal that Evan had been carrying on a decade-long affair with Harold, and the revelation that all was not as it seemed in the Woodward family home.
- This interlude, as the conclusion of the Fireworks series, does not end with "...to be continued", making book three the first book that has not ended in that manner.
Interlude: Another Place and Time (Part One)
This interlude is the only non-canon interlude, showing what life would have been like for Haven Park, had none of the murders ever occurred. It takes place fifteen years into the future, in the fall of 1981, and shows the characters we know and love as older...but not necessarily wiser.
This is also the first interlude that will not be included in the initial release of the book. Instead, it was released to the ID Batcave on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/groups/773695979390613/) on July 5, 2015, almost two months after book four's initial release. The reason for this was when I was finishing the fourth book, I was on a tight schedule and did not have the time to complete the interlude as planned. I reasoned that since the interlude was non-canon anyway, it didn't necessarily need to be included in the first edition of the book. It has been subsequently added to both Kindle and Smashwords editions.
Left home alone, Carol fumed about the amount of time Shane was spending with Marnie, who was now his ex-wife and mother of his two children. Carol railed against Marnie and her helplessness with the children, and also considered how life would have been different had her first husband survived his car accident, before resolving that she was going to give Shane an ultimatum: either he find a new consultant for his mayoral campaign, or she was going to move out. She hoped that he would make the right decision.
Brett kicked off the morning by snorting cocaine at his desk in South Greeley, and thought about how unfair Julia was being in regards to his visitation with their daughter Kate. He received a phone call from Elaine Pierce, wife of Mayor Clayton Pierce, to tell him that the mayor had passed away, and to ask if he would officiate at the service. Brett refused, given that he was not in that line of work anymore, and while Mrs. Pierce did not seem to want to take that as an answer, she did hang up the phone. Moments later, Shane called, too late, to give him a warning. The two talked about Shane's relationship with Carol, and Brett's relationship with Tina, a young woman who was carrying his child. Shane could tell that Brett was "a little wired", and asked him to go easy on that shit, reminding him of what happened "last time."
At the diner, Terri stewed over her own insecurities regarding her heavily pregnant frame, then focused her attention on the misbehavior of the child in the booth beside her. Silently, she condemned the boy's parents for being so passive, and was surprised when the father said her name. He asked if she remembered him, and Terri realized it was Caleb. He told her that he lived in Bessemer Bend now, with his wife Kelly Ann, and that they were on their way to Colorado. Though surprised, Terri tried her best to keep her cool. Caleb asked about Lance and Brett's well-being, confiding that Brett was the person first person who'd ever been genuinely kind to him. He said that Brett bringing him a Bible, with the advice to read the stuff in red, had changed his life. He told Terri that he'd never stopped thinking about her, and had written her multiple letters -- letters she claimed to have never received. He also asked her if she'd been the one to tip off the police, and she said no, that it was Lance. Caleb told her to thank Lance for him, because he doubted he would still be alive if he hadn't gotten locked up. After that, he turned to leave, but Terri stopped him, saying she had something to tell him as well.
- The events of this interlude are completely non-canon, and have no bearing on the outcome of the main storyline.
- Caleb's wife, Kelly Ann, is the same girl he carjacked in book three, to ensure he got back to Haven Park quickly.
- Brett's drug problem is something that's hinted at in book four, given how heavily he takes to his pain medication.
- All of the established couples from the main storyline have divorced, with the exception of Terri and Lance -- the one couple that everyone would've expected to.
- This interlude will conclude after book five.