My A-Z theme this year is a guide to my trilogy of novels called ‘The State Trilogy’. Set in an unnamed island country known only as ‘The State’, in the imagined near future, the books follow the intertwining stories of a number of characters, principally a State police detective named Danny Samson and an assassin, Gabriella Marino, over a period of six years. It begins with the assassination of an elected official and spirals into revolution and civil war. Part political thriller, action story, war story and dystopian science fiction, the trilogy took three years to complete and the books are available to read now – you can find links to purchase them HERE
In The State Trilogy, ‘B’ stands for:
Beginnings: There are two beginnings – one is the start of the story, the other is how the story came about. The first book, ‘A Justified State’, starts with the assassination that begins the chain of events that we follow through the trilogy. It was always my idea to start in this way and I wrote this scene long before I had worked out exactly where the rest of the novel would go. This is where we meet Gabriella. I also knew we should meet our other main character, Detective Danny Samson at a low point in his life. He is drifting along, depressed and alone. The case he becomes embroiled in forces him to start engaging with life again.
The other ‘beginning’ was the idea behind writing the novel in the first place. I knew I wanted to write a political thriller, and I wanted to set it in my own country of Scotland and my own city, Glasgow. However, the ever-changing political landscape of Scotland – primarily the ongoing campaign for independence from England and the United Kingdom – meant it was difficult to place a political story that wouldn’t date quickly. The solution was to invent The State – a country going through some of the issues that Scotland is faced with, and geographically based on Glasgow, Scotland and Britain, but never actually named as such….and from there the story developed.
Bruce: Bruce is one of the elders in the village were Danny Samson ends up living for a few months during his escape from the city to the wilderness. The settlement is run by a group of elders who are in charge of making decisions in the best interests of the occupants. The village exists out with the control of the State government, consisting of people who refused to move into the cities when the wilderness was cleared of human inhabitants for the benefit of the environment, or those who have subsequently fled from the cities in order to escape the rule of the State and the Central Alliance Party. The name ‘Bruce’ is of course a deliberate nod to the Scottish King Robert the Bruce.
Byron ‘Buzz’ Mayfield: ‘Buzz’ Mayfield is the editor of the Star Tribune, the only media outlet in the State that is not controlled directly by the government. A veteran reporter, Buzz spends his time trying to placate the ruling party when they are unhappy with the coverage they are given, and ensuring the constant threat of their licence being revoked by the government is not acted upon. The other media outlets in the State, including the only television news channel, are state-owned and controlled. He is the boss of young reporter Maxine Aubert, a central character in the second novel, ‘State Of Denial’.
Billings, Montana: The back drop to the world outside the borders of The State is a global conflict in which the State sides with her allies – the African and European Union and the Civil States of America against the Axis Powers of the Republic of Zhonghua and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and others. This war is called the First Strike War, after the nuclear attack which sparked the conflict. The first strike destroyed the city of Billings in Montana and the nearby town of Columbus. The fallout from the nuclear blast renders the Civil States of America in two, with the centre of the continent a no-go contaminated zone. However, as the story develops, it seems the nuclear attack which destroyed Billings may not have been exactly as it first appeared. Why did I choose Billings, Montana? I needed a big city that was also fairly anonymous and not widely known, unlike, for example New York or Los Angeles. I don’t know anyone from Billings, but if you’re reading this – sorry for nuking your city!
All the entries in the A-Z of ‘The State Trilogy’ can be found HERE
The books are available from a wide selection of online retailers, including AMAZON