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, ‘E’ stands for:
Eilidh: Eilidh first appears in the second novel, ‘State of Denial’. She lives in the wilderness, in a small gathering that Danny Samson eventually finds shelter in. The two grow close and Danny helps Eilidh care for her diabetic son, Lucas. She is forced to give up her son when it becomes necessary for him to receive medical help in the city, and Danny volunteers to take him. Later, Eilidh appears in the city, searching for Danny and asking him to help her be reunited with Lucas. There is the hint that Eilidh and Lucas may provide Danny with a new family and a new purpose in life through their relationship. They do love one another, but can that love survive in the world of the State?
Elections: Rigged elections. I want to say that the election of the State Chancellor and Senate, rigged by the ruling Central Alliance Party, that we see unfolding in ‘State of Denial’, was plotted and written a year before the recent Trump/Biden election in America! In the State, elections only occur every ten years and are structured in such a way that the ruling Central Alliance Party will always win. Any disquiet or attempt to overturn their majority is swiftly put down, forcing a rebellious group to find another, less democratic way, to bring about change and sparking off the events that lead to the civil war in the final book in the trilogy. I would like to say I had amazing foresight when I wrote this book, but of course, rigged elections and corrupt politicians clinging onto power are nothing new, and are not solely the preserve of modern America.
Editing: I don’t plan my novels before I write them, other than holding some of the information in my head and having a rough idea of characters and where the plot will go. Then I sit and write a first draft. What that means is that the editing process becomes quite important, as I go back and correct things that have changed during the course of writing, or add things that come to me along the way. I enjoy the editing process. That’s where I feel the book and the writing really start to come together. And hopefully where any inconsistences are ironed out. This obviously won’t work for everyone, and most writers prefer to have all details planned out before they start writing. There are plenty of great book editors out there, if you are willing to hand over some control, and feel it is worth paying a fee for the benefit it brings.
European Union: I don’t think I’m giving much away by revealing that The State referred to in the books is modelled on what a future Great Britain might look like, and the isolationism that the State exhibits is a reaction to Britain’s recent exit from the European Union. I voted to remain in the Union and believe our exit is one of the most crass, misjudged, unforgivable political mistakes I will ever see in my lifetime. Writing these books was another bit of therapy in dealing with the unfolding real life events as they happened. The northern part of the State, where the main action takes place and a rebellion ensues, is, of course, my own country, Scotland, and one day I hope an independent Scotland, freed from England, will be able to rejoin our European neighbours in the Union. Whether I get to see it in my lifetime remains to be seen.
Elisabeth Sand: Owner of illegal, but State-sanctioned underground night clubs that are off limits to ordinary citizens, for whom such places are outlawed. The great and good, the powerful and rich, the corrupt politicians gather in her clubs for alcohol, gambling, music, and for private meetings away from prying surveillance. Although she only features in a couple of scenes in ‘A Justified State’, it is Sand who instigates the plot and exposes the corruption at the heart of Central City and the Central Alliance Party. Without her decision to take direct action, none of the following events would occur. Alias: Symington
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