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, ‘N’ stands for:
Nuclear: The background to the trilogy is the First Strike War, a global conflict that has been ongoing for half a century. Nuclear armament has continued between the superpowers of the Civil American States and the Zhonghua Republic, and other countries around the globe have their own arsenals. A nuclear attack on the Civil American States that destroys Billings, Montana is the first strike that starts the war. The Civil American States blame the Zhonghua Republic for the attack and allies of the two super powers are drawn into the war. The nuclear fallout splits the Civil American States in two, the east and west coasts, while the middle remains a nuclear fallout wasteland that no one is permitted to enter. In retaliation for the initial attack, the States and their Allies launch retaliatory nuclear attacks on the Axis Powers, and the world continues to live under the fear of further nuclear missile strikes. The reality of the initial nuclear attack, fifty years after it occurred, comes under question from Phillips and others, and is one of the reasons that sparks the civil war in the State. Conversely, nuclear energy production has stopped. Not mentioned in the books, I figured that energy from renewable, natural sources will eventually mean the need for nuclear energy is reduced, and perhaps another nuclear accident has put governments off investing in it. This may indeed be part of the trouble leading to the energy crisis that affects the globe in the future.
Names: Character names served a variety of purposes in the books. Some had some pretty obvious connotations: Daniel Samson as in the biblical Samson story, a man fighting his powerful enemies; Chancellor Lucinda Romanès – literally an Emperor of Ancient Rome; a corrupt politician called Donald… Other names were used to give a sense of place. Although the setting of the story is never named there are plenty of Scottish names in the Wilderness and Central City – Kyle, Lachlan, Eilidh, Rona, Isla and so on – to give the idea that this is a future Scotland. I also introduced names based on other countries to convey the idea that others have moved into the State and populations around the globe have migrated, for example Lars and Henrik James (Scandinavia) Mattias and Kruger (Germanic), Jai Li (Asian) Hassan (Middle Eastern). I was also careful not to stereotype these names, so a good mix of good and bad on both sides. A couple of other reasons for name choices: Montana Childe (known as Tania) is named in memory of Montana by her parents after the nuclear attack destroys the state in America. Phillips was chosen as the sort of anonymous cover name an agent would use (think of James Bond or George Smiley or Jack Ryan). And Maxine was chosen to be shortened to the masculine Max deliberately, and is also a nod to the original Mission: Impossible film. Choosing names with hidden meanings and connotations is a good way to add some layers to the characters and story, and is also good fun giving little nods to other things, and perhaps one or two people I know in real life may have noticed their names popping up too!
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