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, ‘P’ stands for:
Politics: The central theme of the trilogy, and particularly the second book. I would class the trilogy as political thrillers above all else, including dystopian and science fiction, even though they are set in the future.
Phillips: A State Security agent who arrives in Central City to aid the investigation by Samson and Henrik James into the assassination of Consul Donald Parkinson. Ex-State Military and, it transpires, has worked with Gabriella on missions in the First Strike War in the past. His background is mysterious and he gives little away, but gradually Danny and Henrik come to trust him. He has contacts around the world and through these learns more about the State and the First Strike War and returns to the city with ambitions of undermining the State and the Central Alliance Party. Although Danny and Gabriella agree with his cause, his methods divide them. Phillips was the character I included to add a bit of a spy espionage element to the political thriller, sprung from my love of reading the spy genre novels of Fleming and Le Carre. He is also invaluable as the character who is not black and white, good or bad, but introduces shades of grey into what is right and what is wrong. In that sense, he is perhaps the most complex of the characters in the trilogy.
Power: The central theme of all the politics in the novels, both on the State side and on the rebels side is that power corrupts absolutely. The Central Alliance Party when they first took control of the State had good intentions, but as compromises and hard decisions have to be taken, it is inevitable that eventually there will be casualties and temptations and corruption. With the State and the C.A.P. and Románes, it is that determination to cling onto power, to protect everything that has gone before, that ultimately marks the beginning of their downfall.
Patrick Donovan: Vice-Chancellor of the State, second in command to Chancellor Románes. His link to Defence Secretary Ishmael Nelson and assassinated City Consul Donald Parkinson pulls him into the corruption uncovered by Danny Samson and Phillips.
Pandemic: When I started the trilogy I had no idea the pandemic was going to happen. In fact, only the final book was written after the start of lockdowns and talk of vaccines and death rates and social isolation. In one sense, it felt like the real world had overtaken my dystopian one. However, I did manage to write a brief mention into ‘State Of War’ to reference coronavirus, and some of the measures featured in my world – no social gatherings, no nightclubs or cinemas or sports spectators, felt quite apt, even though I had brought them about for different reasons of civilian control.
Publishing and Promotion: I chose to self-publish my first novel with Amazon Kindle. A pretty easy decision as they have the biggest market share and it’s absolutely free to do. I, like most authors, would love to have an agent and a traditional publisher, but after sending my manuscript to about 8 agents and receiving only two polite rejections, I decided at the time I did not have the time or inclination to pursue this route. I will keep trying it in the future though, but I do dislike the fact that many agencies and publishers cannot even be courteous to potential writers, without whom they would have nothing! Of course, I’m not a celebrity and I have no close contacts in the publishing industry, which seem to be the two sure-fire prerequisites for getting your foot in the door. The main advantage of the traditional approach is the help you get with promotion of your work. As an indie author publishing my own work, I have to do all my own promotion and I fully admit it is not something I have spent enough time on or come close to mastering yet. Any and all tips are welcome!
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