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, ‘W’ stands for:
Weather: Each book in the trilogy was set in a different season. ‘A Justified State’ was set in winter, and is cold, ending with the first snowfall. ‘State Of Denial’ is set in the summer months, and in a long, hot, dry summer. ‘State Of War’ is set at the end of autumn, as the temperature cools, winter is returning and the whole thing is soaked in rain. These were deliberate choices to mark the mood of each novel and mirror the moods of the characters. The progression is also deliberate (although each book is set 3 years after the previous one), reflecting the life cycle that the characters and the State are going through. Like movies and other books, I like to reflect events in the story against the weather, making nature a character in itself.
War: Each book in the trilogy has a different genre and tone, and I always wanted to end with a ‘war’ novel, which became ‘State Of War’. The title refers to the civil war that is tearing through Central City and forms the backdrop to that novel. Of course, through the trilogy there is the First Strike War, the global conflict that has been running for half a century. It is a common theme for utopian novels to feature a global war, and my trilogy was no different – a definite nod to ‘1984’, which similarly has a war in the background of the narrative.
Wilderness: The State, in battling pollution and climate change and the destruction of the natural world, makes the decision to move all inhabitants into mega cities – Capital City, MidLands, Central City and Highlands. Outside the walls of these huge urban places, the land is left to return to a state of nature and becomes known as the wilderness. Some holdouts still live in these wild lands, but nature is allowed to run free. Old roads and buildings are left abandoned and gradually nature is reclaiming the land back. The land, out with the watchful surveillance of the State, of course becomes a natural place for rebels and dissenters to survive.
Writing: The process of writing the books followed a similar path each time, and is one in which I have settled into my preferred method of working. I’m not a planner. I have a good idea of the plot and characters in my head, enough to start writing a first draft. Usually the idea comes from a scene or an image and grows from there. The story can change as I write, but the basic idea will still be there. Then I write a second draft where I go back and correct inconsistencies and make sure it all makes sense. Then it’s on to editing. With the trilogy, I wrote the first book as a standalone novel, and only after completing it did I think about sequels. The story for the latter two books came into my mind at the same time, and followed on from each other.
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