As ‘2082’ sits in the Amazon sci-fi top 10 eBook chart (a great start, thanks to all who have bought and spread the word), I thought I’d write a little piece about where the books were born from and the intention behind them. This is going to involve talking about myself which I’m still not overly comfortable doing, so apologies if I copy and paste bits out of my cringeworthy author bio’s along the way.
I’m still a local Government officer in London, and about three years ago I started writing these books. After receiving B.A. degrees in History and Politics my excitement at moving to London gradually began to wane as I found myself a monotonous cog in the government system. Seeing how that world works from the inside initially manifested itself as searing cynicism and spawned a disappointed, and annoying, idealist. One day at work a few years ago an inner spark fired (the flint being extreme boredom) that fuelled putting pen to paper.
The ideas for the characters came first. I was sat on the tube one day and glanced opposite. The man sat opposite had silver hair swept into a side parting, a smart briefcase, long beige mackintosh, and was reading a copy of the financial times. He glanced up occasionally to genuinely sneer and flash dirty looks at an unkempt looking black man opposite him. Unfairly but instinctively, in my head I ripped this pompous racist apart, myself probably guilty of stereotyping as much as him.
The whole scenario got me thinking about stereotypical characters and made me think that the most interesting characters I know are those who don’t fit a set stereotype. That became the basis behind the ideas for most of the characters in ‘2082’, with the government project a totalitarian one based on a personality machine. With several recent revelations about how the government and social media sites are collecting this very data, it isn’t hard to see how such information could potentially be misused in future and make this a realistic concept. In the face of intergalactic contact you’d have to assume that our leaders would cope with it in the most short-sighted and misguided way possible, given that this is how they’ve dealt with most quandaries over the last few hundred years.
The Chronicles of Hope series of books is just that, a story of hope. Without giving too much away it’s ultimately a utopian vision of a hopeful future for humanity. The intention behind the books is merely to challenge people’s beliefs and make people think and question everything, and i’ll probably be losing money on this first book when advertising costs are totted up. I’ve genuinely never been motivated by money, I don’t subscribe to the theory that it brings happiness, but I do understand that having none will often bring unhappiness if it stops you having the lifestyle you want to have. Fortunately my income and circumstances to that end have always been very middle of the road, something that feels like a privilege in this world we live in.
I think the Che Guevara in me hopes that the more people think and the more people work out that we’re owned by the world’s leaders and have no say in society, the closer the world might come to some kind of uprising and revolution. Despite that, there’s no great moral message at the core of the books, I’m well aware that the pile of shit is probably too deep now for such change. My hope is loosely that more people thinking about some of the issues raised could lead to more people refusing to accept the failings of the society in which we live. Either way, we only live once so the logical conclusion is probably just to look for the humour in such situations that we have no control over changing.
I’ll endeavour to keep the 1st book in The Chronicles of Hope, ‘2082’, at 99p or less in eBook format for the foreseeable future. Thanks for reading.