From the spark of an idea to the completion of a trilogy. Notes from the author.


 

 

For those who have time to read, here are notes from the author as to how The Prepper’s Son trilogy came about, from the initial idea to the completed trilogy.

I had to think long and hard when I wrote my new Post-Apocalyptic – Dystopian thriller trilogy. I decided to set it in a very near future USA that everyone would recognize, so I could destroy it, divide it, and then rebuild the governance along factions of racial, religious, and political ideologies. It was fun to write. I hope it is equally entertaining and thought provoking to read. The idea was sparked initially by the political division in the US and the consistent racial disharmony that blights the nation.

I stopped writing for 2 years, and during that time, I developed an idea for the trilogy in the Post-Apocalyptic – Dystopian genre that festered as I have mentioned, until in Covid lockdown, I had the basics in my head of all three
books and time on my hands to fill. I published the trilogy in full in March this year, all on the same day. The detailed outline and research took me a month glued to my computer and making notes to add to the research of the project. Additionally, I’d kept coming across articles in the news and YouTube short film clips during the 2 years that I had saved to memory. The outline was so thorough it only took 5 months working full time on the draft manuscripts to write all three books at an average of 95k each. One thing for sure, it was too big a project to have authored it by the seat of my pants and to have left it to chance of coming out the way it was intended. Each book was crafted with a three-act structure and with a change of direction at the midpoints.

During that 2 years downtime from writing, I’d read two books, One on General Bolivar, a biography of sorts, where he defeated the Spanish to form various nations in South America under his dictatorship, until they divided into the independent nations we know today. Bolivia is named after him. The other was about the African Queen Nzinga, who fought the Portuguese for forty years in Angola against their slave trade. She was also a renowned negotiator.
Both had aspects that I used in the book, without copying. Difficult to explain without giving the story away. Suffice to say both books are mentioned and are a big influence on the main female character and partner to the Prepper’s son
that affect the outcome in the last chapter of the third book.

Each book had its own plot and theme, but I managed to have an overall plot arc for the trilogy. The Dystopian element takes place on two fronts. In the first book, it unfolds in the bubble of a gated community, whereas in book two and three, that element is on a wider scale throughout the US.

Much of the idea was borne out with the political and a racial division in the US, watching both CNN and Fox news in good measure, together with the Chinese posturing on the world stage and skirmishes with India and them annexing the atolls in the South China Sea. The perceived threat the Chinese pose to the US figures largely in the last book. Religious  dogma also figured in my thinking. I knew it could skirt contentious subjects in the political, racial, and religious arena and alienate some readers, but I ploughed on anyway. After all, I wasn’t preaching, simply writing a fictitious-speculative fiction based on a “What if?” premise. it was an itch I had to scratch.

I started out splitting the idea into three. The destruction – The division – and the rebirth of the US from as it is now but with the constitution later dead in the water.

I then developed three log lines for each of the three books and titles, together with the trilogy title of: The Prepper’s Son trilogy, as the story was to unfold through his eyes in first person, with faction leader characters in third person for the wider world view. All faction leader POV chapters had their own plot line as part of the whole that converged in the last book, intertwined with events that caused conflict with, or had an outcome that affected the MC and the overall plot arc.

Book 1: Earth’s Fury: Our last Thanksgiving,
WHEN THE SUN FLARES — EARTH’S MANTLE HICCUPS — SOCIETY SUFFERS

Book 2: Secession: The Last Fourth of July
WHEN DISASTER STRIKES – THE GOVERNMENT HIDES – CHAOS RULES

Book 3: Invasion: Alliance of Nations.
A NATION DIVIDES – THE WHOLE WEAKENS – STRENGTH WINS

From there I wrote the back-jacket blurbs for each book in order to know each book had legs for the genre. Something I have never done before, was to write a two-page synopsis for each book to include the endings before starting. I found it easier to write both the blurb and the synopsis beforehand than if I had tried to do it once the books were completed. I know that many authors leave this until the work is completed for submitting to agents, but then find it difficult to cut through the spaghetti of subplots and minute detail to be able to condense it into what is required. While a synopsis is not really needed for self-publishing, I found it gave me a good framework to know each plot had all the elements I needed. It also served to reduce writer’s block, knowing the direction for each story. I’m not suggesting this is a definitive method as each author will have their own method, it’s just that it worked for me for the complexity this project before I decided to invest my time in authoring the three books.

The research was perhaps the hardest part, yet the most rewarding, as I wanted the disaster to be plausible, and for that I drew on forecasts for the outcomes of events involving natural disasters, both in the US and around the world. I also looked at historical disasters. There were maps I found that showed changes to the landscape of the US territory, and World after a ginormous disaster. Political and racial demographics of the various states was needed, and the hardest of all was studying the Constitution. I also found an interesting new discovery that NASA had just put out on a scientific discovery regarding the cycle of sun flares and their effect on the Earth’s mantle, which I put to good use. There’s much more to do with such as prepping, and experimental food production taking place, but as hard as it was, the knowledge gained was interesting and a good motivator as a good background to the emotional content of the plot involving the characters. 

I also had every character’s background and plot arc, including the dog that features, fleshed out in the outline. I wanted each character to have their own fears and misbeliefs, especially the main characters, for them to be able to
face their individual truths that would lead to change in how they faced deliberations and actions, both in moral and practical situations. 

I have a special thanks to mention to Natalia Gomez my development editor, who worked with me on all three books and for which I am eternally grateful. Her thorough insights into the development edit ensured my characters and
scenes popped off the page. It is now down to you the reader to determine the value of the reads as entertainment in what is speculative fiction for a situation I hope never comes to fruition. One thing is for sure, there are scenes and moral dilemmas throughout that are maybe not for the squeamish.

If anyone has any questions regarding the process, I would be pleased to respond.

Kindest regards
Declan Conner

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon Canada

Amazon Australia

 

 

 

 


I had the good fortune to have an interview with the Speculative Fiction Showcase this week to discuss among other things my new release, The Prepper’s Son Trilogy of Post-Apocalyptic – Dystoppian thrillers. You can read it here by clicking on the link below.

http://indiespecfic.blogspot.com/2021/02/interview-with-declan-conner-author-of.html

PRE-ORDER FOR MARCH 7th 2021 PUBLICATION. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08VN4YNGS?ref_=dbs_dp_rwt_sb_tkin&binding=kindle_edition


Video guide for new authors to self-publishing to help with formatting book blurbs for upload to Amazon.


kindle formatting

Posted: December 25, 2020 in Uncategorized

VIDEO added to show how to change all page breaks to section breaks with an easy trick for pre-formatting an e-book Word MS document in preperation for formatting a print book.


Appreciate some likes or subscriction to YouTube if you like the trailer.

More videos on my channel of published books.


Thanks to everone who beta read on Wattpad. It is now published on Amazon

Girl at the Window © 2017: All rights reserved.


A Dark Mystery Crime Thriller, set in the underbelly of Detroit’s Gangland. Available to pre-order now as an eBook. Due for publication 29th July 2016. Any order will be delivered to your dev…

Source: Lethal Trade: A Red dog One Mission. Mystery Crime Thriller


Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000039_00004]

A Dark Mystery Crime Thriller, set in the underbelly of Detroit’s Gangland.

Here some links for Lethal Trade or you can search Amazon for my author name.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01IAR56TY   US

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01IAR56TY   UK

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B01IAR56TY  CANADA

https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B01IAR56TY  AUSTRALIA

Some of the images of characters and and other things that I imagined them as when writing the story

PhotoFunia-1466211157 PhotoFunia-1467659691PhotoFunia-1466211928

              The Main Character                             Maria                                    Officer Granger

             crack hustlerhandbagBIKER STINGRAYS 1    PhotoFunia-1466616739

                                            Queenie         Handbag        Bikers logo          Fisher plant

PhotoFunia-1467655090PhotoFunia-1467339866

                                                   The Bikers                                       The Sniper

Videos that inspired the setting for the story.

DETROIT

Abandoned Fisher body plant. 

Highland Park Detroit, before they demolished the houses.