Hey all. I’ve been a bit quiet over the last few weeks. Crimson Dawn, the third book in my trilogy, was published and, while I didn’t officially launch the book, I’ve been busy preparing my new novella for editing.
I’ve been trying something different with this ‘launch’ in that I didn’t do a blog tour and I didn’t hold a Facebook launch party. I’ve done both these things in the past and I’m not convinced they add to sales. Sure, they get my name out there, but I’d rather be more specific as to who I target. Book bloggers, readers and other sci fi authors are a good place to start.
Check out my author spotlight on fellow sci fi author, Chris Dietzel’s website. Chris is the author of the popular novel, ”The man who watched the world end.’
Anyway, I thought it would be fun to do a little something for Crimson Dawn’s ‘launch’ here, so I interviewed some of my characters from the Exilon 5 Trilogy. For those unfamiliar with the books, it offers a little introduction into the dystopian world I’ve created. For those already familiar, I hope you enjoy the scenes. I had fun writing them!
Becoming Human is the first book in the Exilon 5 Trilogy: Two Worlds. Two Species. One Terrifying Secret.
The first interview is with Bill Taggart and Laura O’Halloran, the two main characters on the human side of the conflict.
I speak into the camera. ‘I’d like to welcome two people who have proven very difficult to pin down over the last number of months. Laura O’Halloran and Bill Taggart. Thank you for being here.’
‘Thank you Eliza,’ Laura says with a smile. She’s sitting up straight, but I can tell she’s nervous. She’s not comfortable in front of the camera. Bill is the polar opposite to her. He’s leaning back casually in his chair, one ankle propped up on his knee, watching me.
I begin. ‘I know you can’t stay long, but there are some preliminary questions I need to ask. Bill, for those who don’t know you, please tell us what you do?
‘I’m a lead investigator with the International Task Force.’
‘Investigator of what?’
He folds his arms. ‘Whatever our parent company deems important.’
‘The ITF is a subsidiary of the World Government, right?’ I ask.
He nods once. His edginess makes me nervous.
Laura is different. She is trying to be open, even though they are in quite some danger. ‘Same question to you, Laura.’
‘I work at the Earth Security Centre,’ she says, quickly adding, ‘Another subsidiary of the World Government.’
‘Yes, the World Government is in control of many things on Earth.’ I say. I need to get this interview going. They are taking a massive risk by being here. ‘I can’t help but notice that you’re both nervous. Do you feel that they’re watching you?’
Bill shifts in his chair and I think he’s going to say something, but he doesn’t. It’s actually Laura who answers me.
‘Em, we don’t know, but…’ She turns to look at Bill. At first it looks as if she’s checking what she can say, but upon closer inspection it isn’t one exerting control over the other. A mutual respect exists between them. I see the way he glances at her. His hardened look softens and he nods briefly at her.
She leans forward and I feel a chill creep up my spine. I don’t think I’m going to like what she has to say.
‘Look, what’s going on is bigger than either Bill or I can explain, but I’ll do my best. The World Government cannot be trusted. Don’t drop your guard for a second.’ She combs her fingers through her long blonde hair. ‘The organisations we work for are there to do the World Government’s bidding and we’ve seen things that we cannot talk about. Every day our work is scrutinised. We are tracked by the chips in our thumbs, but we know how to mask that—’
Bill kicks her chair and she stops talking.
I’m anxious to hear from Bill. He has been far too quiet.
‘Bill, you were recently on Exilon 5 and you saw one of the Indigenes. The World Government has depicted them as a savage race that cannot be trusted. You believe they killed your wife. I’d like to hear your thoughts on them.’
Bill smiles but, to me, it feels forced. ‘Don’t believe everything the World Government spoon feeds you. It’s all propaganda shit. Let’s just say my opinion of the Indigenes has shifted slightly.’
I want more from him. ‘So you’re saying you trust the Indigenes now?’
‘I didn’t say that.’
He’s closing himself off to me again. Judging by the look Laura just gave him, she is equally frustrated by his lack of cooperation.
‘The World Government told you the Indigenes killed your wife, and you have nothing to say on the matter?’
‘No comment.’ He barks at me. I can tell I’ve hit a nerve. Laura is anxiously wringing her hands.
‘Isla. That was your wife’s name, wasn’t it?’ I turn to Laura. ‘You found letters from Isla addressed to Bill. What did they say?’
Bill reacts first. He angrily points his finger at me. ‘She didn’t deserve…’ He stops mid-sentence.
‘Deserve what?’ I prompt.
He clams up again and Laura drops her gaze to the floor. It’s clear they both know quite a bit, but aren’t willing to say. This interview is going nowhere unless I do, or say, something drastic.
‘Tell me about Charles Deighton.’ I swore I wouldn’t mention him too early—I wanted to hear more about Isla—but I need to push the interview on.
Bill’s calmed down now, but he answers a little too quickly. ‘He’s the CEO for the World Government.’
‘And have you ever had any issues with him? Laura?’
‘Eh, no. I’ve never met him,’ Laura says.
‘Not yet, but I’m sure it’s bound to happen someday. Let’s just say the elite board members don’t show their faces to just anyone. Something major would have to happen for them to surface.’
I sense there’s more to this story, but Bill isn’t saying what it is. In fact, everything about this interview so far has been cryptic. I wonder if they’re worried that someone is listening in. Or maybe it’s me they don’t trust.
I feel the need to explain things. ‘Before we go any further, I must clarify that I have no dealings with the World Government, nor am I ever likely to.’ It’s true. I’ve been protected in my writer’s bubble from all the changes going on. ‘Does that put your mind at rest?’
Bill is staring at me again, a hardened look in his eyes that tells me it doesn’t. I’ve heard rumours about how controlling the World Government has become. I don’t blame him for being cautious.
‘So what now for the two of you? Knowing these secrets that you won’t share with me, will you carry on as you are?’
‘Of course. What else can we do?’ Bill says.
Laura glances briefly at Bill, then looks at me. ‘I’m not sure who will see this interview, but the people of Earth should not blindly trust the people who govern them. The situation on Earth is worsening and the changes being proposed by the government may not be good for all.’ She pauses briefly. I notice her swallow hard. ‘There is something you should know about the Indigenes—‘
Bill grabs Laura’s arm and pulls her up as he stands. He isn’t rough with her, but it’s clear she’s said more than Bill wants me to know. ‘We have to go. I’m sorry we couldn’t give you more,’ he says sharply.
I stand up, but they disappear through the door like a pair of fugitives before I can even thank them for their time.