What will happen next?
Whenever there’s another terrorist attack, I wonder, what will happen next? Where is the world heading? I find books like ‘A Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood, written in 1985 (and recently on television) fascinating. What will happen to our society in the future?
With this in mind, I wrote a dystopian novel, Counting Stars. If religious extremism continues to result in terrorist attacks, how will society respond? Is it possible that governments will ban certain religious beliefs or behaviours – and what might society look like if that happened? How will the dawn of driverless cars affect those employed in transport? What will health care and education look like? Is there a way for poverty and famine to be eradicated? Yet people, in whatever society evolves, will be the same. Children will continue to be funny and naughty, teenagers will always rebel, parents will always love them. People will love, and laugh and have their own opinions about everything.
I listened to lots of views about how the near future might look, and the novel became something of a joint family venture. My premise was that everything had to be possible, even if it wasn’t probable.
I created an imaginary family, and began to write about them. Max is going to save his father. But it needs to be a secret, because the adults would disapprove – and it’s not very easy without his mother there to provide food and things.
When Max himself needs to be rescued, it falls to Lena to save him. But she’s no super-woman, and she’s worried she might need to use the toilet before she gets back.
Along the way, I became rather sidetracked by Lamarckian Theory – the idea that we can inherit memory. Lamarck did lots of experiments to show that this was possible, which I find a fascinating idea, so I included something of that in the book too. As I was recovering from a craniotomy, I also used my personal experiences when describing a character who is recovering from brain surgery, showing some of the weird physical affects (like everyone sounds like a Dalek when they speak) and the problems of being mentally exhausted when all you’ve done is watch telly for an hour.
I then wrote Counting Stars. Initially, it was a serial, posted each week on my blog, way back in 2015. It was popular, so I rewrote it as a whole book, sent it off to be edited, and rewrote it again. I put it on Amazon as a Kindle book. Recently, I have become aware of the Kindle paperback service – Amazon will print a real book version of a Kindle book. I have now published the book in this format too. The only problem is that many of our predictions are now taking place, so you need to read it soon or it will be historical fiction!
Counting Stars was terrific fun to write – everyone has an opinion as to ‘what will happen next’ in society. Why not buy a copy, and enjoy an action packed thriller about ‘the world around the corner’?