Monday 1 July 2019

Lock & Lana in the Future


People have asked me where I got the idea for Lights Out from. I've talked about it before in passing, but never really gone into detail. This is the idea that sparked my series on telling the difference between standalones and series when plotting out an idea. I had the premise for Lights Out, but I thought, at the time, that it was a standalone. Turns out I was wrong, very very wrong.

However the idea itself came from a talk with a friend of mine. Kim and I were discussing a few premises for a show we both enjoy, and one of the things that came to mind was a society where everyone was, supposedly, equal, but that due to the lack of resource and such, they were humanely euthanasied when they turned sixty. The idea bloomed in my mind and that's what brought me to this point, with the trilogy finished and the first book releasing in a ten days or so.

But as usual, when I'm about to have a book released, I like to give you the basics of what it was like writing the main players as it were. With Lights Out, that's Lock and Lana. I'll go over them individually and if I have space and time, them as a couple as well. Strap in folks, we're going to the United English Cityships!

Lock was pretty easy to get into the mind of. She was a staunch believer in the system, having benefited from it in the work she does, and also because her parents had raised her to trust the King and everything he stood for. Lock is 18, disabled and in a long-term relationship with Lana, who I'll get to in a moment. She's a person of colour, but so many people are these days. I wanted to write her story simply because I felt like she was the best person to tell it.

She'd come at it from a different view point than Lana and had grown up as a second child in a world where children were rationed the same as everything else. Lock had been, in some ways, afforded a privilege in that she had loving parents until her father went for his final sleep nine years before the book takes place. Her mother is kind and loving, and while Lock is at a disadvantage being disabled (she lost her right leg above the knee in an accident when she was a child) she's able to work in the security office at the base. She's also in charge of checking people in for their final sleep so she knows how these things work. While for other people that might have been horrifying, for Lock it all made sense. There wasn't enough to go around and people lived for a hell of a long time these days, better to have this law than anarchy.


Lana is, pretty much, on the opposite side of the spectrum to Lock. She hates the regime, she hates the sixty year law. And even though she came from a position of power, her parents are very influential and wealthy, she rejects that when she meets Lock at school while training to go into the working world. Lana ended up in the same job, bar a slightly different area, as Lock because of luck and a little help from her girlfriend. She will do whatever she can to get out of doing the side of her job that has her checking in people for their final sleep.

She will turn a blind eye to the protesters, will do whatever she can to make it so that she doesn't have to be a part of what she sees as an injustice, but yet she still willingly takes pay from the base, and she pushes Lock's buttons. It's not that she's a bad person, just that she and Lock don't agree on this, and things are getting dicey.

When I first had the idea for the book, when it was still a standalone, I was pretty sure on what the ending would be. I was wrong, as it turned out, but part of that ending was focused on Lock and Lana as a couple. While I'm not going to tell you what it was, nor the ending now, I will say that their relationship changes a lot through the course of the book.

They're butting heads not just because of their different beliefs, but because of the way they both are as people. Lana is a jealous person by nature and isn't fond of the friendship between Lock and a nurse who works the events. Lock is pretty independent and is damn sure she's not about to change that. The dynamic between the two is one that fuelled a lot of those late night writing sessions and I can't wait for you all to read it.

So, if you're intrigued and want to pre-order you can do that here.

If you do pre-order, there is some cool pre-order SWAG in the shape of a bookmark, postcard and cool little sticker. The form for that is here.

And just as a reminder, release date is July 10th!

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