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Author Q&A For The Grid 3: Catharsis

Big Spoiler Alert! Do not read until you finish book 3 – you have been warned!

Q: Phew, I just finished the final book … so now you'll talk freely?

A: Yes, but be warned (again), this is full of spoilers!

Q: Body-swapping?

A: Yes, it all makes perfect sense when I can talk freely 🙂

President James Morgan was the original President at the time of the plague, 100 years or so before the time of the trilogy.

He was a baddie, stitching up Dr Josh Delman and giving him the blame for messing up the vaccine deployment.

Josh Delman was supposed to be put on ice (in Cryo) so that James Morgan could transfer to his body when his old form got old.

Think of it as a punishment, and Morgan hiding the evidence of his incompetence.

Morgan was up to his old tricks in the Triplex, doing deals with other countries and agreeing to use the enclosed cities as lab rats.

He secured his own future and had a new body tucked away in Cryo … but he messed it up AGAIN and ended up killing virtually everybody.

However, when Edward Schaelles found out what Morgan was up to, he formed his alliance with Delman.

Delman then killed Schaelles (ungrateful if you ask me) so that he could assume his new identity without anybody knowing what had happened.

However, Edward Schaelles had sent a timed message to his son, Philip, so there was no anonymity for him.

In the meantime Delman had grown greedy for more life, so he grabbed Tom Slater's body to transfer to, seizing the opportunity of Tom and Mat being caught red-handed at their snooping (pesky kids!).

He also procured the services of Jacob Carley to make sure that he could come and go safely.

Oh, and he kidnapped Teanna Schaelles too, to ensure Philip's loyalty.

It was Jacob who rescued Matt, just as a bit of insurance for himself.

Makes perfect sense when you think about it, just another ordinary day in The City 🙂

Q: Was it difficult to plot?

A: Yes, very.

I got a bit stuck on book 3 and had to tuck it in a drawer for a while.

I'd created so many threads in books 1 and 2 that it became very difficult to tie everything up.

In November, I put the story away and left it until after Christmas.

When I returned, refreshed after Christmas, it all came together easily.

I'd written a wayyyy more complicated version that I needed to, it all boiled down to a simple plot (see the previous question).

Over a couple of revisions, I just boiled it down and made it simpler and simpler.

I've just watched Allegiant at the cinema at the time of writing this, my plot feels like a walk in the park compared to that 🙂

Q: What happens at the end, after they break through the walls?

A: I deliberately left it open.

All the immediate loose ends are resolved and we assume that they're the only survivors left on the planet.

The threat of plague has certainly gone and Catharsis has been averted.

Everything that was planned out by President James Morgan was geared to the Centurial, with that over and done with now, the residents of The City get to determine their own future.

Q: It's all a bit of a mess for the survivors isn't it?

A: I wouldn't fancy being Talya, that's for sure!

She has to find some way of giving Josh Delman (restored to his original body), James Morgan (restored to his original body) Jacob Carley (he killed people in The Grid) and even Leo and Jody fair trials.

I wanted there to be undertones of a historical totalitarian state in this book, who gets justice and who doesn't?

Who was ‘only acting under orders' and who was guilty of turning the other cheek?

I read a great play for my German ‘A' level many years ago, it was called ‘Der Besuch der Alten Dame' and was written by Friedrich Dürrenmatt.

In that play, he examines the concept of guilt, with every character protesting their innocence.

I know that sounds a bit ‘luvvie', but I was thinking of a situation like that at the end of The Grid, it's not entirely clear who's in the right and who's in the wrong.

Does Mitchell redeem himself? Is Clay a murder for killing Mitchell? Is Lucy an accomplice to murder because she keeps quiet about Clay? Is Talya guilty because she resorts to torture to get what she wants from Max? Are Leo, Jody and Julia guilty, they still carried out Fortrillium orders even though they also helped some people survive.

Justice is seldom black or white, I wanted to mix it all up a bit in this book and leave the reader to decide.

Q: Are there any links to The Secret Bunker Trilogy in this book?

A: I'm pleased you asked.

The answer is ‘yes'.

For very observant readers, you may have spotted the following hints:

  1. Harry is actually Harriet from The Secret Bunker. She refers back to ‘the twins' and, once infected with the plague, she was taken to a place that was underground ie The Secret Bunker!
  2. The technology used for The Grid is the same that was used for the Simulation Area in The Secret Bunker … and if you remember rightly, that was alien technology.
  3. Joe and his family live in Magnum Block … Magnus's tech business in The Secret Bunker is called Magnum Enterprises. Magnum Block is a bit like Trump Tower in New York, it was built in recognition of Magnus who, in his life after the story in The Secret Bunker Trilogy, was a successful and powerful business man.

Q: Does that mean there might be another book?

Yes … a final trilogy, in fact.

Originally, I was going to make this story a follow-up to The Secret Bunker Trilogy, but I didn't want to commit to that so soon after writing the first set of books.

Instead, I left several trails within the story which I can pick up and run with.

I haven't scheduled the next trilogy, I don't know when I'll write it just yet.

However, I can tease a few things:

  1. The story will pick up from when Dan is sitting alone in the bunker at the end of Regeneration
  2. Nat will hold a deadly secret which creates a bridge into the world of The Grid … remember Pierce's experiments?
  3. President James Morgan will be a key character – you may see some new motivations arising for his actions in The Grid Trilogy
  4. There will be a surprise based around Harriet (as she's known in The Secret Bunker) and Harry (as she's known in The Grid).
  5. Dr Pierce may make an appearance! How? You'll have to read it when it's written to find out 🙂
  6. It will involve time travel – it has to if you think about it!
  7. Thought you'd seen the last of the Helyions in The Secret Bunker? Oh no, not yet!

Q: What's coming next?

I'm writing something completely different in 2016.

It's going to be a full-length, standalone, adult novel.

It's probably going to be crime and it will definitely be set in the modern world.

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