by Mikhaeyla Kopievsky
For long-time readers of my blog, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of dystopian narratives and indie authors – and today I get to combine both of them!
The indie author and publishing world is an incredibly vibrant and supportive community. Over the years, I’ve been lucky to meet a lot of great authors and publishers who are creating and publishing interesting and unique stories – and today’s guest author is no different.
Emma Pullar is a London-born author of dark fiction whose award-winning horror and sci-fi short stories have been published in four different anthologies. A writer of many talents, Emma has also written a best-selling children’s book and dabbles in screenwriting. But it is her dystopian thriller duology (published by indie house, Bloodhound Books) – and not the fact that she spent some time living ‘across the ditch’ 🙂 (an Aus-Kiwi term for those playing along at home) – that I signed up for her blog blitz.
I read the first book of the duology, Skeletal, last week and was immediately struck by Emma’s treatment of one of my favourite dystopian archetypes – the divided population. It is a theme I have explored extensively in my own dystopian series, Divided Elements, and I was interested in discussing with Emma her own thoughts on the trope.
Thanks for joining us today, Emma! Your first book, Skeletal, deals with some classic dystopian themes, including a divided population and a government that keeps it divided by spreading lies to both sides about the other –
What drew you to this theme?
What drew me to the divided society theme is how divided our own societies are. I’ve moved between middle and working-class and lived in different countries with varying degrees of class separation. There is always going to be a pyramid structure to any society but some are fairer than others and it’s possible to better yourself. I find the UK (my birth country) a hard place to better your situation. The poor stay poor and now we have a new class of people called ‘the working poor’ and for me, this is disgraceful. I took the injustices I had experienced in my life growing up in a low social economic area and the opportunities I was afforded when moved to an affluent area in another country, and twisted them into the strange place that is Gale City.
Do you have any favourite books or movies that also deal with this theme?
I love dystopian books and movies. Most dystopian societies in literature and film are divided into the powerful and powerless. However, the books/films Skeletal has been likened to by reviewers are ones I had never read/watched.
I love The Handmaid’s Tale and 1984 but I did not read those until after I had written Skeletal. Writers definitely have similar thought patterns.
The Hunger Games and Battle Royale are two of my favourites. With both of those there is a lottery in being entered into the games. Showcase is a lottery of sorts. So I guess the lottery/getting picked idea was an influence.
Do you see this theme playing out in ‘real life’?
As in my first answer, yes, I do see this playing out in real life. I think history repeats itself and humans never learn from the past. Those in power will continue to be greedy until the majority of society are starving and have no choice but to bring them down. Then the cycle starts again.
How does this theme evolve in your second book, Avian?
In Avian we see how the system came to be in the first place and why humans (emotional creatures) struggle to make good choices and govern themselves. Skyla finds out that alternative ways of living can be harmonious. Everyone has a part to play and people help each other. “The system does not work” and Skyla knew this but that doesn’t mean a new system isn’t the answer.
CENTRAL IS LOSING ITS GRIP ON THE CITIZENS OF GALE CITY.
Megan Skyla, who refused to play by Central’s rules and become a surrogate for her masters, has thrown the city into chaos. Corrupting those around her, she and her friends are forced into hiding – hunted by Central, the evil rulers of Gale City. Skyla’s desperate attempts to keep everyone alive ends when they’re kidnapped by feuding gangs.
Skyla cuts a deal and then betrays both gangs. Now there is nowhere left to run. It’s the desert or die. Her best friend, Crow, thinks she still wants to find a way to cure the Morbian masters of their obesity and finish what she started.
But Skyla has other plans. She’s sure there are settlements in the desert, there must be something out there … and there is. Something terrible.
Skyla is about to find out there’s more than one way to bring about change but one truth remains … Central must be destroyed in order to ensure her survival. There is no other way.
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Want more great dystopian books?
Resistance, The award-winning first book in the dystopian Divided Elements series is now available for free! Click here to grab your copy.
You can also purchase your copy of the anticipated sequel Rebellion. Click here to start reading now!