A guy told me he loved books which are part of a series.
He just bought a copy of Social Media Central from me at a book con. That novel clearly states it is TAYLeR Book One on the cover, but at the time, little progress had been made on the sequel.
Social Media Central was going to be a stand alone novel but the state of social media and politics had moved on before its release, so at the final moment I decided it would be the first of a series that would explore these themes. I had random notes for a rough plot for the second, but then ended up working on other novels.
Before Covid, I revisited my notes.
I ditched the original plot as I had fresh concerns about what social media was doing to society. It troubled me that people were detaching even more from reality, but as I worked on this new novel, I had doubts readers would take to the idea that algorithms were partly to blame.
Then the storming of Capital Hill in the US happened and I realised it would no longer be a hard sell. But as the main Covid years rolled around, another aspect of Virtual Insanity had to change.
There was a character named Edgar who fell in love with cooking and was learning the art from Sonya, the chef who provides meals for others hiding in a secret bunker. Edgar’s role in the book was to entice readers to learn a new skill which didn’t require them to be online.
But that’s just what people did during Covid lock downs.
My husband and I learnt to bake bread, make our own curries from scratch, and rediscover many recipes we’d long forgotten. Our social posts were full of images of what we’d made, as was everyone else’s.
And one of the reasons to write dystopian stories is to either inspire someone to change, or warn them of dangers that could happen. Edgar no longer had a role in this story. People had changed. So he disappeared.
Social Media Central had a plot twist I was really proud of.
Sadly, even though that story is set in 2064, this plot twist became reality before the book found a publisher. So, while Virtual Insanity reflects on current themes as all dystopian tales do, augmented reality players and robots help root this story in a future that’s not on our doorstep. Although one or two other aspects have popped up in the news.
At the moment there are no plans for a third in this series.
Even though I’ve come up with a unique plot twist, the TAYLeR books need time for the state of the world to change, otherwise the same themes would be explored over and over.
But what really made me want to continue this series at least for one more book was that guy who was keen to read the first, expecting they’d be more.
Buy an eBook edition HERE.
The print edition will be out soon through Amazon, then much later through other retailers.