I originally wrote the short story Shade for fun. It was a play on the old radio series "The Shadow" from the early years of radio. He was character who could cloud men's minds, so that they couldn't see him. In a day and age where people tend to trust their technical devices more than the senses they were born with, it was more important that my character be able to fool the computers. It also played on one of my favorite novels by Dean Koontz titled Dark Rivers of the Heart. In this book Koontz creates a tech savvy group that lives off the grid. These were some of the inspiration for the Subgridders in my Shade Series. I even took the code phrase that Koontz used in his book as a way of recognizing each other. Of course I gave him due credit for the whole idea. What keeps me writing this series?
Just look around at the news and you will find the answer. We have the media praising an athlete for admitting that he is gay while forgetting the deaths of real heroes in Benghazi and other places. To protect our children from drug addiction, and sexual diseases we teach them about drugs and sex. To protect them from guns we ban the gun, where is the logic in that? Some people are telling us that our children are not ours, but that they belong to the community in general. These are the concepts that Orwell warned us about in his book 1984 which scared everyone in my generation to death. It also helped me design the world in which the series takes place. More and more our society is looking like Huxley's Brave New World where long term relationships and family life are considered detrimental to society. Our children are given heroes that really aren't heroic at all. Instead of people who make sacrifices for others, we tend to glorify the villains and entertainers. We know the names of everyone who committed a mass shooting, but who can name the policeman of fireman who saved the lives of the survivors? All of these works of literature have played a part in the creation of the world in which Shade and his companions live.
The world has been turned upside down, good is now bad, logic is irrelevant, common sense is ridiculed, and it is scary to think that this is the world we are leaving our children and grandchildren. The bright side of it all is that there will always be the people who live on the land. They were the ones who got us through all of the hard times in the past and they will be the ones who get us through the hard times of the future. It will be those that remember the lessons of our grandparents who survived the Great Depression, fought WWII that will keep the flames of liberty and freedom alive. It is the hope that readers will take a new look at how we are living today, and where are grandparents lived to find the balance that will keep this dystopian world from becoming real.