Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the release of your sci-fi novel, Kill Code, from TCK Publishing! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the book’s premise, and what inspired you to tell this story?
Clive Fleury: Kill Code: A Dystopian Science Fiction Novel is set in the future – 2031 – and is the story of how an ex-cop, Hogan Duran, discovers that all he has believed in is a lie. As its central premise, it asks the question: In a world gone wrong, can one man make a difference? Or will he die trying?
I’ve been thinking about writing Kill Code for several years – constructing a story that was not just entertaining but also made the reader consider the way our society is developing. This sounds heavy, but the sci-fi genre provides an ideal vehicle to address moral questions while at the same time offering a damn good read. Hopefully, in Kill Code, I’ve succeeded with both these objectives.
BD: What can you share with us about your creative process in bringing the dystopian tale to life, and what have been some of your creative influences?
CF: When I start writing a novel, the first stage is to develop a structure – a beginning, middle, and end. I always envisaged Kill Code to be book one of a sci-fi trilogy, so in this case I also had to map out a rough structural plan for the other novels. Then, I spent time thinking about the need to build a coherent picture of the future world and plotting the background of the principal characters who inhabit it. After doing all this, it’s down to the hard work of actually writing, which I never find easy! The whole process takes at least a year.
On creative influences, when I was eleven years old, after reading Planet of the Apes, I thought: “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool to spend my life writing stories like this?” so that was a pretty big moment. As for other novel and writers, I’m a bit of a magpie, so no novel genre or novelist is out of bounds and many different people stimulate my creative juices. However, I read the late Elmore Leonard for his superb dialogue; Philip K. Dick for his sci-fi twists and turns, and insightful quotes like the so-true “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away;" and finally George Orwell for telling it how it is and will be.
BD: At Fanbase Press this year, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that Kill Code’s story will connect with and impact readers, and why do you feel that this story was important for you to bring to life?
CF: At one level, I want Kill Code to be considered pure entertainment – a page-turner that readers can race through and enjoy. But I also hope that they think about the story and how real the dystopian future world I have created might be. Without seeming too preachy, the problems of global warming and wealth inequality are only going to get worse. The Coronavirus has underlined that we live in a society where everyone is interconnected. We cannot afford to continue to have one tiny group of rich, powerful people living a life so radically different and divorced from the experiences and struggles of most folk. It’s a recipe for disaster.
BD: Do you foresee expanding the novel into subsequent books or even into other entertainment mediums, if given the opportunity?
CF: Kill Code was always envisaged as the first of a trilogy. Each book was to have a self-contained story arc, but there was to be another narrative arc that would span all three novels. So, anyone could read any of the books separately but to get maximum enjoyment they should complete all three novels.
On other media for Kill Code, I would love to make it into a graphic novel, put together by someone who has considerably more artistic skill than me. Besides being an author, I work in TV and film and am actively trying to get Kill Code produced as a TV series. If anyone out there has any thoughts, suggestions or could help me achieve either or both of these goals please get in touch.
BD: What makes TCK Publishing the perfect home for this book?
CF: TCK is a small publisher which really looks after their authors. I got a lot of editorial help from them, as well as advice on marketing the book. It was a very hands-on process that was both challenging and rewarding.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
CF: I’m currently working on Blood Code, book two of the trilogy. The Coronavirus has meant that I’m locked in my apartment, so I have no excuses not to write. I’m hoping the book will be complete by the end of the year. Fingers crossed I can achieve that goal.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Kill Code and your other work?
CF: The best way to find information about Kill Code is of course to read it. I would love you to buy the novel and, if possible, leave a review.
I also have an Amazon author’s page which tells you about me and has a listing of other books I have written.
I’m on Twitter - @clivefleury
And Instagram - @clivefleuryhere
I also have a website: www.clivefleurywriter.com
And of course, you can always email me: clivefleurywriter (at) gmail (dot) com.
So, there’s no excuse for not getting in touch!