GUEST POST by Angela R. Watts! Dystopian Fiction Vs. Present Day Reality

Friday, July 24, 2020



Hey everyone!  Today I'm honored to share this guest post written by Angela R. Watts, author of The Divided Nation and its brand-spankin' new sequel, The Grim Alliance!  Here's what she has to say about writing dystopian fiction in this day and age.  

DYSTOPIAN FICTION VS. PRESENT DAY REALITY



Michaela asked me, “In what ways do you combine your fictional ideas with certain elements of what goes on in the real world, to create a dystopian society that is so tangible/believable that readers could see it actually happening down the line or today?” This question makes me so humbled, because years ago, I didn’t realize how prophetic The Infidel Books would be.


When I started the series, I knew I wanted it to be different. Dystopian has a rough reputation! People usually picture some cringe-fest YA love triangle and a big, wicked government full of monsters. I hate these tropes. I wanted to write something realistic, something that resembled our world so much people couldn’t just write it off.


In early 2019, I wrote The Divided Nation, The Infidel Books #1. In early 2020, I wrote The Grim Alliance, The Infidel Books #2, and had it sent to betas by the time the US began descending into chaos. The lockdown, the pandemic, the riots, the government changes, everything… Again, years ago, I based the world I wrote about after my own, but didn’t expect to see anything come to fruition so quickly.


The elements I wanted to incorporate in my fictional world included: the political upheaval that has occurred nonstop for years, sex trafficking, gang violence, full government control, lack of personal freedoms, abortion, and so forth. Basically, I wanted the worlds to look identical in their origin, but have The Infidel Books showcase what happens if we let our guard down. What would happen if the US government broke? What would happen if a Confederate government was created again? What would happen if riots and gang wars broke out across the US? What would happen if personal liberties were freely surrendered for safety and comfort? 


I asked these questions before 2020. Seeing these scenarios play out in real life is sobering. I didn’t expect to see so much come to life. I didn’t expect to reread The Grim Alliance for the fifth time and want to cry because of how much God had helped me write before it had happened in the world I live in. The fictional elements included letting such horrid ideas come to life, setting the novel a few years in the future, and allowing the sky to be the limit.




Dystopian is a genre dedicated to alerting people of what happens when we turn away from reality because it hurts us too much to look at. Dystopian is a genre dedicated to showing humanity’s tenacity, courage, and will power. It also reveals the absolute vile ways of humanity, as well. I have to admit, some of the ideas and things I had/have plotted for The Infidel Books seemed “out there” a few years ago. As I continue to watch the state of the world and after 2020 (I’m only mildly joking when I say the latter), I realize just how close to home the ideas God gave me truly are.


If we cannot acknowledge the darkness around us, how can we conquer it? When I write these novels, I write them to encourage people, to reveal to them God’s truths--that He loves us and that the Kingdom of God is within us (Luke 17:20-21). The world is broken. Fallen. Vile. But with God, even the most heavy world can be set free.


I write what God puts on my heart to write. For quite a while, I refused to start The Infidel Books because I didn’t feel adequate to write such a series, and how could I understand a dystopian world? Looking back now… I’m glad I pushed on. I’m glad I did God’s will. I received rejection, backlash, condemnation--but it is July 2020, and now, I truly understand why God had me write these books the way He did. The series might have seemed “unrelatable” 3+ years ago, but this series is truly meant for the world we live in today. It is humbling and I do not take writing these books lightly, but I know God has a reason for them.


I truly hope this post encourages you. Huge thanks to Michaela for letting me guest post!

God bless you each!

Angela



Thanks so much for stopping by, Angela! If you're interested in reading her new novel, The Grim Alliance, make sure to keep reading for some info about it - including a giveaway!


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Angela R. Watts is a YA fiction author who strives to glorify the Lord in all she does. She’s a homeschool graduate  living at Step By Step Sanctuary, Tennessee, though with Gypsy and Norwegian in her blood, she tends to travel. She’s been writing stories since she was little, but also enjoys chores, painting, and watching sunsets.


FACEBOOK | WEBSITE | AMAZON | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS



BLURB


WHEN THE NATION RIOTS, THE INFIDELS MUST BLEED.


The Second Civil War storms through the crippled US and winter brings nothing but disaster. West Johnston has earned his mafia father’s trust while searching for hidden answers: why are the UN leaders being assassinated, and why can’t the killers be found? If West can’t stop the Union from attacking D.C. in their last attempt to win the war, how can he stop his father?


Springtown remains one of the few townships left standing amid the tyrannical rule. Another group of gangsters prepare the town for winter. Rene’ Fisher is torn between fearing for her boyfriend Simon’s life and the upheaval taking place in Springtown. Can her father keep the town at peace? Will God have mercy on the allegiance the town must form with an unlikely candidate in order to survive, or will Rene’s home burn like the rest of the world?


Told in multiple bold, abrasive narratives, THE GRIM ALLIANCE steps into a war-ridden nation where bleeding for what you believe is the only option for those determined to win. But with faith, can even the bloodiest hands be made clean?


GOODREADS | AMAZON





GIVEAWAY


Of course, what's a blog tour without a great giveaway?  Check out the giveaway below and make sure to get your entries in ASAP! 


*U.S. shipping only.  If an international winner is drawn, they will receive an ebook only.


1st Place: Paperback copy of The Grim Alliance and a bookmark

2nd Place: ebook copy of The Grim Alliance

Click HERE to enter!



A QUICK REVIEW

I had the privilege of getting an ARC copy for review, so here's a quick little rundown of why The Grim Alliance is fantastic, in case you need a little push before buying!


This book is gripping, gritty, and in some cases, hits pretty close to reality.  That's a mark of a masterful dystopian -- when you can read it and see the societal influences within, when it makes you THINK.  The Grim Alliance picks up very smoothly after The Divided Nation and the character development for this one is superb.  The scenes are very real, nicely written -- some scenes make me want to think they're straight out of a critically-acclaimed war movie. I can't wait to read it again...

Do you plan on picking up a copy? Did you enjoy The Divided Nation? And if you also snagged an ARC copy, are you looking forward to the next book in the series??




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