When writing a series of books that includes dealing with rules and laws, an author has to figure out the politics. Throughout the Rise of the Iliri books, rules and governing have been a key point of contention – mainly about the fairness of the laws for the iliri. Well, in book #6, things get even more convoluted.
The Parliament of the Conglomerate of Free Citizens is at the center of this story. As fans of the series will know, the Representatives of that country are a diverse group. Some think equality of the species is a good thing while others are staunchly against it, and most fall in between. Now, with Sal trying to form an alliance with the CFC, she’s right in the middle of it all. So, that means that I, as the
god author of this world, had better understand it!
And so, I started digging through all the books, checking for districts, names of politicians, and their ideology. On a day when the rest of my country is bickering about liberals and conservatives, I’m creating new liberal minds and conservative ones – and giving them interesting things to discuss. It’s a lot more fun than I expected.
I have to think about the voter base and geography. In the middle of a war, people near the front line would tend to be more conservative. That means certain districts have to be Represented by certain people. Those closer to another country would have been influenced by their neighbors, so might be more liberal (on the issue of iliri). Based on where I’d put the cities, what kind of cities they are, and how the battle had been moving around them, I figured out the majority view of the entire country.
Kinda made me feel all smart’n’stuff. Mostly, this background work makes sure that the debates I show in the book feel true and accurate. When dealing with a group of people that aren’t bad, but simply disagree, that’s kinda important. None of the “enemies” in this story are simply evil for the sake of some bad mojo floating in the air. They all have their reasons for what they are doing.
But I’m not going to give you too much here. For those who still haven’t read the series, I don’t want to give away the AHH moments. For those who have, you know Sal’s back in Prin, and she’s not in a good mood. Inspired by the angst of American politics, I’ve tried to carry that feeling into Resilience. Things are changing, and no one is sure they really like it. Not Sal, not her friends and family, and not the people of the CFC – but they don’t have time to wait it out. Terric is bearing down on them, and thousands of Conglomerate iliri crossbreds are going to be the ones to suffer. Both sides are invested in fixing this, but how is the real question. And can Sal find a way to do this without help? Can a slave turned military leader deal with the politics of it all without making things worse?
I honestly think this book expands the world of Ogun a little more. Without the battles constantly pulling at the little beasties, other things are coming to the forefront. We’ll get time in Guttertown, seeing how the iliri act when no one else is looking, but Sal’ll also have a whole new perspective of the wealthy district. Other characters, like Rayna, will experience things in a new light. So many Anglians, like Ilija, have never seen the modern ways of the CFC. Questions of power are at the forefront. From mental skills to political sway and wealth, it’s all coming to a head. Old faces will come back and new ones will appear, and just like in Tenacity, some of the other Black Blades will get a voice.
For those who don’t know, fans on my facebook page recently convinced me to split the sixth book into two (6 and 7). Yes, this will make the series longer, but Resilience was getting to be a monster. I had to decide if I should flesh out the side stories or cut and hack it down to the main plot. My most ardent fans seemed to want more about the world, so I’m giving it to you. It means a little more work to make sure that I don’t leave with a cliffhanger (because I HATE that!) but I think it’s making a better book.
With that said, I’d initially intended for Rise of the Iliri to be a six book series. Well, Inseparable didn’t get as far as I wanted. Tenacity got cut into three. Now, Resilience has been split again. Currently, my outline shows ten books, but I promise that’s only because no one wants to read a 400,000-word tome – and some of the planned books were trying to become that. The series arc hasn’t changed, I’ve just given you a few more insights into things like the iliri outcasts and whatever happened to that little Ilirian bookstore Zep likes so much.
When I started writing, I’d plotted the books by geography. As an epic Science Fantasy story, I thought that each book should be written from point A to point B. As an example, Bloodlust started in Ft. Landing and made it to Prin. Instinctual covered the story as it happened in the capital of the Conglomerate until Sal left for her mission in Anglia. I even made a (very ugly and crude) map to keep myself on the path. Now, in the second half of the series, the novels seem to be following Sal’s growth as a character more.
I think all I need now, is to figure out how to make this a little prettier and put it in the books so people can follow along. Maybe it will make the politics a little easier to understand. At least I can always hope.