(LitRPG: Play to Live – Bk-1)
A new pandemic – the perma effect – has taken over Earth of the near future. Whenever you play your favorite online game, beware: your mind might merge with the virtual world and dump its comatose host. Woe be to those stuck forever in Tetris! And still they’re the lucky ones compared to those burning alive eternally within the scorched hulls of tank simulators.
But some unfortunates – the handicapped and the terminally ill, shell-shocked army vets, wronged crime victims and other society misfits – choose to flee real life willingly, escaping to the limitless world of online sword and sorcery MMORPGs.
Once a seasoned gamer and now a terminal cancer patient, Max grasps at this final chance to preserve his life and identity. So he goes for it – goes for the promise of immortality shared with a few trusty friends and the woman he loves. Together they roam the roads of AlterWorld and sample its agony and ecstasy born of absolute freedom.
The SECURUS Trilogy
The SECURUS Trilogy
The SECURUS Trilogy is an exciting post-apocalyptic dystopian adventure with medical twists, that introduces real world characters with diversity that are rarely featured in Science Fiction books and movies. Strong women leaders and ethnic diversity make the SECURUS Trilogy socially relevant and an exciting experience for sci-fi fans!
Book 1 – The Death Detail
Driven underground to escape a biological weapon known as The Agent, the last known colony of people take refuge in a large subterranean facility called Securus. Kagen Meldon, a Healer by profession, finds his only mental escape in exploring The Caves, an adjoining underground system isolated from the poisonous atmosphere. His life was routine until an unexpected discovery in The Caves…
Book 2 – The Controller
After uncovering the lies that have secretly kept Securus’ people as Caelum’s slaves, Kagen Meldon hoped the path to freedom would be simple. That dream becomes shattered when he learns The Controller is coming to Securus. His presence brings with it the threat of annihilation.
Book 3 – The Seat of Power
Kagen knows there is only one path to freedom. But is the cost more than he can bear? Ever since he uncovered the lies Caelum uses to secretly keep Securus’ people as their slaves, Kagen Meldon has relentlessly searched for a path to freedom…Kagen knows what he must do. If they are ever to be free, Caelum’s enduring power must be severed once and for all…The only question is whether he or the rest of Securus will survive long enough to end the Controller’s deadly game.
Interview with Anthony
Hi Anthony! Thank you for giving us the opportunity to discuss your work and the Securus Trilogy on Book Tour Radio. I’ve started reading the series and I’m already hooked, so my first question is, what inspired you to write this captivating series?
It started with a simple desire to write. For years I felt like I had it in me to do this, but never really sat down and went at it. One day, I just decided it was time.
As far as the story itself, I have always been intrigued with cave systems and felt like this was an opportunity to have the setting come from that type of environment.
The dystopian theme just felt right for the setting and gave me an opportunity to throw in some social commentary in there as well.
When did you know that the Securus storyline had enough evolution and depth to become a trilogy series?
My original desire was to make it a series, though I wasn’t sure how it would unfold. So I decided to write the first book and then decide from there whether or not it felt right to continue into a series or not.
As I was getting into the latter half of my first draft, it became clear to me there was much more story to tell.
I have heard that you modeled some of the characters based on some real-life influences. Can you share a few of those with us, and whether or not they know they inspired a character in this adventure?
There are a few characters inspired by people in my life. One of my goals was to have strong women characters. It just feels more natural and interesting to me that way. So, naturally, one of the lead characters was based by my wife, Bernice. In real life I see her as a “superwoman,” so it felt really easy bringing her character to life.
Another one of the characters was heavily influenced on a good friend of mine, although I actually had to tone down how outrageous he can be.
Everyone who influenced a character knew while I was writing the first draft. It was interesting and fun to see how they reacted to how their characters turned out.
There are plenty of fascinating examples of amazing writers who had unusual careers before their writing redefined them. Harper Lee was a reservation clerk at Eastern Airlines, John Steinbeck worked at a warehouse, Kurt Vonnegut worked at a Saab dealership, George Orwell was a police officer in Burma, John Grisham worked for a plumber. And that’s just a few. Can you share with us, what your “day job” is?
I am an Emergency Medicine physician. That probably explains why there are some medical twists involved in the story.
When did you discover that there were stories inside you and that writing could become one of your passions?
In the back of my mind, there was always an urge to write. I felt like I had it in me, but because of my chosen career path, it was pushed aside.
Even when I initially began writing The Death Detail, I was unsure how this would turn out or if I even would be able to finish. But as the story came out, it just felt so fluid and natural. That’s when everything really clicked for me.
Was there anyone who inspired you to write or encouraged you to pursue your writing aspirations?
Really, without my wife, I would have never started. She inspires and encourages me so much every day. There were many times I felt completely discouraged, but she was always there to help pick me up.
An exciting Trilogy like Securus, could easily become the basis for a movie series. How would your life change if that happened? Would you keep doing your “day job”?
It would be so fun if there was ever an opportunity to bring this Trilogy to the screen. I couldn’t even imagine what would happen then. I would take some time off from my day job, but most likely I would continue practicing medicine unless people actually recognized me and made my presence a distraction at the hospital.
Let’s talk a bit about Securus. The trilogy is a science fiction adventure/thriller based on a dystopian backdrop. Can you give us an overview of the 3 books – without giving away the secrets that your fans want to discover on their own…
The Death Detail:
The last remaining survivors of humanity hide from the devastation caused by a deadly biological-weapon in an underground facility known as Securus.
Life was routine for Kagen Meldon, with a rigid schedule, and daily work in the infirmary. His only mental escape comes from exploring The Caves, an intricate system isolated from the poisonous atmosphere. In a deep, unmarked section, Kagen and his friends stumble upon a shocking discovery that leads to a deadly encounter with a pair of mysterious shadow-men.
Kagen’s life is thrown into chaos by the tragic event and the ensuing Leadership cover-up. Unable to move on without knowing the truth, Kagen’s search for answers is obstructed by the relentless scrutiny of Leadership as well as a deadly viral outbreak that threatens to overwhelm Securus. The more he learns the more dangerous it becomes, not only for Kagen, but for everyone he cares for.
After uncovering the lies used to suppress the people of Securus, Kagen Meldon hoped the path to freedom would be simple. That dream is shattered when he learns The Controller, the very man responsible for their oppression, is coming to Securus. If they are to survive, Securus must hide what they have learned from his scrutiny.
Kagen works side by side with the new head of Leadership, Talia Vaden, trying to balance their quest for freedom with the need to appease The Controller.
The dissention stirred up by fear of the looming threat combines with an enigmatic new disease afflicting the colony to push them to the edge of catastrophe. Their burden only deepens with the discovery of a new threat within The Caves.
With danger coming from the people within to the forest above, nothing is certain. The only thing Securus can count on is its own demise if The Controller is not satisfied.
The Seat of Power:
Ever since uncovering the lies used to control Securus’ people, Kagen Meldon has relentlessly searched for a path to freedom. But, just as he was warned, escape is not so easy. Caelum has used the last century to perfect their methods of controlling his people.
Every step he takes to escape only leads to another subversive method Caelum uses against them. While Kagen becomes haunted by seemingly unending death and disease surrounding him, the effects of this combined with constant uncertainty deepens a divide within Securus.
After seeking to gain Munitus as an ally against Caelum, Kagen is forced into a hopeless contest, pitted against the Controller and weakened by some of his own people. Kagen knows there is only one thing that can be done. If they are ever to be free, Caelum’s enduring power must be severed once and for all. The only question is whether he or the rest of Securus will survive long enough to end the Controller’s deadly game.
One of the reasons I was particularly drawn to the series and a reason that I feel so many progressive readers will love the series is that your storyline embraces diversity and there are many positive and empowered female roles.
Can you tell us a bit about this element that really makes SECURUS stand out? And can you also share with us why these elements were important for you to build your story on?
One thing I always noticed is there’s no one like me in books or in movies.
There is a lack of real diversity. Often when characters of different ethnic backgrounds are included, it just feels limited or they’re made to fit into standard stereotypical roles.
The main characters in my series are very diverse in their ethnic origins, but intentionally do not behave as ethnic stereotypes. They are just regular people who define themselves by their actions and not by their skin color.
The other aspect of the characters that was very important to me was the female roles. It feels much more realistic and interesting for them to be strong and empowered. Even though the story is told from the viewpoint of a male character, the women involved are meant to be every bit as important and impactful to the plot.
This book series had some medical twists in it. What are you working on now? Any medical thrillers in the works?
My most recent project is actually quite different. It’s more of a sci-fi comedy. But there are a few other stories I have in mind for a medical thriller that would be fun to tackle next.
Lastly, I wanted to ask you what advice you have for other writers, who might find themselves in a career that in no way facilitates creative writing, yet they yearn to write and capture a story in their head?
I think the best thing is to not wait for “a better time” to start. Just go for it. Make some time to do a little bit every day and you’ll be amazed at the progress you make. Another helpful thing is finding a way to clear your mind and let the ideas flow. For me, just going out for a run (without headphones/music) always let my mind drift into the story and helps find inspiration.
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