My guest today, Simon Elson, is my youngest author I have featured on Patricia’s Pen. At the age of twenty, Simon has recently had his debut dystopian novel, Hades Forest published. Here’s what he has to say.
The dystopian genre has always been my favourite type of fiction, yet I feel that some areas of the genre remain unexplored. Therefore, Hades Forest represents my attempt to bring the dystopian novel into the 21st century. I have attempted to do that by exploring ideas around mental health, disabilities, and climate change. How do these very modern concepts exist within a dystopian society?
In addition, I took a great deal of satisfaction in creating a protagonist quite passive in his behaviour. Once more, I think this introduces a different dynamic to the events that take place. Perry, my protagonist, doesn’t choose rebellion; he stumbles into it by accident.
Therefore, I really like that the hero of my story isn’t actually a hero at all – he’s not attractive, he’s not strong, he’s not particularly brave. But yet, I think he represents 99% of us, and I would certainly argue that the majority of us are inherently unpolitical, and only choose to be political when we absolutely need to be. That’s certainly the case with my protagonist.
My main inspiration for Hades Forest was George Orwell’s 1984. Although, my novel is slightly less bleak.
To find out more about Hades Forest check out the blurb below.
In a dark vision of the near future, the Holy State of Borea is indoctrinating its citizens. No one is allowed to speak out against the government.
But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire for freedom – not for Perry Benson, at least. Whilst his wife falls more and more in love with the state’s regime, he searches for a way out.
His path forward becomes clear, and he escapes to a distant forest. The repressive state cannot find him here – yet he is not the only one living between the trees.
Perry must fight for his life, and unravel the government’s secrets… before he is killed by one of the five tribes of Hades Forest.
Hades Forest contains explicit scenes and acts of graphic violence which some readers may find disturbing.
About Simon Elson
Simon Elson is a 20-year-old writer living in Chorleywood, a village near London in the UK. Despite achieving the best grades possible (A*) in his final school exams, Simon chose not to attend University at Oxford or Harvard, instead entering employment to give himself the time (and financial cushion) to pursue his dream of becoming a writer. He is now working on the sequel to Hades Forest.
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