Ten things you didn’t know about Saga of the Nine: Area 38
1) It was originally going to be a musical. The album that inspired it, This is War by 30 Seconds to Mars, was intended not only as the frame work of the story, but the bulk of the songs as well. I thought about seeking out Jared Leto’s help/permission to use his music and possibly add more, but things ended up turning a different direction. It really came down to the fact that I didn’t think a musical would do the story justice. I still listened to the album probably a couple hundred times while writing it, but the story is much different now than the original musical.
2) Mica and the USA Division were inspired by a date I took a girl on. My date and I doubled with my roommate and his date, each got some masquerade masks, and then went to dinner at a fancy restaurant while we wore them. Like I said, bizarre, but hey, something worked because my date that night is now my wife.
3) Area 38 is actually a reference to the 38th state of the United States of America.
4) The opening setting was inspired by the cold winter mornings in Utah. I’ve been working the six am shift for as long as I can remember, and one of the joys about having to wake up so early in order to get to work on time, is it’s around the time that the sun rises. The fog that covered the fields outside the industrial park were some of the most beautiful mornings I’ve seen.
5) Benedict Cumberbatch, the actor who played Sherlock Holmes in BBC’s Sherlock, is the person I pictured as I wrote and fine tuned Christopher Stone, the sadistic Area Leader of Area 38. If he reads this, I hope he doesn’t get offended. The way he talks in Star Trek: Into Darkness as Kahn is exactly how I imagine Christopher saying his lines.
6) I wrote the entire novel on the floor of my 500 square foot apartment--right at the foot of my bed. I could only right for a few hours at a time though. Any longer than three and my butt and legs would begin to go numb.
7) Saga of the Nine: Area 38 is actually a hybrid. The entire plot began as two different stories. Both of them were going nowhere, and one day I had the epiphany to combine the two.
8) Most, if not all, of my research for Area 38 came from listening to history podcasts I would listen to at my day job in the warehouse.
9) The flag on the cover was the brain child of my cousin, the cover designer. The entire premise is that anything that is evil and corrupt usually isn’t original. Evil simply takes originality and tweaks it. That’s what the Nine did with the U.S. flag.
10) The foreign language in the novel is based off of Tahitian, which I picked up on my LDS mission in French Polynesia.
Change affects everyone and it is no different for Jackson. Living in Area 38 for as long as he can remember, he knows of no better way to exist than under the tyrannical rule of Christopher Stone, son of Stewart Stone from The Nine of The United Governmental Areas, aka The UGA. This all takes a dramatic turn when Jackson finds a red, metal box buried in his yard, filled with illegal artifacts—journals, a Bible, CDs, etc.—that are from a man of whom he has no recollection of: Mica Rouge.
The year is 2036 and Mica, unlike Jackson, does know of a better way of life but is torn apart as he sees his country, The United States of America, crumbling from within by group known as The Political Mafia. The Mafia has infiltrated levels upon levels of governmental resources and it is up to Mica and a vigilante group known as The USA Division to stop them and their dark Utopian vision. To their demise, and at the country's expense, The Division fails and has no choice but to watch The Constitution dissolve and transform into The UGA.
In a final stand, having not given up hope, Mica and what is left of The Division, give one final fight in Colorado, or better known as Area 38. However, all is lost as The Division is betrayed by one of their own, Stewart Stone. Mica is left with no choice but to hide in exile, leaving what little history he can of himself and the great United States of America, with his wife, long time friends, and newly born son in hopes that they will one day finish what he could not.
Jackson, having found this legacy twenty-seven years later, decides to start the war that will end The Nine, and he with an outcast group known as The Raiders, begins his fight with Christopher Stone in Area 38. Filled with betrayal, unity, despair, hope, hate and love Area 38 follows both Mica and Jackson in their attempts to restore what they believe to be true freedom, and where one fails, the other rises to the seemingly impossible challenge.
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Genre – Dystopian Thriller
Rating – PG13
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