Article published on January 6, 2017.
That may sound macabre but it was crucial for the book I was writing. Honest. I wanted to explore isolation, loneliness, fear of abandonment and what threads of hope could be found in the midst of all that. There might have been easier ways to explore these themes, but this seemed like way more fun.
The themes that litter authors’ work tells you a great deal about them, I think. There’s a reason why Stephen King sometimes chooses to write from a teenager’s perspective or has his main character be an author and then proceeds to put them through horrific ordeals. For me, I am pre-occupied with losing my loved ones and not having anyone to remember me; I suspect this is the reason why death plays such a pivotal role in my writing. Don’t we all wonder what kind of a person we’d be if something tragic was to happen? Would we run and scream? Would we bunker down with our families and spurn all others? Would we carry on as normal and pretend nothing had happened? We always hope we’d be strong and fearless in the face of adversity, but the reality is often much more complex than that. Exploring the choices people make, and the actions they take in such situations, is something I find endlessly fascinating.
These types of scenarios are my go-to area for reading, too. Not only do novels like Beth Lewis’s The Wolf Road and Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend tick all my boxes, but so do books like Gavin Extence’s The Universe Versus Alex Woods, Emma Donoghue’s Room and Ned Vizzini’s It’s Kind of a Funny Story, because they all explore themes of survival, isolation and extreme loneliness in their own ways, be it through the eyeglass of social ostracisation, physical imprisonment, or the hardships for those suffering from mental illness. With Defender and the Voices series, I wanted to delve into the psychology of all these areas, pick them apart, and then share all the horrible and hopeful parts of humanity I find.
Defender by G X Todd
Headline 9781472233080 hbk Jan. 2017
“an imaginative thriller that draws on influences from Stephen King, Clive Barker and Neil Gaiman to create a new world – where the biggest threat mankind faces is from the voices inside your own head. If you loved The Stand or The Passage, you’ll love Defender, the first in a four part series.”
‘Compelling, suspenseful, and altogether extraordinary’ – Lee Child
‘So accomplished that it’s difficult to believe it’s a first novel, Defender is already worthy to take its place alongside The Stand in the canon. An absolute gem of a book’ – John Connolly