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Near Future Sci-FI/Spy Thriller
BlackMail has spent her entire adult life dedicated to The Third Party. A secret organization dedicated to moving humanity towards a future where hunger, poverty, and war no longer exist. An organization so dedicated to its ideals that the ends justify the means, no matter how atrocious.
Her dedication has made her one of The Party’s top agents and they have tasked her with training a young woman, Jade, whom they believe has the potential to be just as good if not better than BlackMail. But when The Party sends them on a mission that goes horribly wrong it will forever change BlackMail, Jade, and The Third Party forever.
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A conversation between BlackMail and her apprentice Jade, on what The Third Party is.
“What if it’s nothing to do with The Party?” Jade asks.
“Doesn’t matter. As soon as they got their hands on Party info, they decided that they could try to blackmail us or threaten us with it. Anything they own is forfeit. Anything they have is forfeit. Anything they are is forfeit.”
“Why? Why is it so bad for someone to know about us? Is what we do so bad? Bringing peace? Ending hunger, disease, poverty, stability? That is what The Party stands for, isn’t it?”
I look at her. So innocent, so naive. It’s almost enough to make me feel bad about what is going to happen tonight. Almost.
“Because Jade, we are the thinkers, the planners, the idealists. Sometimes we’re the blackmailers and saboteurs. We are the proverbial man behind the curtain controlling everything. We are The Third Party. And sometimes, sometimes we are petty and we do not like when others try to step onto our turf and dictate terms to us.”
“But the Rand Corporation….”
“Is not what you think it is!” I cut her off sharply. “This isn’t a group of happy-go-lucky people out to save the world. That group does not exist anywhere. Their achievements come at the expense of others. The true innovators, the inventors, the ones who contribute to society? Not from Rand. No. They make it a point to find them, take their ideas, and use them as they see fit.”
“A group of people out to save the world…doesn’t exist anywhere? Isn’t that us? Isn’t that what The Third Party is?”
I look at her sitting across from me, eyes sullen and downcast. I take a breath and calm myself. It won’t do to get myself all worked up before I kill her tonight.
“I said there is no happy-go-lucky group of people, Jade. We are out to make the world a better place. But it cannot be done nicely. We don’t pretend like Rand. We aren’t going to hold the world’s hand and tell them it’ll be all candy and roses. Sacrifices have to be made, deals brokered, sometimes we blackmail, sometimes we assassinate. The world is harsh and cruel. It can be better, it is getting better. But it is a slow process, and not one we can waltz through. No, there is no such group. There is The Third Party, there is us, and that is all. Groups like Rand, Control, FBI, CIA, NSA, KGB, and others have all tried their hands, but we have outlived them all, and we continue our mission.”
“Well, aren’t the FBI, CIA and NSA still around?”
“There are government groups calling themselves that, sure. But ever since September Eleventh, they became something else. They are no longer trying to make things better, they’re just trying to make sure no one opposes or attacks the U.S., all in the name of ‘safety.’. No, Jade. There is only The Party.”
About the Author:
Arthur David grew up in the ’80’s and ’90’s. He was instilled with a love for reading at an early age by his mom, as well as for Star Trek, Star Wars and Science Fiction in general. Later he would find comics, video games and movies. At 7 years old, Arthur wanted to be an Astronomer, and later a computer programmer.
Neither of those things happened.
Instead life happened he met his beautiful wife and had two wonderful children, and found a new love of writing.
But Arthur never lost his love for reading, science, or the stars. Now he tries to instill that same wonder and love with his family. Somehow they all put up with his shenanigans, none of them have any idea what he is talking about most of the time.
They love him anyways.
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See these interviews with Arthur David:
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Thanks for doing an interview! Could you tell our readers a little bit about your writing journey?
I first started writing back around 2000 when a friend encouraged me to start writing. It was then that I first wrote about the Third Party, but that isn’t the book I published. Its still coming in the chronology. I realized after writing it that there was more to the story and decided to go back and flesh out more of it.
How many books do you currently have published?
At the moment I have 1 book published as well as a short story up over at wattpad.
What has been your favorite book to write so far? Why?
The Beginning has been so far. While it’s the second one I’ve written, but first in the chronology. its also had the most work and the most revisions including a complete POV change. But the reviews have made it all worth it, and I love being able to share it with everyone.
Are you currently working on a book? Will this be your next release?
I am currently working on a short story that will be part of a planned anthology. It takes place shortly after The Beginning. I currently have two more books planned for this series which I’m looking forward to getting started on soon.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
Mostly seeing where the story is going to go. Even as the author I’m not always aware of how things will go or exactly what will happen. I just let the story flow and enjoy being along for the ride.
Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it?
I have gotten writer’s block a few times. Usually, I find it means it’s time to take a break and do something else. That can mean watching tv or movies, reading a book myself, or playing video games. If it’s a clear night and not too cold I may take out my telescope and see if I can find anything interesting. These are all best done with my family. Once I’ve taken a little time, maybe even get a good nights sleep the story starts to flow again.
Have you ever had one of your characters to take a twist you weren’t expecting and surprise you?
Yes, towards the end of Rooks Game, Rook makes an admission I would never have expected. Yet there it is.
Which of your characters is your personal favorite? Least favorite? Why?
So far BlackMail has been my favorite character. Shes a strong woman, unafraid to rush into danger and defend her friends and complete her missions. She believes in what shes doing and will go to any length to get what she wants. But shes not a superhero, she makes mistakes and has to deal with them. Despite being tough, she still has to deal with being human and living with the consequences of her actions. But more than that she still has a full range of emotions and doesn’t try to bury them.
So far, what has been your favorite scene to write?
Right at the start of Rooks Game BlackMail kills a senator right in front of the Governor of Utah. She then proceeds to explain that the Governor will appoint a replacement, and direct him to vote for a program The Third Party wants started. During her conversation, she continuously threatens the governor and his family all while dressed nicely and comparing herself to models in shampoo commercials.
I loved writing this scene, showing how ruthless she could be to get something done, only to walk out later like nothing happened and then get ready for a date.
What lessons have you learned since becoming a writer? Do you have any tips for new writers?
The biggest thing is to just write and not give up. It took me a long time to write The Beginning and the first time I released it did not go well. But going back, revamping it, changing the POV was all worth it. So don’t give up.
Also marketing. I’ve learned that marketing it has been a greater challenge than writing the book ever was.
If you were to recommend your books to a stranger, which book would you advise them to start with? Why?
Well since its just The Beginning right now, you should start there. But check out Rooks Game on Wattpad, it’s a quick read and shows more of how The Party operates but it’s only marginally related the following books. And when the anthology comes out, check out my entry there.
Do you have any extras you’d like to share, like a teaser about an upcoming new release, a summary of a deleted scene, or a teaser about a surprising plot twist or character?
I’ve mentioned working on a short story for an anthology. This will take place after The Beginning but before book 2, which I’m not ready to give details on yet. But this new short story will delve more into BlackMail’s past and we’ll learn more about her former partner Aurora. On top of that we get to see some of what The Party has planned for the future.
Now it’s time to get to know you! What are some of your favorite books to read?
Around 10 years or so ago I stumbled onto a series called “The Dresden Files” and fell in love with it. Since I’ve read pretty much everything Jim Butcher has put out, and I absolutely loved the “Codex Alera” series he did.
I”m also a huge fan of Kevin Hearne and his “Iron Druid Chronicles” and I’m currently reading his new epic “A Plague of Giants”.
And one of the other great authors I love is Peter David. I was first introduced to him via his Star Trek novels, and then moved on to his King Arthur “Knight Life” series, but my favorite Peter David novels are his “Sir Apropos of Nothing”
What about television shows? Movies?
Star Trek! Star Wars! I love them both. Star Trek Deep Space Nine has been my favorite of the Star Treks, but I’m really enjoying the new series Discovery. And yes, there is The Orville, which I’m enjoying as well.
I was really enjoying Agents of SHIELD, and Gotham – which seems like such a strange premise, a Batman show without Batman but tuned out to be really good. I dropped off of both series and need to get back to those.
The GIfted has been really good and I’m looking forward to when that comes back on.
Is there a book that you have read that you feel has made a big impact on your life? Why?
I don’t think there’s really any one book that’s made a huge impact on me. Its been more of a cumulative thing. I suppose some of the Star Wars books, particularly the X-Wing series and I, Jedi (Best Star Wars book ever) were things my friends and I bonded over. But for me reading is something I do for fun, and I want to share that love of reading with others, my friends, family, and my children. So it’s not any one thing or book, but an overall enjoyment that I get from it.
Can readers find you at any live events, such as book signings or conventions?
At the moment, no. Well, I’ve made it to a couple of Comic-Cons but not presenting or anything there. I’m certainly open to doing a signing or showing up to conventions if anyone is interested in having me there.
If you had to sum up your life as a writer in ten words, what would you say?
Sleep really isn’t that important. Food is though.
Do you have anything else you’d like to share with readers?
I just hope everyone enjoys the story and getting to ride along with BlackMail. And I can’t wait to be able to bring out the next parts of the story.