His father has a technology that will make people immortal. The only problem is that the most powerful, secret organization in the world wants it too. And they are willing to kill.
A.G. Riddle meets Marie Lu in this thrilling and suspenseful near-future sci-fi adventure that will leave you on the edge of your seat and then knock you right off it.
One secret organization. One zombie-infested, virtual reality game. One technology that will change the world forever.
The only love Sam has in life is Deadwave, a virtual reality, zombie, battle royale video game. He has spent most of his teenage years escaping the agony of his mother’s suicide and a dreary world on the precipice of collapse by killing zombies and other players in Deadwave, making it his sole mission to become the best player on the planet. Now his dream is right at his fingertips, but dark secrets are lurking in Sam’s past that threaten to take everything away from him. After Sam is kidnapped and forced by a powerful, secretive group to steal the patents to a revolutionary technology from his father that will allow people to live forever in a virtual world, Sam is given just thirty days to live.
Now, Sam must face the biggest challenge of his life. He must win the Deadwave World Championship and end the constant torture and manipulation from this ultra-powerful group, or it’s game over.
Welcome to the first book in the Conspiracy Chronicles, a part dystopian, part science fiction, part thriller series that will forever make you question your relationship with technology. Reader BEWARE that once beginning this story it may be hard to put down, and nearly impossible to get out of your head after the thrilling world of the Conspiracy Chronicles wraps you in.
Purchase Links: Amazon | Signed Paperback
Michael Evans is the author of the Control Freakz Series and Conspiracy Chronicles. Whenever he is not writing he may be found at the beach or trying to walk Skye, his crazy goldendoodle. He is originally from Long from Long Island, New York, but has since moved to Charleston, South Carolina where he attends high school. Michael Evans also serves as the Main Coordinator for YEW Clubs for the Young Eager Writers Association and is the host of the Writing Roots Podcast. He is driven by his desire to use storytelling as a vehicle for affecting positive changes for the future of the world, and is motivated to inspire others to use storytelling in their own lives and with their own passions to make this world a better place.
Social Media Links: Website |Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram
Q & A
Q: In a few words, how would you describe Deadwave?
A: Deadwave is a cyberpunk science fiction novel with elements of young adult (protagonist is nineteen) and the action and pacing of a high-octane thriller novel. Deadwave can be compared to the books Ready Player One and Altered Carbon in many ways and at its core tells the story of Sam in his quest to win the Deadwave World Championship, where the world’s top competitors at the virtual reality, zombie, battle royale video game all compete to win the prize of ten million dollars. However, Sam also has to try and escape a secretive group of wealthy people attempting to kill him to access the patents to a world-changing technology that his father’s company owns.
Q: How long will the Conspiracy Chronicles be?
A: At the time of writing this, it will certainly be at least five books, but likely much longer. The first three novels, Deadwave , Blood Brothers , and The Last Migration , will be released in the fall of 2019 with the next few novels being released in the spring of 2020.
Q: What inspired you to write Deadwave?
A: In many ways, the entire Conspiracy Chronicles was necessary for me to write in order to flesh out the backstory of my first series Control Freakz. This ended up turning into a much longer and complex story than I originally anticipated that I plan to form the foundation of a fictional universe that will encompass many different series. This series in particular draws on my fascination and passion with video games, virtual reality, and virtual worlds and their impact on the future of our world.
Q: The video game in Deadwave feels so real. What inspired you to come up with a video game that includes zombies, avatars fighting to the death, and a host of abandoned locations?
A: Deadwave for me is a culmination of all my favorite games into one. I’ve always loved sports, and used to play basketball and baseball for many years so the virtual reality portion of the game allows them to compete using the motion of their entire bodies just as an athlete would.
Zombies for me are something that I have also always loved. Some of my favorite video games are Tell Tale’s The Walking Dead and State of Decay which both feature zombies and for me it was just natural to incorporate it into the game. The battle royale portion of the game certainly draws inspiration from Fortnite and Apex Legends, but my original fascination with the concept actually comes from my love for The Hunger Games . And all the abandoned places present in the maps in the game represent one of my favorite hobbies of urban exploring. Going to abandoned mental hospitals, offices, movie theaters, and many other locations is one of my favorite hobbies and something that I have done for years and intend to continue to do for years to come.
Q: The relationship between Sam and his father is central in Deadwave . What made you choose to highlight this?
A: Throughout the entirety of the Conspiracy Chronicles my goal is to explore the bonds between men and boys at a deeper level. I feel that the mental health of men and the relationships we have is often understated or left unnoted in literature and popular culture. With Deadwave specifically, I seek to show the pressure that many young boys feel to live up to their father’s expectations, and likewise the often crushing pressure their father’s place upon their own children. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t draw some inspiration from my own relationship with my father. Yet, he isn’t strict and abusive like James [Sam’s dad] is in Deadwave, which I am thankful for (many father’s I know are to their children and spouses though).
However, the view Sam has of his father, of being this unbelievable man who he idolizes is similar to how I viewed my father. But when Sam finds out the truth about his father, and sees his darker side, he finally sees that his father isn’t this unbelievable guy and he begins to have a love-hate relationship with him. The arc of their relationship continues, and I won’t explain anything further just to not give too much away, but there is a deeper message about all the relationships present in Deadwave, and the subsequent books in the series, and it really needs to be read to be fully understood.
Q: Riva, a character Sam grows very close to in Deadwave, is the only top Deadwave player in the world that is a girl. Why did you choose to have the world of Deadwave dominated by men?
A: I did this as an indictment of both the current professional esports world and the sports world at large. Right now almost all of the top video game streamers and most well known athletes in the world are men. Men are paid much more than women and receive more fame for equal work. The world of Deadwave is still dominated by men because, frankly, I don’t see this changing anytime soon (I really hope it improves!), but also because it allowed me to highlight the downsides to a male dominated world.
However, Riva is an anomaly. She is better than all the boys competing in Deadwave and has more fame and money than all of them. She to me is a fictional example of what I hope one day is a living example of a woman, and a woman of color at that, absolutely dominating in a world that she isn’t even “supposed” to be in. Whether this happens in politics, sports, or business I hope that one day both young boys and young girls can idolize women for having great success in a playground built by the boys. I actually think this will happen in the very near future, and I know that tens of millions of women are capable of this, if they were just given equal opportunity in a world full of misogyny.
Riva in my eyes symbolizes the strength millions of women are capable if given the opportunity, and due to the democratizing effects of the internet just a change in public perception is all it might take.
Q: The unreleased technology Life Pods in Deadwave allows people to live in virtual worlds forever. Do you foresee a similar technology coming to light in just fifteen years as described in Deadwave?
A: I certainly do. I don’t know about in the next fifteen years, but I think with things like the Blue Brain Project that seeks to map our brains and the rise of quantum computing, at some point in the near future we will have the capability of uploading our minds to computers and living in virtual worlds. When this happens I have no clue how humanity responds and this question is at the core of the conflict in the Conspiracy Chronicles, and as you will come to see, yeah… lots of stuff goes down.
I won’t say that I foresee our future headed the same way it is in the Conspiracy Chronicles but given the way corporate America is set up, and the fact that the issues of wealth inequality and climate change continue to grow, I picture some negative effects coming to rise from such a technology. Deadwave is just the beginning of a larger narrative that I hope serves as a thrilling and entertaining warning to reform our current world so that we can maximize the positive implications of technologies similar to Life Pods and reduce the negative implications as much as possible.
Q: Deadwave is your fourth published novel. What have you learned from your prior books?
A: Like many authors, I have learned from my mistakes, and I think as long as I am alive I will continue to refine my work and improve my ability as a storyteller. I really learned from my first series how to create a story people emotionally care about from the beginning, craft more likable characters, and hone my narrative skills in a way that is not too introspective and focuses more on what the characters do versus what they are thinking.
Q: How old are you at the time of writing Deadwave?
A: I was 17 years old while writing and publishing that novel, and at the time of writing this I am still 17 years old.
Q: What encouraged you to pursue writing in a relatively early stage of your life?
A: For me age isn’t really a factor in anything. What allows someone to tell a great story in my mind is the stories and experiences the writer has experienced in their lifetime. Although I may not have as much stories to share as some others who have more years on their belt than me, I have experienced the ups and downs in life, experienced pure pain and true joy, and from my wildest moments to my most mundane ones I have always maintained an acute self-awareness that has allowed me to develop my world view and a deep set of experiences to build off when crafting my stories.
Q: Since you are still a teenager, are you in high school?
A: I just graduated highschool this past June and am currently amidst a gap year from my education. I live in the United States, specifically Charleston, South Carolina, so after finishing twelfth grade the “normal” thing to do is either to get a job or increasingly to go to college. I don’t feel that this path is right for me though, and if I’m being honest I’m not sure exactly what is. I just know I love storytelling, and know that this is what I want to do for the foreseeable future and maybe even the rest of my life. As such, I decided to take a gap year from my education to pursue writing full time and really get to see what being an author is like day in and day out, and also use this opportunity to expand my desire to storytell into different mediums such as Youtube.
Q: Share with us three things about your books (not spoilers) that most don’t know.
A: The abandoned places they go to in the video game in Deadwave are based off abandoned places I have been to in real life. The character James in Deadwave (his backstory will be fleshed out in later novels) is inspired from my old dream to be a nanoengineer and develop nanorobots. The concept behind Control Freakz was inspired by the book Radical Abundance by Eric Drexler and the only reason I even got interested in the book was by being introduced to nerdy topics by the Youtube channel SciShow run by Hank Green.
Q: What writers have you always looked up to?
A: Dang, I could list so much right here. I’ll keep this to my top two. Alexandra Bracken is someone that I admire. She is the first author I met in person about four years ago at a book signing at YALL Fest in Charleston. She was so sweet and personable and to really get to meet an author for the first time made me think about what it would be like to be in her shoes. Of course I also loved her books, especially the Darkest Minds Series and they still stand as my favorite YA Dystopian books of all time which is the genre that my first book series, Control Freakz, falls under. My favorite writer of all time though is by and far Stephen King. I love the darker vibe to most of his thrillers, and how he incorporates science fiction and fantasy elements into the present day world. He is really a pioneer in transrealism literature, and that is a genre in which I hope to make inroads into myself one day in the near future. He also creates characters that are absolutely iconic, and for that reason alone I think he is the best American writer of our time and someone who I admire greatly.
Q: What can we expect from you in the future?
A: A lot. Without getting ahead of myself, I will say that I am in the process of trying to create a larger universe with my first two series. At the moment I have three more series and two standalone novels planned in the same world as the Conspiracy Chronicles that I call Future Realities Inked. One is set in the 2060s and another is a steampunk novel set in the 1980s (not a traditional steampunk novel but the kind of steampunk that Stranger Things has some elements of). I plan to experiment with the genres I write in and the style of the narratives but the core of my writing style will always be there. I also will be releasing seven books during my gap year, and continuing to refine my video making ability which is a medium I will look to use to tell stories and share my adventures in the near future.
Q: Where can we find more about you and your books?
A: The best place to go is to my website at www.mevansinked.com. There you can find my Instagram ( @mevansinked ) and Youtube Channel where I share my insight on the world, futurist topics, and of course tell my own story in regards to my gap year. Also, I have links to all my books on my website, along with my store where you can purchase signed books directly from me. On my website you will also find my newsletter where I share the most up to date information on my books, events, and future releases, along with exclusive videos from me guiding you on my mission to live boundlessly and help others to do so as well.
Q: I want to read Deadwave! Where can I find it?
A: You can always go to the library on my website where you can find links to everywhere it is sold including access to my online store where you can purchase signed copies directly from me: https://mevansinked.com/book/deadwave/
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