This post is part of the Enchanted Book Promotions tour for Intelligenz. You can read my review of the book here.
Title: Intelligenz (The Dark Atlanta Series)
Author: Lloyd Blake
Genre: Science Fiction
Buy it: Amazon
Atlanta, Georgia. Something disturbing is happening at one of America’s most successful tech companies. A girl is found dead in her home shower cubicle. A home linked to the Intelligenz corporation network of technologically advanced gated communities. This suspicious death, in a world where everything is scrutinised by the media, sets off unprecedented interest.
A young rookie journalist, Clara Flockhart, is assigned by her chief editor, Eric Nash, to investigate the strange happenings at the Intelligenz compound. An assignment that will plunge her into the unknown and lead her straight to the man whose company is being rocked by events outside of his control, Brandon Bloomfield.
At the same time, a young college dropout, Karl Jones, has his own suspicions about the recent death and the gated community that has overtaken his neighbourhood. Suspicions that will see him undertake his own exploration of the Intelligenz compound, he calls the fortress.
As the body count climbs and the nanotechnology, Intelligenz has secretly guarded, comes under scrutiny, the mysterious riddle as to what is actually happening deepens.
Is there a saboteur lurking within the corridors of the fastest growing company in America’s corporate history? Or does the darkness come from an unlikely source.
About the Author
Lloyd hails from London, UK, and has always been fascinated by the power of words and books. As a child he engrossed himself in books, his favourite author being Roald Dahl. Years later, he was reading his brothers X-men, Spiderman, and all other super hero comics. Soon after, he would try his hand at writing short stories, mostly grizzly stories dripping with horror elements.
It wasn’t until he was at university studying business and marketing, he decided to fulfil his lifelong ambition of writing a full length novel. ‘The fight for Naturah’ was born, a science fiction fantasy epic set in a parallel universe. The idea for his second novel sprung from the technological revolution that has immersed our world – what with social media, the internet, and the proliferation of gadgets and gizmos to aid our lives. The dark Atlanta series: Intelligenz, is the first book of an intended series and is a science fiction psychological thriller that examines the perils of our fascination with technology. The first book is published through shiftingpaperpublishing.
Lloyd will soon start work on the next installment in the series.
My Interview with Lloyd Blake
What inspired you to write a story about the events that transpire in Intelligenz?
I was inspired by the world around me. The technological revolution if you can call it that which seems to be overtaking our world. What with the internet, mobile communications, and other gizmos. Huge industries that were once seen as goliaths are having to adapt to a fast changing world, you just have to look at the book, music and film industries and on a micro level we as individuals and as communities are having to adapt also.
You’ve published several short stories before starting the Intelligenz series. What would you say the biggest difference is between writing a short story and writing a full-length novel?
I wrote short stories as a teenager and at school. The obvious difference is they are quicker to write and they were more or less like screenplays with a lot of dialogue. A full length novel requires you to go deeper into the characters that are created. You almost have to become your character, live and breathe their emotions in a full length novel.
Who was your favorite character to write in Intelligenz? Did you find yourself unexpectedly bonding with a character that you never intended to bond with?
It’s really hard to pick out a main character because I liked writing for each of them for different reasons. I liked putting myself in Karl’s mindset – the precocious assertive teen who instinctively knows something is up at Intelligenz and wants to uncover the truth. I also enjoyed writing for Hector McBride – although he has an evil streak in him I liked that he was a little misunderstood by those around him.
Do you believe that the dark events that happen in this series could potentially occur in our own world?
When writing Intelligenz I tried to make the world I was creating as believable as possible. Could these events actually happen? I’m not so sure on that one, but could a situation occur where a company loses control of a situation it thought it had all the answers to? Yes. I believe it could. Could a new type of technology be abused and used to harm people? I believe the answer is yes. One thing I do believe will happen in our own world and which the book examines, is in our not too distant future companies will run our existence, our lives. For example every gadget in your home could run on the Apple, Microsoft or Amazon network and everything thing you do would be monitored by these corporations.
Are you a fan of the modern technologies of the day, or do you see them as more of a “necessary evil?”
I see these modern technologies as the natural progression of humanity. We are always looking to make things easier for ourselves. Though I do believe some technologies do need to be thought through properly. Sometimes I think someone needs to say stop hold on a minute is this right, should we be doing this right now. A bit of that feeling is probably in the book also.
How did your childhood love of superhero comics and the dark humor of Roald Dahl influence the Intelligenz novel?
I never really analyzed that until this question but looking at it I would say they have had an influence on my writing. Roald Dahl wrote fantastic children’s books but there was always an element of fear and darkness in his writing which I have come to use in my writing. With the comics, all the superheroes have amazing powers of some kind. Intelligenz does draw on the idea that we as humans have powers that haven’t been discovered. I don’t want to give too much away about the book though.
What is your current favorite author who inspires you? Do you have a particular style of writing that you try to emulate in your own writing?
Stieg Larsson inspired me and reading Dan Brown’s novels was probably the catalyst that got me to actually create a novel. I just liked the immediacy of Dan Brown’s prose and how he took you on a journey of discovery. You could say that feeling of something happening in the here and now and it being the most important thing to uncover in the world at that moment has been inspired by reading Brown’s books and shows a little in Intelligenz.
Intelligenz has a dark theme. Do you, like Ronald Dahl, believe that a scary element is a necessity to make a good story?
No I don’t believe a scary element is a necessity to make a good story. But there has to be points of contention, something your characters have to overcome. That could happen in a romance, comedy, or historical fiction novel.
What overall thought or feeling do you hope to leave with readers of the Intelligenz story?
There are so many things people could extract from Intelligenz. I as the writer feel if I start saying all the things I want a reader to take from it I’d be forcing them into a certain direction which is not what I want. However, one thought comes to mind and it is the one that corporations have a social responsibility to communities they serve and that one person’s opinion or that of a community should be seen as just as important as a huge company. Sometimes the thoughts and opinions of those who have little or no power are submerged and lost when they are entirely valid.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, Lloyd!