Being a sci-fi writer and fan myself, I’ve featured Michael Bland on BCB previously. He’s just released The Price of Rebellion (World Castle Publishing, May 2023), the action-packed second installment in his award-winning, bestselling “The Price of” series. Here’s a preview:
It’s 2047. Secrets have been revealed. And Washington wants revenge. Dray Quintero learned an ugly truth: the leaders in D.C. are fake. Using his technology, they’ve stolen the identities of those duly elected to Congress and are determined to stay in power. After revealing the dangers of their government-mandated implants to his fellow citizens, Dray joins the already-underway rebellion. Before he can strike, The Agency attacks with devastating consequences. Dray and the other survivors are forced to run as Agents hunt them.
Then Dray makes a discovery that could alter their fate—and the future of the nation. As he and the rebels prepare a bold offensive, his wife Mina broadcasts a preposterous claim. Dray must choose between the fight and a desperate hope. Between family and country. What he does will change everything.
If you’d like to feature The Price of Rebellion at your next gathering, feel free to use the BOOK CLUB QUESTIONS following this interview with Michael as a discussion guide.
“The Price of” series has a strong emphasis on character and family in particular, which feels unique for this genre. Can you tell us a little more about that?
I love science fiction, but so many novels in the genre seem to have a loner for a main character, and not a lot of family interactions. It’s almost as if family won’t be a big part of people’s lives in the future. But family is so important. I wanted to show a future where family is still important–and is impacted by the technology of 30 years in the future.
Do you think the future of the United States could look like it does in this series?
Absolutely. I tried to make my world as plausible as possible; otherwise, readers won’t believe the events that transpire. The implants seem too good to be true, with huge benefits, increased connectivity, an immersive viewing experience, and monitors/gauges to improve the human condition. But the technology comes with hidden risks that affect every citizen and their children.
The Price of Rebellion has been praised by Independent Book Review as “Tom Clancy meets George Orwell.” Were you inspired by these authors? Who else has influenced your writing?
Yes, they were both gifted authors who created riveting stories. In addition to these two legends, I’ve also been inspired by Pierce Brown, Blake Crouch, Eliot Peper, and Michael Crichton, each a master at their craft. I strive to write novels that are as gripping and compelling as theirs.
Why is it important for you to keep an action-packed plot, and how do you successfully balance this quick pace with the more emotional elements of your series?
My goal is to hook the reader with a rich, woven story that takes them on a journey. For that journey to have an impact, there needs to be an emotional side. “The Price of” trilogy focuses on a small group of characters fighting an almost all-powerful enemy, with life-and-death stakes. That requires action, and a lot of it. But without characters the reader cares about, it loses its impact and readers’ interest. I’ve spent nearly a year per novel planning out that part of the story, so that all aspects—the action, the emotional elements, the characters’ motivations and struggles, the themes, etc—are balanced, making each novel as powerful as possible.
What’s next for you? Can you give us a hint as to how the story might progress in the final installment of the trilogy?
I ended The Price of Rebellion with what Kirkus Reviews called “a tantalizing cliffhanger that sets up the series perfectly for an explosive and potentially satisfying conclusion.” However, I’ve left clues within The Price of Rebellion that give Dray and his daughter a way to fight back, find hope, and gather the tools and tech they will need for one final, desperate battle. They will have to sacrifice everything in order to have a chance at prevailing.
BOOK CLUB QUESTIONS:
Michael C. Bland is a founding member and the secretary of BookPod, an online book support group. “Elizabeth”, one of his short stories, won Honorable Mention in Writer’s Digest 2015 Popular Fiction Awards contest, and two of the short stories he edited have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His debut novel, “The Price of Safety,” reached #7 in Amazon’s rankings for Dystopian novels and received Finalist awards three times: by the Indie Book Awards for both Science Fiction and Thriller, and by National Indie Excellence Awards for New Fiction. The second book in the planned trilogy, “The Price of Rebellion” was named “Best Science Fiction” in the 2022 Indies Today awards. He currently lives in Florida. Learn more about Michael via his website: https://www.mcbland.com/
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