My debut novel was not a standalone book, but a trilogy. I wrote three books in five years. The Traitors Trilogy is the engrossing story of Martina, a young woman who was fated to save the world from utter destruction. It is a riveting thriller filled with action, suspense, and deception.
With its Scandinavian setting and bleak plot showcasing the corruption of wealth and power, it has been said, to be reminiscent of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and its sequels.
Literature was my favourite subject in High School, and on many occasions, I won class competitions for reading the most books in a week. The school library was my pastime, a cozy place to be after school. I read stories that created meaning with great attention for prose, and a preoccupation with ordinary lives, disruptions and displacements, the struggles of life and the strength of the human condition to endure and defeat the enemy. Stephen King, Robert Ludlum, Daphne du Maurier, Chinua Achebe, Elachi Amadi, Stieg Larsson, Collen McCullough, Dan Brown, and Shakespeare are some of the famous authors on my long list of favourites.
It had been a life-long dream to write my own book, but the idea did not mature until many years after High School. Our world has been undergoing massive change, and mainly, it was the gravity of the direction of the change that inspired me to write the Traitors Trilogy. Traitors from Inside Out was the first book, and one reviewer, in particular, put it so well, “A fiction from facts to educate the unknowing, depicting the turbulent world we live in.”
In the beginning, I could stare at the screen for hours without coming up with a word to write. It scared me; it was a moment of great internal chaos and surprise. I realised that writing a book is not an easy thing. It made me take note of the underlying determination required to become a writer. I gained a unique insight which propelled me into creativity. I took writing classes, structured up a plot, created compelling characters, and slowly built up steam. Once I started writing, I was unstoppable. It became an obsession. I adapted a routine; I became an early riser. I woke up at 4 am every morning to write. At 9 am, I was in the office working my full-time job. I made a habit of talking about my writing with colleagues at the office. I asked them to hold me to account if I did not come up with a published book. I craved that push, that outward pressure of knowing I was locked into a deal with colleagues to deliver a published book. With that obligation hanging over my head, I had to get the job done.
My writing became a topic of interest at the coffee table with colleagues tasking me about my book: “How is the writing coming along, Justine, and would you featured me as a character in your novel?”, they would ask. I would reply, “Yeah, I’m working on it, but you know what, … my villain was inspired by your character!” The jokes always provoked laughter.
Eventually, Traitors From Inside Out was published. Copies of the book were handed out to colleagues, at a book signing, over the coffee table. It was a triumphant point in time, a moment of accomplishment. The second book, Traitors Unleashed followed two years later. I still have warm feelings from those days.
The Christmas season approached, and one dark, dreary autumn afternoon the director approached me and asked if I could do a book reading as part of the upcoming Christmas party. I felt honoured and tickled. Mark you, this is not a small company, but a big corporation with a considerable number of employees.
With enormous joy and enduring gratitude, I did the reading. The evening turned out to be rewarding. I have never sold so many books, in a single evening, like I did that day.
The release date for Traitors Beyond Insanity approached and the book went live on Amazon. Time had come to roll up my sleeves and start marketing the series. I have continued to do book readings at various companies in a bid to promote the trilogy. Companies are supportive and interested in knowing about new authors. Offering book readings to companies is a good way of selling and marketing your brand and books, especially during the peak reading seasons; just before summer vacations and Christmas holidays.
It has been an exciting journey of enormous challenges but mostly a time of fulfillment, growth, and adventure. I enjoyed writing the Traitors Trilogy, and putting it out there for the world to critic and judge, if not to be entertained.
“Traitors from Inside Out”
By M.M. Justine