Book Update: Influences for ‘The Owners’

Hey all, I wanted to give everyone an update on how my book is going and also, I thought it’d be a good idea to start posting on my blog about some of the characters and ideas that I’m working with.

Progress is going well. I’m 117 typed pages into it, about 48,000 words, which translates to probably around 160 print pages. This means I’m a little over halfway done.  Unfortunately, I’m actually only about 1/3rd through my outline, and a 150,000 page book is way too long.  I think it’ll be okay, because the plot points of the back-end of the novel move a lot faster.  My guess is that I’ll end up with around 110,000 words, which is decently acceptable, and after editing I’ll come in at a perfect 90k words, just slightly longer than the first Harry Potter novel.

So, to get into the meat of this post, I’d like to take a few moments to talk about my influences for The Owners, which is a shadowy organization at the top of American society.  In my novel, this group is conspiring to foment a civil war because they’re losing control of the American public.  While they’re not the main antagonist that the heroes are fighting against, they’re the ones behind the scenes.

The influences for this group obviously come from a lot of different sources.  It’s not an uncommon trope for stories in this genre, which is a character focused, hopefully thought provoking, young adult superhero novel.   I’m pulling from legends about the illuminati, Bilderbergs, Skull and Bones, and the American ‘shadow government’.  The council that runs Solaris from the video game Xenogears is also a big influence for me here. The name itself comes from a pretty famous George Carlin bit where he talks about how the owners don’t want an educated population capable of critical thinking because it would impede their ability to control the masses.

I’m even pulling some twisted influence from Arthurian legends — the core idea being, what happens if the Knights of the Round Table solidified their control and then, over time, the members of the council lost the honor and respectability of the original group and just wanted to maintain their position? In the case of America, the question is rooted more in the idea of the thirteen colonies, and their lineage solidifying power up until the modern day.  I remember, when I was first conceptualizing this group, I researched all the colonies and was trying to establish a naming convention based on that.