It is difficult to “blog” about Shattered Lives, which is why it has been almost a month since my last one. I’ve lived within its universe for so long, it can be hard to determine if I’m giving too much information or not enough or if what I’m saying would make sense to anyone who doesn’t know the intricate backstories that drive everything. The obvious solution to such a conundrum is to just stay silent.
The beginning chapters may cast Shattered Lives as a simple tale. Might even make it appear to be the start of a love story or a lead-in for erotica. I’m not sure it’s either of those things. The first book, On Fractured Ground, is set up to introduce Corbin, Tylar and Chase. It will lay the groundwork for their personalities. It will demonstrate some of their flaws, shortcomings, strengths and quirks. It will present you with catalysts for the 5 books that will follow, hopefully on a yearly basis, since they’re already written and ready for editing. If you are paying close enough attention, you may pick up on hints of things that might unfold later in the story. If you know who I am outside of Subject BGD, there are some easter eggs you’ll probably be able to spot.
But even if you read the first 6 books as they are released, there will more to the story that has not been revealed. Behind the scenes of this family are sinister details. I think it was best described in a conversation between two characters in what might be published as book 7…
“The Manning Bloodline has a very…” Jim tapered off, trying to find the words to finish his sentence, “…storied past.” He raised his eyebrows, “Meaning?” “They kill each other,” Jim stated flatly, “Frequently.”
It is no secret that the leading cause of death within this family is each other. I created a family tree dating back three centuries that demonstrates this, which I posted above (you can also find it in the gallery section of www.subjectbgd.com). I have also written backstories for some of the most interesting Manning figureheads, including Joseph, Benjamin, Michael II, William, Kyle and Cedric. I then wrote a detailed account of the process used for creating these monsters, which I call the Bloodline Parenting Methods. It consists of 14 pages and is nothing short of brainwashing (or behavioral conditioning, if you want to get technical).
I’ve been tempted to post the Parenting Methods, but I don’t want to reveal too much too soon. Especially since I have been writing a sequel story that begins 20 years after the ending of Book 6 and gets into the meat of the Manning Empire’s history of cruelty and violence. I’m 36 chapters into writing it, which means it will be at least another 3 books.
So, no. I don’t think it’s feasible to post the Bloodline Parenting Methods for all to see. I will tell you, however, that the Mannings are Patriarchal Extremists (oldest bloodline male rules over all Heirs and their households, regardless of relation). To-date, there have been no females born to the Mannings, but it is assumed an extreme version of Salic Law would be enforced if one were sired (Layman's Term: women would be excluded from inheritance of bloodline assets). I can also reveal that the bloodline lives by a non-negotiable Code of Conduct that all heirs are required to practice and the patriarch is responsible for enforcing. Their only concerns in life are to be centered around the survival of the bloodline, the reputation of the bloodline, survival of self, and survival of their heirs.
The harsh conditions each Manning Heir has been raised under has left a trail of personality disorders throughout their lineage. But that is another blog. For another time. Or, perhaps, you’ll just have to wait until the book that describes it is published…