The back story behind Beyond the Veil isn't something easy to recall, nor is it a simple thing to explain. Platform 21 was born of something even I still struggle to comprehend. A lot of it started with frustration. I was angry, depressed, and in a place that wasn't exactly healthy. Every news report made me cringe. It's difficult to watch the world burn, and feel like there isn't anything you can do about it. The thing is, I felt obligated to do something, anything. Writing was a hobby, something I’ve done before but never with a heavy sense of purpose. One day, something clicked and all of that changed.
A good friend once told me my writing takes real moments of adversity, and collides it with a sense of human compassion we often neglect to notice in the world today. Whenever something bad happens, you see a few people responsible for it. But after them, you'll see a multitude running to the fire looking for any way to help. People desire good, positive change. They want to help. There is a natural selflessness in each of us - we just don't know where the fire is.
From this mindset, something just occurred to me. It wasn't an epiphany. There weren't trumpets or fanfare accompanied by a bright shiny light. It was just a concept. It was something that was always there, drowning in my mind. It took me quite a while to learn how to put it to words. From there the idea of a story grew.
So, I set out to write a story; but where to begin? It wasn't until Platform 21 that I broke from my traditional genre of high fantasy. But with this book, there was a natural ease of weaving together a tale wrought with danger, passion, and intrigue. The story was always there, I just needed to find it. Before I knew it, the concept of Platform 21 was born. What if every conspiracy theory was true? Who is pulling the strings? Who is really in charge? Finally - What is humanity willing to sacrifice for the truth? This is the world, Beyond the Veil - and Platform 21 is merely the beginning.
Writing from the perspective of a young adult was a natural choice for this story. Teens have a strange curiosity about the world. When they take a stand for a cause, it is with a passionate zeal lost to those who’ve aged past their primes. They see the world as something that can be changed, and molded into a better one. Not yet jaded by the gritty waters of defeat, young adults are more willing to take chances and challenge conventional wisdom. I find this attitude admirable, and intriguing. I wanted my main characters to adopt this world view as they set out into a world founded on real conspiracy.
The backstory of Platform 21 wouldn’t be complete without talking about East Liverpool, OH – the setting of the book. The city itself is the book’s most important character. This very real city, with very real history is tucked away in an obscure corner of Ohio. It was once the pottery capitol of the world. After all of the pottery jobs were shipped overseas, the city became a reminder what the American Dream was supposed to look like. It’s a struggling mid-western town whose story is all too similar to many other towns across the country. Its places like this that capture a reader’s attention. All of the history covered in Platform 21 about this town is very real with very
with very few creative liberties on my part. In a way, this book doubles as Historical Fiction. The historical references only served to rebuff the Dystopian Thriller genre of the book.
From all of this came Platform 21 – a story about a boy whose place in the world is as unknown as the forces who control it. Along the way, he finds allies. But he quickly learns that with every ally there is at least one enemy. Driven by the mystery of the homicide of his sister, Laura, Luke sets out to reveal the murderer. His determination to uncover the truth about Laura’s murder and his transformed world is making him a target—forced to flee for his life from a nameless shadow organization and a government seeking vengeance for an unthinkable act of terror—as he stands on the threshold of a dark conspiracy that threatens all humankind.
Luke’s life is about to take a dangerous turn.
But first he has to die.
In the year 2052, high school sophomore Luke Gibson considers himself an average teenager in a world on the brink of monumental change. Joining his parents and sister, Laura, at the first World Energy Initiative Conference, he is among thousands gathered in a Denver arena to celebrate free renewable energy when a massive earthquake strikes killing everyone in the stadium. The last thing Luke sees before his death is a girl reaching out to him—a stranger whose face he remembers from his dreams.
The end, however, is not the end. Suddenly, inexplicably, Luke is back home in Ohio and everything is different. His sister is gone, the victim in an unsolved homicide years before. Angela, his mysterious dream girl, is here also, and the only person besides Luke who recalls the previous reality. And now their determination to uncover the truth about Laura’s murder and their transformed world is making them targets—forced to flee for their lives from a nameless shadow organization and a government seeking vengeance for an unthinkable act of terror—as they stand on the threshold of a dark conspiracy that threatens all humankind.
With Platform 21, a brilliantly inventive and unrelentingly exciting excursion to a troubled near-future, author T.R. Patrick joins the ranks of Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games), Veronica Roth (Divergent), Pittacus Lore (I Am Number Four) and other masters of YA speculative suspense fiction. The first book in the “Beyond the Veil” series, Platform 21 follows teenager Luke Gibson up to and beyond his death in a horrific terrorist attack in Denver in the year 2052. Reawakening in a world strangely transformed, Luke sets out to uncover the truth about his new reality—joining forces with Angela, a girl he had seen previously in his dreams, in a desperate race for survival that will propel them across the threshold of an insidious global conspiracy that threatens the future of all humanity.
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