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What Inspired Dystopian Fiction Author Harisson Shaws to Write His Book, The Lonesome Road

"With May being mental health awareness month, I couldn’t think of a better time to release my book." Post-apocalyptic fiction author Harisson Shaws shares what inspired him to write The Lonesome Road.


There are many origins to a story. It may be happiness, an exciting experience one wishes to put into words, or in most cases, a tragedy. My story is no different.


After a challenging and devastating year, I looked at my life and wondered about my future. For some weird reason, I decided to try and put my pain into words, grabbing my laptop and creating a story about things that bothered me. Depression, anxiety, and the eternal wish for adventure were cooped inside my heart as I just let them go wild on the electronic pages of the document.


I still remember my cousin looking at me with shock as I would come down, sit at the table, and write every morning. “Why?” he always asked.


What I answered then, I couldn’t explain, but I do know why: Because I must.


There are many origins to a story. It may be happiness, an exciting experience one wishes to put into words, or in most cases, a tragedy. My story is no different.

Inside of me was a wish to present a story to people who felt like me. Depressed, haunted by their minds, and ridiculed by the world as some would claim depression is not real; problems we created ourselves.


I knew, even then, that this was a story I wanted to give to them, an adventure that speaks about traversing a harsh and cruel world, feeling like a pawn in someone’s game, where our choices never mattered… Until we take our life back. Our chances, our decisions, our destiny.


The Lonesome Road is a dystopian novel that tells a grand adventure of one man trying to find answers. Like us, in a harsh and unforgiving world, he will eventually choose to stand up and decide to face his fate.


It is far from perfect as a debut novel, as I am aware that I am merely at the start of my journey. But looking back at where I was when I started to write a few years ago, I am surprised to be here talking about my experience.


I felt in debt to share this story, my story, for the sake of all who feel like I did, to let them know they are not alone, that even if right now things look like they can’t get better, they will. With May being mental health awareness month, I couldn’t think of a better time to release my book.

I felt in debt to share my story for the sake of all who feel like I did, to let them know they are not alone, that even if right now things look like they can’t get better, they will.

As a kid, I was forced to read old classics. At the time, the young fool in me did not appreciate enough the sweet words of emotion the poets and writers of the ancient world provided. But I liked it. Inspired by Dante’s Divine Comedy, especially his Inferno, I started to write with this idea of a Path. As we all are on our own, walking the path of life, towards redemption, towards the one thing every human really yearns for: peace.


Walking that path, the Wanderer will be tempted by good and evil; both sides seem so different, yet are the same. He will need to find the answer to the old-aged question: are good and evil real, or merely a matter of perspective?


On a path we walk, we must embrace the fact that it is our own. Fighting the demons of the past while trying the hope for the future, The Lonesome Road tries to answer that, to prove that we can all rise from the darkness of the pit we ourselves dug out. The sweet embrace of the dark is soothing, but like acid, it eats our hearts bit by bit until nothing of our humanity is left.

 

Life as we know it is gone. The once vivid city now stands abandoned. Earth became a wasteland, stripped of all life. Broken, confused, and in a desperate search for answers, one person still roams its desolate remains. The Wanderer has no memories, no recollection of the events that led to the end of the world. All he sees are deserted buildings and the smoke that covers the sun.


While taking shelter in an abandoned house one night, the last man on Earth gets a knock on his door. He finds an unexpected guide in a woman who feels familiar. Will he choose to keep traversing these lands, lost as before, or will he take her guidance to find the answers his heart so deeply desires?


The Wanderer wishes to find another one of his kind. But when his wish is granted, he soon realizes that the truth comes with a price: his soul. Are we truly free, or is destiny—shaped like a woman—pulling the strings of our life choices?



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