I would like to thank Authors Lounge for giving the opportunity to write an article about my debut novel, Double Jeopardy, the first part in my Mirror Wars series. It is a science fiction conspiracy thriller not only involving “our” Earth, but the multiverse.
The story starts off in 1930s England where an experiment to harness a great power goes wrong and thereby allows a “bell” to ring across the space between worlds… and somebody takes notice. Ninety years later two English detectives who are called in to investigate the shocking murder of a family in a sleepy English village and are soon drawn into a bigger investigation that their training has never prepared them for, involving global conspiracy spanning 75 years. As their investigation progresses they become embroiled in a fight for not only their own survival, but the fate of the world.
So why did I decide to write a story involving parallel worlds and the multiverse? Well, allow me to explain…
If you look up the definition of the multiverse it says “A theoretical reality that includes a possibly infinite number of parallel universes.” – Or as I like to think of it – somewhere else, at the same time somebody is doing the same thing as you, but with different results, leading them to take a different path.
Whenever I think of parallel worlds and the multiverse I think of the second statement. Probably the best example of the multiverse is Star Trek: The Original Series’ Mirror Mirror – where we see twisted versions of the characters we love.
I love the idea that there is another version of me somewhere in a mirror reality, who could be doing the same thing as me, or something completely different as me. Growing up, I always dreamed of becoming an Astronaut but unfortunately, as life usually does, reality got in the way. I like to believe in another reality another version of myself achieved his dream and is looking at his Earth from orbit.
As a child I always had this irrational fear of mirrors, that my reflection was a dark version of myself in a mirror universe waiting to climb out and kill me during my sleep! Although having a twin brother didn’t help too, constantly being reminded we were basically a copy of one another!
As I grew older my fears of mirrors eased, but didn’t entirely go away. I still cannot walk by a mirror and not think “Did my reflection just grin a me?”
I have always wanted to write a book that either incorporated my love and fascination with the multiverse, or something based on my childhood fear of mirrors. Over time as I began to think more and more about writing a fantasy novel, I started to think “Why not incorporate them both?” The more I thought about it, the more I realised I liked the idea and when I eventually sat down to my write down my thoughts, I realised I had the makings of what could be an interesting story.
My initial idea had been to write a one-off novel involving a creature from another dimension who used mirrors to attack and kill people. But the more I thought about that, I felt that had been done and if I wanted to write a story that grabbed people, then it needed to be something original – Something we had seen before but still had something different about it.
My mind kept drifting back to ST:TOS’ Mirror Mirror and an idea slowly began to develop of people from a parallel reality who crossed over into “our” reality to replace their doppelgangers as a precursor to much larger invasion.
Once I had the main plot point, I then had to think about the “who” – Who were the people that were crossing over? My first thought was an evil German Empire who never lost WWII, but I quickly discarded that idea when I realised that had already been done with many TV shows and films – most recently The Man In The High Caste.
I finally settled on the Roman Empire and after doing some research (thank you Internet) on reasons why the Roman Empire fell, their ranking system, looking up theories on what the world would look like if the Roman Empire never fell etc.
Once I settled on my enemy, it was a “simple” matter of creating a world where the Roman Empire reigned supreme i.e. their technology level, their social structure etc.
After settling on the timeframe of my story, I was able to add key points from our history that could have been the cause of “outside” interference i.e. Kennedy’s assassination, civil unrest in the 1970s & 80s, the financial collapse of 2008, eventually culminating in COVID-19.
After I sat down and began to write I was able to develop the characters I had chosen to fit in with my story as it progressed and mould them into vivid and interesting characters.
I have learned a lot about myself during this writing journey, and I hope the people who enjoy reading fantasy or science fiction read Mirror Wars: Double Jeopardy and have as much fun reading it as I have had writing it. My hope is to turn it into an Audiobook at some point.
Mirror Wars: Double Jeopardy is available to buy in Paperback and E-Book on Amazon:
I have already started to lay the groundwork for my follow up – Mirror Wars: Severed Dreams.
Anybody who enjoys reading Double Jeopardy (and even if you don’t!) can follow me on Twitter – https://twitter.com/Albay3037
And my author page on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AlanBaylesWriter/
Once again, I would like to thank Jennifer from Author’s Lounge in giving me this opportunity to write this article.