As close to a meet-and-greet with the characters of "When the World Ends..." as you'll get! Read on to find out who's who, what makes them tick and what role they have to play! Make sure to check out the Author Insight on the right.
Alec is the main protagonist; he's seventeen years old, bright and intelligent with a strong sense of what is right and wrong. It is this sense that carries him away from his normal life (or as normal as you can get living aboad a Space Station) and onto the path of liberating Humanity.
Alec is a lonely teenager - he doesn't go to school because his father's reputation has tarnished his own image. Instead he's tutored, and his tutor is the only person whom he has contact with other than his father...when he's not sneaking off, that is.
He is a rebel at heart and it is fitting that his destiny should change and bring him onto this course. Frequently, Alec sneaks down to the poorer, lower levels where he rapidly becomes best friends with Jonah Jones.
Landon is the main antagonist, although he is clearly misled by the Board of Officials. Through the novel his lust for power and control grows to overwhelming levels as he strays away from antagonising just Alec to torturing the entire Human Race.
There is something unsettling and clearly sociopathic about Landon's mentality. His strategies for resolutions to the Board's problems are steeped in deadly intentions and he acts without emotion or remorse, making him all-the-more dangerous.
Jonah is the same age as Alec; a mixed-race boy living with his father and a group of strangers inside the cramped and confined living quarters of their Habitation on Level1. Level1 is the 'poorest' level of the ISS and that status is also attached to the people that live there.
He's quite naive in his approach and outlook to life and the world. He enjoys the finer things - the things which Alec has overlooked in his life of luxury on Level3. His naivity is a strength which he brings to his friendship with Alec and he teaches him many new things.
Jay is Jonah's father - a big American man from the old deep-south. He's outright loveable and someone that everyone feels safe with. He's quick to stick up for the right person, even if he doesn't know who they are. He has a big heart and is especially fond of Alec, demonstrating a willingness to help both him and Jonah through their tribulations without being afraid to make sacrifices along the way...
Trey is a huge guy; well over six-feet tall and this, along with his incredibly muscular physique makes him an intimidating figure. But beneath this strong exterior Trey is gentle and humble. He is older than Alec and Jonah by a few years but capable of engaging with them on their level none-the-less. His older-age also puts him on a level with Jay and he has good relations with all of the characters.
His own moral compass is very much pointing in the same direction as Alec's: he believes so much in the cause that Alec is fighting for that he is willing to do anything to make it happen. He's the first to say if something needs to be done and the first to volunteer to do it.
Sky is very much a girl in a man's world, but she's strong, determined and can hold her own. She's the same age as Alec and Jonah but you wouldn't know it. Having lived in the slums of London for all of her life, she's very tough and reluctant to let anyone into her life. It is with an unwilling sense of curiosity that she cautiously enters Alec's life, and thus his mission to liberate Humanity.
As she delves deeper into their world, Sky discovers that she's similar to Alec in many ways. She's equally rebellious and drives him forward, giving him the confidence to take action as well as to believe in himself and his mission.
As cheesy as it might sound, the idea for The World's End Trilogy came to me through a dream, though it was nowhere near as detailed or as fully formed as the story is now.
The dream begun with a man, looking down upon the Earth after it had been abandoned. He had a photo in his hand - the same photo that Alec has at the beginning of the first novel - of a house baked in sunshine with a family outside it. The house was actually my grandparent's house, and I've described it to the best of my ability in "When the World Ends...".
So from there, my dream took me back to Earth with the man who was looking for his wife, in their old family home with his son. His son encounters his wife in the garden and she's hideously deformed and monster-like because of whatever caused Humanity to abandon the Earth in the first place. The man is horrified but his son defends her and she shows some semblence of humanity. But before they can decide what to do they're taken into the London Sphere (yes, the Spheres were right there from the very start) where the Government force the man to kill his wife or be thrown out of the Sphere.
The dream ended there. Fear not, there are no spoilers in any of the above. At the time I was keeping a dream journal and so when I woke up the next morning, the story was spinning and evolving in my mind and developing into what it became today.
You can see the dream journal entries below:
Read what the author has to say about each of the characters on the left...
Alec - "Alec is without doubt my favourite character. There are many contenders for this title (including Landon!) but there is something about the way that Alec develops over the course of this book that I really enjoy. You find him as a pretty withdrawn guy but he gradually comes out of his shell and rises up to become a figure and pillar of hope - for the reader as well as other characters!"
Landon - "There is so much to be said about Landon Corbett - mainly how evil he is! And no matter how unkind you think he is, he'll always get worse. The story starts at a stage in Landon's life where his sociopathic tendancies are beginning to show; his 'caring' facade is starting to slip and he's really becoming the person that was always bubbling away beneath his false persona. I'd describe him as a mouldy onion: with many bad layers right down to the core."
Jonah - "I find Jonah such a lovely character; a genuinely nice person - and there aren't many of those in this future world! He's there to remind Alec what it's actually like to be their age and how to act it. He's responsible for any fun or enjoyment that Alec has on this journey and it really adds to their friendship."
Jay - "Jay is such a big, bold character and I absolutely love writing him. He can be comical and uplifting or serious when he needs to be, which makes him useful for helping to set the tone throughout the book."
Trey - "Trey is the opposite to Alec in the sense that he's hard on the outside and soft on the inside. His passion for Alec's cause help to propel their plans forward. He provides the muscle that the group needs and the bolshy attitude to get things done."
Sky - "The character of Sky was no accident or insertion to compensate for a lack of female characters. Yes, she takes her time to make an appearance, but when she does she leads the book in a new direction and helps to carry the story forward".
Alec Corbett's story was never intended to be a trilogy.
After the first book was penned, I already knew how the second book would finish and I intended to leave the story there. But then something occured to me - a twist that, when it hit me, slightly blew my own mind. At first I denied it (as I have tried to deny myself many of the events in the first two books) but in the end I simply couldn't resist.
The more I thought about this twist, the more the third book grew in my mind.