Interview with Ray Sullivan

Author of Journeymen II: Day of Reckoning

Ray Sullivan is a British author born and raised in north Wales. He completed a 24 year military career in the Royal Air Force before returning to north Wales to work in the public and private sector. He is currently a lecturer in aeronautical engineering when not writing. Ray's writing is impossible to pidgeon-hole - his novels range from sci-fi, to military adventure to comedic. His latest book is Hotel California, a dark comedy thriller.

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How would you describe Journeymen II: Day of Reckoning to a new reader?
  • I'd probably point them in the direction of the original Journeymen novel, where the whole Journeymen saga is described. If you look at my previous interview regarding that book you'd be familiar with the world of Colonists, Journeymen, Sons of Arlgon and IBs.

    But this book could be read as a stand-alone novel - the Journeymen history is covered but in much less detail, as are references to the events in the original Journeymen book.

    Unlike the first book, this isn't in part a space opera, this is all based on Earth, mainly in the UK and all in the same time frame. It's a thriller with a science fiction overtone.
So, Journeymen II: Day of Reckoning is a sequel?
  • Correct. When I wrote the original book I always intended writing other episodes. This one is set in the near future, strictly four years after the main events of the original. It picks up from the epilogue that tailed the first book, answers some open questions and introduces some new ones.

    Basically in the four years since the end of the first book the Journeymen believe they've accomplished their mission and now no longer need to protect the colonists. In fact, they want to assume the mantle of absolute power they've protected for millennia. Ironically the people standing in their way are the Sons of Arlgon who might not want anything to do with preserving the Colonist DNA but certainly don't want the Journeymen to assume absolute authority either. So, in the eyes of the Journeymen, the Sons are an obstacle that needs to be removed, in a mass cull on what they call the Day of Reckoning.

    Two of the survivors of the original story join forces with some new characters and find themselves dragged back into the Journeymen world, with their lives threatened while the planet is on the edge of a cataclysmic change.
Is this the last episode of the Journeymen?
  • Probably not. There's at least one book needed to cover what happens after the events of this book and I've always thought there's space for 'historical' books based on real events but written with the concept of the Journeymen. However, for now, this is as far as the Journeymen go.
Did you find it difficult revisiting the Journeymen concept?
  • I thought I would need to re-immerse myself in the original book when I started, but I found I slipped right into the Journeymen concept straight away. It was written probably eight or nine years after the original book had been written, I'd spent a few years writing quite different styles of books, yet it was like putting on a pair of comfortable old shoes.

    That said, the original story built a complete alternative world order and applied it to a fairly local adventure. This book resurrects some familiar characters, explains how their lives were after the original story ended and introduces some new characters that add edge to the story.

    The London detective Strong is a case in point - new to the storyline, clearly a bad guy but a perfect example of how the Journeymen would act in the middle echelons. He's driven, ruthless and has a real mean streak. I didn't like the guy but loved writing him up.
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It is four years after the dramatic events at Jodrell Bank and the Journeymen have decided that their tasking is functionally complete. They have secured the Colonist DNA and, over the last six thousand years, have driven the inhabitants of Earth to develop the technology to transport it back to the Home Planet. They no longer need to pander to the Colonists and can start to rule the planet first-hand, instead of pulling the strings in the background. They know that the only impediment to taking complete overt control are the Sons of Arlgon, who won’t want to see the Earth controlled by Journeymen for Journeymen purposes.

The High Council decides that they need to quash the Sons once and for all in a mass cull, in a day of reckoning, that will keep them in their place while power is wrested from the Colonists.

After attending the funeral of a friend killed by Journeymen, Cheshire Police detective Alan Thomas is approached by John Markerson to help the Sons thwart the Journeymen and once again finds himself dragged into the complex and dangerous world inhabited by both the Journeymen and the Sons of Arlgon. He quickly finds himself rubbing up against Detective Inspector Strong of the Metropolitan Police, an up and coming Journeyman with a taste for power and a total disregard for human life, and is rapidly drawn into dark and dangerous waters on the eve of the cull, in a zero sum game as he tries to eliminate Strong before Strong eliminates Alan in a heart stopping finale.