The Evil Dictator’s Handbook
Guest post from J.L. Bryan
You did it! You’ve overthrown the existing order of society, moved your entourage into the presidential palace, and successfully imprisoned, exiled, or killed the old leaders! Your life’s plan is complete: you are now a dictator! Congratulations! *throws confetti*
But wait—your job isn’t done yet. You’ve spent years plotting, pushing, and propagandizing to seize the top spot, and odds are you’ve had little time to think about what to do once you get there. Now you’re in charge…but now what?
Your first job, of course, is to secure your power! This first chapter of The Evil Dictator’s Handbook will show you the steps you’ll need to take to tighten your ruthless stranglehold on power. Here are some key tips:
Secret Police. You are the law, but occasionally, some nitpicker or naysayer will crop up trying to oppose your authority in some way. Zero tolerance for that! As a busy dictator, you really don’t have time to put every single trouble-maker through your society’s antiquated court system (which you’ll need to overhaul, too). There’s nothing like a gang of armed thugs to deal with negative Nancys in a swift, efficient, and completely silencing fashion. (Most effective late at night.)
Lots of Prisons! You can’t kill every rabble-rouser out there, because you don’t want your secret police to waste all their time digging graves. Instead, put those political prisoners to work! Prison camps are a great way to deal with opposition to your regime and manufacture sweaters at an amazingly low price.
A Logo. A logo provides many things: something for people to wear to show they’re sucking up to you, as well as an emblem you can hang everywhere to really drive home your total domination. We recommend a symbol that even a small child can draw (and elementary school children will be drawing them as part of your new Department of Re-Education program!). Show that your regime controls every aspect of your subjects’ lives by stamping your logo on every single official document of any kind. Remember: simple shapes and primary colors! Have fun with this one!
Pageantry. Before everybody starts grousing and grumbling about how you seized power, perhaps toppling a popularly elected government or a generally tolerated monarch, distract them with a show! Parades are a must-have for any dictator. Nothings say “Hey, look at me, I’m in charge!” like a hundred thousand uniformed men marching in perfect formation through the streets of your capital. Nothing soothes the ears of the powerful like the sound of boots clomping all the way to the horizon! Flags waving, drums pounding, thousands of children standing at attention—what could be more fun than that?
Control the Media. You don’t want the news telling everyone about your atrocities! Make sure you have iron-fisted control of mass media like TV and radio. You’ll want to control the Internet, too…but good luck with that. At the very least, you’ll need a blog, Twitter account, and Facebook page so fans can stay in touch and hear what the regime plans to do next! Internet surveillance is also a great way for your secret police to track down dissenters.
These steps will help establish you as the authority figure over your country! They aren’t foolproof, though, and sometimes those pesky subjects will fight back instead of bowing down. For more on that, see Chapter Two: Putting Down Rebellions.
J.L. Bryan’s book Nomad, a new adult time-travel dystopian, releases this Friday, July 26!
NOMAD by JL Bryan
Expected publication: July 26th 2013
They took everything: her family, her home, her childhood.
By the age of nineteen, Raven has spent most of her life in the sprawling slums of America, fighting as a rebel against the dictatorship. When the rebellion steals an experimental time-travel device, she travels back five decades to the year 2013. Her plan: assassinate the future dictator when he is still young and vulnerable, long before he comes to power. She must move fast to reshape history, because agents from her own time are on her trail, ready to execute her on sight.
J.L. Bryan studied English literature at the University of Georgia and at Oxford, with a focus on English Renaissance and Romantic literature. He also studied screenwriting at UCLA. He lives in the metro Atlanta sprawl with his wife Christina, where he spends most of his day serving the toddler and animal community inside his house. He is the author of the Paranormals series and the Songs of Magic series. (His book Jenny Pox is currently free on Kindle, Nook, Apple, Sony, Kobo, and Smashwords!)
Study Guide Questions:
1. You’ve seized control of the capital, but now the streets are filled with protestors whining about your power-grabbing activities. What do you do?
2. Describe the logo you would design for your ruthless regime.
3. You’ve just become dictator. What is your first Tweet?
Answer one of the Study Guide Questions above for a chance to win a signed paperback of Nomad by J.L. Bryan (US/Canada only).
(answer in the comments)