Okay, so I love to blog! Any subject, any time. Blogging has helped me find enthusiasm for research, taken me to faraway places, and introduced me to new friends. What’s not to like? You can just imagine my excitement when my close friend, multi-genre author Deborah Riley-Magnus, asked me to participate in a Blog Hop. My immediate reply, “You bet!” Then I thought, “What the heck is a Blog Hop?” Well it turns out that this is really called The Next Big Thing, a train of authors cruising across the internet while talking about what will pop out of their imagination next. Well I’m double in! So off we go…
What is the working title of your book(s)?
Where did the idea come from for the book?
Every day I read the news. Tensions in the mid-east seem to keep boiling. That’s nothing new. But it seems like the pot is being stirred on our own turf. Class and racial tension is fed by overzealous politicians, advocates, and community organizers. Reality TV is at an all time high in popularity and the shows that aren’t cruel and divisive are about survival and prepping for disaster. I got to thinking one day, “What would day-to-day life look like if we really did have a war right here in our own homes and communities?” The thought just kept plaguing me until I put pen to paper.
What genre does your book come under?
It’s apocalyptic horror with a splash of humor.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Our steady protagonist Leonard Getz could be played by someone like Jake Weber, but his loyal side kick Al would definitely be played by Steve Buscemi. Our colorful prepper Zed Merkel is a mixture of Michael Kelly and Quentin Tarantino. As for the kid who’s dream it is to roam the country visiting all the great roadside attractions, Chandler Riggs from The Walking Dead. His experience will come in handy.
What is the short synopsis of your book?
Was America’s sudden demise Premeditated Chaos? Leonard Getz finds his life intertwined with a group of everyday people scattered throughout the country as he navigates through a crumbling society to find the truth about the war and save his wife’s life.
Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency?
The book will be published by Bad Day Books, an imprint of Assent Publishing and is scheduled for release next winter.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
How long is the gestation period for an elephant? Yeah…that sounds about right. First books can be tough to deliver and this one led me through a lot of research. Most Americans have never lived through a war on their own soil. What happens when the lights go out, there are no more jobs to go to, or grocery stores to shop at? What is the psychological impact? I also researched other civil wars and even natural disasters to build a realistic picture of what life might look like for people in all walks of life in such extreme circumstances. And I am honored to have spent a lot of hands-on time with some of our brave veterans who generously shared their knowledge and experience with me.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
There are some heavy elements in the book. Things like war and governmental breakdown and restructuring. But there is also a lighter side showing the daily interacts we have with each other as family and community members. There are many apocalyptic books out there but frequently the disaster is the real protagonist. I wanted to focus on the people. From that perspective Stephen King’s The Stand comes the closest to capturing the spirit of the book.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
My niece and nephew are in their teens. No matter what global nightmare you throw their way they approach it with level heads. They haven’t been jaded by society yet. I’d like to be able to offer them a better future that the one I see approaching, if only in fiction.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
The book strips humanity to the bone, showing not only the evil within each of us alone and as society, but the hope. Some of the habits and quirks of the characters along with hobbies like the road side attractions allowed me to share stories about everything from fun things like real road side attractions across the country to more serious fare about our national defense infrastructure. There are characters from all walks of life, a TSA worker, hair dresser, factory worker, policeman, and a politician or two.