Today I share the fourth author interview in the Backdoor Survival Book Festival.
Glen Tate, the author of the 299 Days series of survival fiction books, shares his answers to my questions and is also providing one of my readers with a free copy of his book, “299 Days: The Preparation”.
Before we begin, I would like to announce the winner of last week’s giveaway. “Denise” has won a copy of the printed paperback version of Urban Preppers with Kids, Pets & Parents. Congratulations! A will be contacting you by email for mailing instructions.
Here is what Denise said was the greatest challenge to her prepping efforts:
My greatest challenge is finding the space to store all of my supplies. Would like some recommendations.
Be sure to check out the details of this week’s giveaway below.
299 Days: The Preparation
I always like it when there is a short trailer that tells you a little bit about the book. You will enjoy this one – although “enjoy” may be the wrong word considering the subject matter. Perhaps appreciate and understand would be better.
A Chat with Glen Tate
Tell me about your book, 299 Days: The Preparation. What is it about?
This is a ten-book prepper novel series about a typical suburban guy, Grant Matson, who realizes he needs to prepare for a coming economic and political collapse. He does, but his wife doesn’t see the need to prepare, so he must do it in secret. He inherits a cabin and meets a group of regular guys who train at a shooting range and become known as the Team.
The collapse hits. Grant and the Team go out to his cabin. The community out there gradually rallies and begins to take care of themselves when the government can’t. One of the Team’s friends is a recently retired Special Forces soldier. He trains the community and they join the Patriots in a battle against the Loyalists. The Patriots take back the state.
Some of Grant’s friends from the beginning of the book become leaders of the new state. Grant becomes the head of the Reconciliation Commission, which exists to pardon combatants on both sides so the state can get on rebuilding.
There is nothing kooky in this book—no conspiracy theories or racial stuff.
What type of research did you have to do while writing 299 Days: The Preparation?
The story of the main character preparing took no research because it was what I did in real life. The only research I did was to talk to the real people who are the other characters. I talked to the real Special Forces Ted, for example, and all the other characters and learned about them, what they would do in a crisis, and how they think others would react.
How long did it take to write?
Two and a half years. I got up at 3:30 or 4:00 am and wrote for a few hours and then went to work.
Every book, fiction and non-fiction, includes a message. What message to you hope my readers will take with them after reading 299 Days: The Preparation.
Readers will learn from two categories of information from within the book.
The first is detailed information about how to prep and then operate in a collapse, but that isn’t the main thing people will learn.
The second, and bigger, category of information comes from the main themes of the book, which are the following:
• Normalcy bias. This is people’s urge for things to be normal after a crisis; they refuse to believe things are no longer normal and fight against the new reality. For example, people refuse to leave a dangerous place because it’s “home.” Grant’s wife suffers from normalcy bias. As the story develops, she copes with normalcy bias, but it isn’t easy.
• America is incredibly fragile. Just-‐in-‐time inventory and the almost complete lack of self-‐sufficiency in America mean that people are totally screwed just a few days after the trucks stop rolling.
• The collapse slowly builds and then in one day everything goes to hell. This book is different because—due to the author’s real-‐life job, which gives him a front-‐row seat to corruption—it describes exactly how the collapse is unfolding right now and how it will end. Readers will understand precisely why America is in the condition it its, what is next, and why it will happen. They will understand this through characters and stories of what happens, not statistics and boring political rants.
• Prepping in secret. Grant must hide his prepping. He struggles with this. He can’t understand why doing something so important and wise is something he must hide. But he does it anyway, and this saves many lives.
• Do what you have to do, even if it’s unpopular. Grant constantly must do things that others think are insane (like training with the guerilla unit) but he accepts that he has a job to do no matter what people think. Grant isn’t a superhero; he doesn’t want to do these things and tries to quit several times. But he realizes he has a responsibility to his family, community, and eventually to his state—and he steps up.
• Community. No one can survive the collapse on their own. A community full of people with different skills is necessary.
• Government doesn’t work. The government becomes huge and collapses. It also becomes corrupt; exactly how this happens is described in numerous examples. In contrast, the community out at Grant’s cabin voluntarily works together and accomplishes the limited things that a government must do, like provide security and a simple court system. The poor and disabled are taken care of through charity.
• The government cannot control the population. The government wants to be a dictatorship and acts like one in the beginning of the collapse. But just-‐in-‐time inventory means the government only has the resources to take care of itself in the big cities and can’t occupy the rural areas.
• Patriots in the military and police can’t be controlled by the government and end up saving the country. There are some bad military and police, but some good ones too. At first, most of the military and police follow orders, but soon they start to realize the government is corrupt and oppressive.
The (real-‐life) organization called Oath Keepers is highlighted in the book. Oath Keepers are current and former military and police who pledge to keep their oath to uphold the Constitution. They refuse unconstitutional orders such as taking guns away from citizens.
• The Second Amendment saves America. The fact that the population is armed is a primary reason why an oppressive government fails to control the population.
• Most people try to take the easy way out. The reason the collapse comes is that most people want free stuff from the government and don’t want to work. When the collapse hits, many people accept the government handouts. They’re not evil, just pathetic. When the people see the government can’t take care of them, many switch sides and join the Patriots—not because they agree politically with the Patriots, but out of practical necessity.
• Killing is terrible. This is not a “rah-‐rah” novel about how cool it is to shoot people. Quite the opposite. Killing happens, but reluctantly (by the good guys; the bad guys love to kill people). Killing leaves mental scars, even when the killing was perfectly justified.
• Gangs. People naturally take care of each other in small groups that resemble gangs. In the rest of the world these groups are tribes, extended families, religious groups, or some military units. “Gangs” aren’t always bad people. Some gangs are bad; they are described at length in the book. There are varying degrees of bad gangs. Some are the traditional ethnic gangs and motorcycle gangs and are very violent. But others are what the book calls the “Rotary Club gangs.” They are the business rackets operating in the gray market because normal commerce is against all the rules and regulations the giant government has imposed. For example, a dentist treats patients for cash (or gold or ammunition) and non-‐ payment is dealt with by a Russian gang. Other “gangs” are good, like the Team and the community near his cabin.
• Americans will slowly and painfully adjust to a more sustainable way of living. The current version of American society is artificial. It is not normal for food to come 3,000 miles in a semi truck and for people to spend all day playing on computers. As soon as the trucks can’t roll and the internet is disrupted, most Americans slowly—and painfully—readjust to a life that is more normal. Many start to work with their hands, provide their own food, rely on themselves for security, and the family re-‐emerges as the central unit in life (instead of the government). Not everyone adjusts; there are still many people dependent on government handouts. But, overall, America returns to sanity.
Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?
I live in Olympia, Washington and have a job that allows me to observe government. I have a wife and two kids (just like in the book). I grew up in the rural logging town of Forks, Washington. I am an active prepper and spend lots of time with the (real-life) Team described in the book.
Do you have plans for additional books?
In addition to the ten books in the series, I plan on releasing two books of “bonus chapters,” which are side stories. I am thinking about an interesting spin-off story that might become a book.
Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?
I am a real person describing what really happened to me (prepping) and what I think will really happen (a collapse). I don’t have comic book super heroes or villains in the book.
I am humbled by the amazing success of the book and feel blessed–truly blessed–to be able to reach out and help so many people with prepping.
Writing this book has been the best experience of my life (outside of my family). It’s an honor to be able to write this book, and even more of an honor that it’s touching so many people.
The Book Giveaway
A copy of 299 Days: The Preparation has been reserved for one lucky reader. And not only that, the second book in the series, 299 Days: The Collapse will be given away in about six weeks to another lucky reader.
How to win? All you need to do to win is reply below in the comments area with what you have done lately to prepare. Now that should be easy enough!
A winner will be selected next Friday morning at random using tools on the random.org website.
The Final Word
A copy of Glen’s book is sitting on my nightstand and will be next after finishing BOCA CHITA. The only complaint I have – which is more an annoyance than a complaint – is that none of the books in the survival fiction genre are available as audiobooks. As I may have mentioned, I get through one audiobook a week during my daily hikes with my dog. With print books, I am lucky if I get through 20 pages a night before nodding off in the wee hours.
Still, I really enjoy reading and look forward to working my way through the 299 Days series.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Spotlight Item: 299 Days: The Preparation: Grant Matson is a lawyer, father, and suburbanite husband who awakens to the fragility of modern society and embarks on a personal journey that introduces him to a world of self-reliance and liberation. This book depicts the inner struggles Grant must face as he exists in a social system he recognizes as unsustainable and on the verge of collapse, but one in which he has built his life around. Follow Grant’s transition from a self-perceived “sheeple” to a full-blown “prepper.” Will his fears come true? Is he an extremist? What if nothing happens? What if something does? This book is the first of a ten book series written by a fellow resident of Washington State.
Bargain Bin: Listed below are all of the books in the Backdoor Survival Fall Reading List. There are both fiction and non-fiction titles and a bit of something for everyone.
Also, just as a heads up, two or three times a week I post free Kindle books on my Facebook page. The special free book offers come and go so I tend not to post them on Backdoor Survival. Remember, you do not need a Kindle to read Kindle e-books. Simply download the free Kindle app from the Amazon site and you are good to go.
The Backdoor Survival Fall Reading List – Non-Fiction
Contact!: A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival
Disaster Preparedness: Urban Preppers with Kids, Pets & Parents; Disaster Survival for the Family
Survive Any Food Crisis
The Prepper Next Door: A Practical Guide For Disaster And Emergency Planning
Deep Web Secrecy and Security – Guide to the Deep Web and Beyond
Broken Web The Coming Collapse of the Internet
The Weekend Homesteader: A Twelve-Month Guide to Self-Sufficiency
The Home Schooled Shootist: Training to Fight with a Carbine
The Backdoor Survival Fall Reading List – Fiction
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