The very first Prepper Book Festival occurred in 2012. Where has the time gone? In looking back, many of the books featured at that time have become a distant memory while others have become classics. One of the books that has withstood the test of time was the first book in the 299 Days Series by Glen Tate.
It seems like a fitting finale to this round of books is to feature the entire 299 Days Series. Now ten books strong, I have an encore interview with Glen plus a set of the first three books in the series to offer up as a giveaway.
Before sharing the interview, let me add that Glen was one of the first authors I became friendly with online. His writing style is engaging and his knowledge is extensive. Who could have known, as you will discover below, that he is just an ordinary guy with a wife and family that lives and breathes survival?
Enjoy the interview then be sure to check in below to learn about the giveaway for books one, two and three, They are:
299 Days: The Preparation
299 Days: The Collapse
299 Days; Community
The 299 Days Series by Glen Tate is definitely one you will want to add to your reading list!
An Interview with Glen Tate, Author of The 299 Days Series
Tell me about the books in the 299 Days Series. What are they 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.
In Book 1, 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 the first book, 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 your books.
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.
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.
BLOCK QUOTE EACH RESPONSE LIKE THIS It’s the story of my journey to a healthier and more unprocessed life, from the kitchen, to the garden and barnyard, and really, the story of returning to my roots, using more of the methods my grandparents and great-grandparents used, which in turn becomes a manual to living a modern homestead life.
Note: This interview is an updated version of the interview that appeared here.
The first three books in the 299 Days Series have been reserved for one lucky winner.
A special word about the giveaway question/comment: Please read the question and respond accordingly, even it the answer is “I don’t know”. This week’s question is an important one so please voice your opinion.
Help plan the next Prepper Book Festival. Would you prefer winning a print book, an eBook, or a choice of either?
The deadline is 6:00 PM MST Tuesday with the winners notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article. Please note that the winners must claim their book within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.
Note: Due to customs requirements, this giveaway is only open to individuals with a mailing address in the United States.
The Final Word
Over the years I have shared dozens of book reviews and author interviews. In addition, with the cooperation of publishers, publicists, and independent authors, I have given away hundreds of books on preparedness, survival, homesteading, and DIY. There was a time when I was going to call it quits since after all, sometimes I feel like the Lori Greiner of prepping with all of these giveaways. But now I take it in stride, as I discover new and better books to help you prepare.
And so, with this encore from Glen Tate, I conclude Prepper Book Festival #13. What is in store for #14? I guess you will have to wait and see!
For more information about the books in this latest book festival, visit Prepper Book Festival #13: Books to Help You Prepare.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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Spotlight: 299 Days Series (Encore)
From Book 1: Meet Grant Matson: lawyer, father, 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.
299 Days: The Preparation, the first book in the 299 Days series, 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. What begins as a return to his roots, self-sufficiency and independence, becomes a full blown move to prepare for what may come. Engaging, insightful and a bit suspenseful, 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?
A frequent question I get on Backdoor Survival has to do with healthcare matters when there is no doctor around. This is the definite source of survival medical information for all Prepper’s and is my go-to bible for survival medicine.