BDS Book Festival – After the Blackout + Interview with Paul Anthony

Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: November 24, 2020
BDS Book Festival – After the Blackout + Interview with Paul Anthony

Today I share the next author interview and giveaway in the current Backdoor Survival Book Festival. Paul Anthony, the author of After the Blackout, is joining us for an interview and is also providing one lucky reader with a free copy of his book.

Paul first contacted me in August. He told me that he had been giving a lot of thought to the issue of survival in a suburban area outside a large city. He then indicated that although he did not have a lot to contribute to Backdoor Survival, he had written a novel about the suburban survival dilemma and asked for my opinion.

after the blackout

Personally, by writing this book, Paul has contributed a lot more than he can imagine. As you know, survival fiction empowers us to think about situations that are perhaps uncomfortable, if not unthinkable. The genre also gives us an opportunity to learn from the decisions – right or wrong – of the fictional characters.

Enjoy the interview with Paul and be sure to check out the details of this week’s giveaway below.

An Interview with Paul Anthony

Tell me about your book, “After the Blackout”. What is it about?

Many books have been written about surviving after a major disaster, but most take place in rural areas. The main characters usually have a lot in common, and they survived because they were prepared. I’ve read and enjoyed quite a few of those books, but most Americans live in suburbia. I wondered how those folks – people like me – might react if they were cut off from the rest of the world.

After the Blackout is a story about a diverse group of people in a suburban area who manage to survive, and how they overcome their differences to form a new community. Circumstances can change overnight, but people take time to change their behavior. And there are some things about ourselves that we can never change.

This story is about survival, but it’s also about human nature.

What type of research did you have to do while writing “After the Blackout”?

I subscribed to several survival newsletters like Backdoor Survival to get a better idea of what obstacles people would face in this sort of situation. I’m a Libertarian but I wasn’t really a prepper. I’m becoming one now!

How long did it take to write?

The first draft took less than a month, followed by 8 months of editing and re-writing! Actually, I spent about 2 months first, imagining the characters and developing their personalities. Then, when I sat down to write the story, the characters sort of wrote it themselves. It’s their story. I just wrote down what they did. Or, what I imagine they would do. And sometimes they surprised me!

Every book, fiction and non-fiction, includes a message. What message do you hope my readers will take with them after reading “After the Blackout”?

When the unimaginable happens, we are going to have to learn to get along with people who won’t always agree with us. There won’t be many survivors, so the new society will resemble the small town atmosphere that was common 100 years ago. Everyone will know everyone else, and we will all be dependent on each other to some degree.

“Mike”, the main character, starts out stubbornly independent but comes to realize that being a loner isn’t a very good lifestyle. That’s something I’m still working on, personally. I’m not a very social person.

See, you can learn a lot from books – even if you have to write it yourself!

Do you have plans for another book?

Not plans, exactly, but the ending does seem to be begging for a sequel. If I write one, it will probably be about the next generation of survivors in the same town.

Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?

Readers might wonder why the characters don’t have last names, or why I didn’t go into much detail about their physical features. It wasn’t an oversight. I didn’t want to give away anything that would indicate their race or nationality, so the reader will have to judge the characters by their actions, not by what they look like or where their ancestors came from.

They are all members of the same race – the Human Race. I think that attitude is going to be very important if we are going to survive. Maybe we shouldn’t wait until then to start thinking that way.

The Book Giveaway

A copy of After the Blackout has been reserved for one lucky reader. This week’s question is extra easy:

What prepping item would you like to receive this holiday season?

To enter the giveaway, you need to answer this question by responding in the comments area at the end of this article. The deadline is 6:00 AM Pacific next Thursday and the winner will be selected at random using tools on the website. Also note that the winner will be announced in the Sunday Survival Buzz and he or she will have 72 hours to claim the winning book.

Note: If you are reading this article in your email client, you must go to the Backdoor Survival website to enter this giveaway in the comments area at the bottom of the article.

summer book festival 2013_04

The Final Word

It is always exciting to receive an email from a novel book. Let us show Paul our support be entering the giveaway to win a copy of his book!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you have not done so already, please be sure to like Facebook which is updated every time there is an awesome new article, news byte, or link to a free survival, prepping or homesteading book on Amazon. You can also follow Backdoor Survival on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

In addition, when you sign up to receive email updates you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

Spotlight Item: After the Blackout

After a world-wide EMP blast destroyed the technology we all depended upon, most of the world’s population perished. Not right away, of course, but fast-foods were no longer available, and that meant starvation for people who never learned how to cook. Supermarkets were ransacked and burned, leaving even those who knew how to cook with nothing to eat. The final straw for city-dwellers was when the water stopped flowing from their faucets.

This is the story of the scattered survivors in and around a sleepy little suburban town who must find a way to overcome their differences and work together to create a new society – one that treats everyone equally and fairly.

Bargain Bin: Today is all about books. Listed below are all of the books in the current Backdoor Survival Book Festival. There are both fiction and non-fiction titles and a bit of something for everyone.owl reading book


Backyard Cuisine: Bringing Foraged Food to Your Table
Home Remedies
Living on the Edge: A Family’s Journey to Self-Sufficiency
Make It Last: Prolonging + Preserving the Things We Love
Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills
The Pocket Guide to Wild Mushrooms: Helpful Tips for Mushrooming in the Field
Good Clean Food
The Amazing 2000-Hour Flashlight
Recipes and Tips for Sustainable Living
The People’s Apocalypse
Go Green, Spend Less, Live Better


Going Home: A Novel of Survival (The Survivalist Series)
Surviving Home: A Novel (The Survivalist Series)
Expatriates: A Novel of the Coming Global Collapse
The Border Marches
Rivers: A Novel
After the Blackout
The End: A Postapocalyptic Novel (The New World Series)
The Long Road: A Postapocalyptic Novel (The New World Series)
3 Prepper Romances: Escape To My Arms, plus 2 other e-books (your choice)
Prepper Pete Prepares: An Introduction to Prepping for Kids


The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking
Escaping Home: A Novel (The Survivalist Series)
Living Ready Pocket Manual – First Aid: Fundamentals for Survival


Emergency Essential Monthly 2

Emergency Essential Order Jul 2013_03

The monthly specials at Emergency Essentials feature discounts of up to 35% off sometimes a bit more. I have a monthly budget and each month I add a bit more FD products to my long term storage – always making my selection from sale items.

There are a lot new items that are put on sale each month – be sure to take a look.

Note: I earn a small commission on your purchase making this a great way to support Backdoor Survival which will always be free to everyone.


I earn a small commission from purchases made when you begin your Amazon shopping experience here.

The Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items
Emergency Preparedness Items from

Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!


11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life: This little book will provide you with the motivation to get started or stay on track with a self-reliant life. 11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life, co-authored with my long time pal, George Ure (, and can purchased from Amazon.

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98 Responses to “BDS Book Festival – After the Blackout + Interview with Paul Anthony”

  1. The Prepping item I would love to get this holiday season is a portable solar panel kit for charging small items such as phones, radio’s, lights etc.

  2. I would like a ham radio, so that when I get my licence, I can communicate with others. Where I live,I have no cell service.

  3. Not a need but a very nice thing to have would be the soup/vegs. organizer shelf that works to rotate can goods without all the hassle of moving cans from the back to front everytime I get back from the grocery store. THAT would be the ultimate Christmas present.

  4. I would love to receive your BDS Book Festival Package for the Holidays. Learning is a very important part of prepping.

  5. I would like a couple solar panels. our house faces east /west so we have a large roof exposure
    north / south. I would like to add some solar panels to this south exposed area so I can
    supplement my electric source with solar

  6. The one thing I would like to receive this Christmas is some good seed starting/compost/soil mix. I’m not finding any right now (since the growing season is over) in the big box/dollar stores. I started looking early because I don’t want to wait too long in to the new year to start my seeds.

  7. My choice would be an M-15 along with ammunition and a 9MM with ammunition and a 22LR with ammunition. One would be for defense, another for hunting large game and one for small game and last, reloading tools with enough lead and power to last a long time . That would be a most excellent prepper gift.

  8. I cannot answer the question with an item. What I would most appreciate is help in storage plans and methods/systems. Aside from more long-term food, I need no more practical “items” I’m aware of. The time and expertise would be the best gift I could receive.

  9. Well, since the only people that REALLY know what we need is my wife and I, I would like to receive gift cards to our favorite Prepper vendors. Then we could let everyone know what they got us!

  10. I would like to get a chimney built for our shop building. It is well insulated and small enough that a small wood stove could easily heat it in case we needed to stay inside of it.

  11. A laser range finder. It’s good for hunting, bow,rifle, security. It would be a useful addition to our preps.

  12. I would really love to have a Leatherman Wave for Christmas. Of all the things on my wish list this is the most affordable and practical. Thank you for the opportunity to win After the Blackout. It sounds like an excellent read. Good luck everyone.

  13. A solar generator would be greatly used and appreciate. We have a gasoline one but I feel that is
    for short term use. A solar would be used more often and not in just an emergency situation.

  14. The most important resource in a grid down situation is access to clean water. Therefore, a water filtration system should be counted among the most important items to have. So, for this holiday season I would like to receive a Berkey Water System.

  15. i would love, Love, LOVE to get a Berkey Water Filter! It’s something I could use not only for my family, but for everyone if something drastic should happen. And in case Santa doesn’t come, through, I’m saving my pennies!

  16. For Christmas I want books…lots of books. My wish-list contains mostly cookbooks, because food is essential and not getting flavor-fatigue is very important to me for feeding my family. The other books are how-tos for everyday situations when you can’t just run to the store to buy a replacement…or call the plumber. Also gardening books. I grow only heirlooms, but we have poor soil, so trying to learn all I can to get better yields…and how to store everything properly. I believe that book or print form is best for any survival situation…just store them well-protected.

  17. My first response was a water filtration system. BUT after reading everyone’s responses, my mental list grew and grew. I WANT IT ALL! I am going to buy myself a 12 inch cast iron skillet with a lid because I want one NOW. Frankly, I don’t even care if it isn’t a bargain. Some things are going to have to wait in line behind a new cap for a broken tooth, hearing aids and new glasses. Those are things I don’t want to delay getting in case 2014 has nasty surprises.

  18. Since my husband and I don’t exchange gifts, I won’t be “receiving” it, but the next item we want to purchase is a hand pump for our well.

  19. In order to care for my extended family of three granddaughters, two daughters with their spouses and hubby and myself I would like a solar generator kit consisting of several solar panels and several storage batteries. Though we live in central Florida, solar energy would be utilized to run fans in the summer and portable heaters in the winter. Also, I’d have solar energy to boil water for cooking and/or purification. I am interested in reading the book, “After The Blackout,” for pleasure and as a learning tool.

  20. I would like to receive a water filtration system. you can live without most other things for quite a while but water is an immediate necessity.

  21. My choice would be to receive a pedal sewing machine in good working order. I have looked for one in my price range but working machines seem to be rather rare. I do a lot of sewing with electric sewing machine and serger so this would come in handy when power is gone.

  22. I have my eye on a SOG Seal Pup Elite knife. Security/safety is where I’m lacking, this knife has excellent reviews and I want one! It has many purposes, all around SUPER knife and it’s well worth the money, if I don’t get it 4 Xmas I’ll be buying myself one.

  23. Berkey water filter. Or a good manual grain mill. Or a solar electricity set-up. Or a good bug-out location within 3 hours drive. Or a solid pick-up truck. Or a . . . . 😉

  24. My gift list for the family has a pressure canner and a dehydrator on it. I am also researching solar chargers for my Kindle, laptop and cell phone.

  25. I’d love a treadle sewing machine! Clothing could become a problem in the SHTF world… Also a good rifle, shotgun and handgun. Oh, it’s just impossible to choose ONE item, there’s so much on my list! A treadle grinder for sharpening tools…. a two-handled saw for cutting trees… well, you get the idea. I would, however, love to win a copy of “After the Blackout”!

  26. The prepping item that I would love to receive this holiday season is a Big Berkey water filter. It’s a big ticket item, so to receive it as a gift would really help my prepping buget.

  27. The prep item I’d love to have is the complete Foxfire books series. These books hold all the information that my Smokey Mountain ancestors used. No electric, no running water, no money, just a lot of common sense and creativity.

    • I loved Ffoxfire 1, 2, and 3! Those children did a great job collecting all of that information!

  28. I have asked for a small Excalibur dehydrator a 4 or 5 tray will be fine for me for a while to learn and experiment with. I only have an old round bottom air dehydrator now that I do not use very much because of the uneven drying.

  29. I would like to have ten (10) printed books of my choice on self-reliance survival skills topics so that I can build my library in the event that electronic versions are not available in a major catastrophy involving power/electric grid down/bug-out scenarios occur. Print is better than electronic in my opinion as a primary backup to prepping.

  30. I would love a book on canning. I have purchased quite a bit lately, but my canning fell far short this year and I still feel like I have a lot to learn.

    • John,

      Loved your answer. It is kinda short notice but I have lots of single women friends in all ages and sizes. Just let me know what you want/ need. Did you know there is a prepper dating site? (that is what I am trying….lol)

      Your new prepper friend (I hope)

    • Let me get this straight.
      John……..Needs a wife.
      Dana…….Needs a husband.
      Gaye…….Match maker.
      I’m in KY. Where Dana??????

  31. What prepping item would you like to receive this holiday season? I think i want a dehydrator.i have been using my oven but the results are sporadic.i can make sundried tomatoes but banana chips don’t work i wantto dehyrate more fruits and veggies and make more jerkies

  32. I am so very, very new to prepping that I would be grateful for anything. I read all the wonderful and insightful answers of my fellow posters, and they all had such wonderful answers (except for John, I don’t need a wife…. a husband maybe ….lol) But I am really hoping that I have been good enough for my Prepper Santa to bring me a whole canning ensemble.

  33. I would love to have a complete set of Mother Earth News magazine, although I’m sure they’ve been out of print for years. They contain the answers to “how to” almost anything from a homesteader’s perspective.

  34. My husband would like a Cross Bow and arrows. I would like a tri-fuel or solar generator. If the generators are not possible for Christmas then gift cards to Amazon to get some things from my prepping wish list. I have many books and cooking items for outdoor use on this list.

    • I suggest, as an alternative to a outdoor brick oven, the use of a outdoor dutch oven. I considered building a fixed outdoor oven until I happened upon the many uses of the dutch oven. There are many youtube sites that demonstrate their use, and many recipes. I didn’t want to work at ground level so I placed a 1/4″ thick steel cover on top of my BBQ grill. I use this as the base for my dutch oven. Several 20lbs bags of charcoal briquettes would enable you to bake and cook many meals.

  35. If there was one thing I could have it would probably be the Burkey water purification system. Water is such a big concern.

  36. The one thing I would like to help round out my preps is something that Santa would have a hard time fitting in my stocking. That would be like minded people that I can trust to watch my back, while I watch theirs. All the preps in the world won’t do a person any good if they can’t protect them and keep them safe for your own use. So, in lieu of that, I would take anything that will help increase my knowledge and/or skills since that is something I can always carry with me.

  37. as my family knows where i am at with my preps, anything would be nice, however if i had to choose… i do still need more storage containers for my rain gutter containment

    • Barbara the first five Foxfire books can be had in pdf format. If you’re on Pinterest just search for Foxfire books on pdf. I can’t find anymore than the first five but it’s a start. 😀

  38. I have already asked Santa to bring a two-burner Coleman camp stove. Solar panels, a water filter and bow and arrows would be useful, too.

  39. I’d really like to get confirmation that my family has finally “seen the light” and started prepping themselves for emergencies, even if it was just for the typical natural disaster or grid down for a few day disasters seen in their area every year…

  40. Realistically: I’ll take anything as I just got my husband on board and starting on our preps.

    In my fantasies: My own designed Excalibur Staircase Off-road trailer.

  41. The prepping item that I would like to receive this holiday season is….a 2nd, completely loaded BOB for my wife. I would like it to be light enough for her little 110 lb frame to carry, but filled with all the proper equipment to survive when the SHTF! Come on Santa Claus, get your elves busy!

  42. I would like a small electrical generating windmill for the holiday season.It’s always windy at my house and the windmill would generate twenty four hours a day as long as there is wind. As opposed to a solar system which only generates when there’s sufficient day light.

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