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This week’s author interview and book giveaway in the Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival 8 is singularly special not only because of the book itself but because the author is a BDS frequent contributor, LeAnn Edmondson.
Her book, and the featured title this week. is Aftermath A Story of Survival. Imagine a computer virus that takes electronic systems around the world. This type of cyberattack could happen on a small scale or a large scale but either way, it will change our way of life for a long, long time. For some of us, those changes will outlive our lifetime.
I am preaching the choir when I say that survival fiction, including post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction, gives us a window into what life may be like if our worst nightmares come true. That is why we read it; so we can think through scenarios and anticipate how we might respond to unthinkable situations. With that, I leave it up to you to imagine the horrors that will occur it technology fails us – forever.
You know the drill. LeAnn has reserved a copy for one lucky reader. Enjoy the interview then be sure to check in below to learn about the giveaway.
An Interview with LeAnn Edmondson, Author of Aftermath
Tell me about your book. What is it about?
Aftermath begins with a catastrophic computer virus that takes down the systems we rely on in modern society across the entire globe.
It follows the main character, Jimmy Walker, as he makes it to his bug out location and how people band together to survive. Even though Jimmy was a ‘prepper,’ there are certain things you could not possibly be prepared for. No amount of food or water can prepare someone for the moral and ethical decisions you would have to face. The biggest threat to survival quickly changes from the elements to dealing with other people.
Not only does Jimmy and the group of people he banded together with have to face those who would take everything they have, there is the threat of the United Nations stepping in and assuming global authority. With the abolishment first of states and providences, and then countries themselves, the sense of community and belonging take on a whole new meaning.
What type of research did you have to do while writing your book?
I had to learn a lot about the state of Michigan for starters. Mike Kosinski is the one who actually started the story as a weekly serial on his site, TinHatRanch.com. When his schedule did not allow for him to keep it up, I offered to step in and take it over. Essentially, the bare bones of the story were handed over and I had to learn a lot about not only the geographical locations of towns and cities, I had to research weather patterns and temperatures for this part of the country that I had no knowledge of whatsoever.
The other areas of research included HAM radio call signs, military ranks, different styles of weapons and even a little psychology. It was important that the story was plausible and believable.
How long did it take to write?
The story was a weekly serial that allowed the readers to vote on how Jimmy would handle certain situations he found himself in. There were 30 weeks published that were then compiled and edited into the book.
It was the fans who suggested a book though I admit I had thought about it a couple times when I first took it over. It was their encouragement that made me go for it! Overall, the process took a little less than a year.
Every book, fiction and non-fiction, includes a message. What message do you hope my readers will take with them after reading your book?
The single most important message I want the story to convey is that the world is not as wonderfully rose colored as it seems and that the slightest chink in the system could wreak havoc. It is not paranoia to have smoke alarms in your house, it is good sense. So is having some basic essentials set back just in case.
The secondary message is that even in the most horrific of circumstances, there are good people and hope out there. Never give up hope.
Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?
I was born and raised in the temperate rainforests of Southeast Alaska. My husband and I are avid campers and are learning all we can to be more self-reliant. We enjoy living in a rural area and hope to move to a more remote island within the next few years on a piece of land we can homestead and live a subsistence lifestyle.
We don’t really care much about monetary wealth, we want life experience wealth!
As an author in the survival, prepping and/or homesteading niche, what are you personally preparing for?
There is no one thing. It’s just life! A sudden job loss, a break in the supply chain due to a natural disaster, or a man-made catastrophe. At least, I try to as best as I can. Our goal is to have a three month supply of food stocked up and learn how to provide a lot of our own food in the garden, forests, and ocean.
What would be your first prep-step if you were just getting started?
Defining what it was I really wanted to accomplish. “I want to be prepared” doesn’t do much good unless you know what it is you are trying to insure against. Being prepared for a nuclear bomb is a lot different than being prepared for a job loss or sudden medical issue.
What book or movie, fiction or non-fiction, do you think gives the best portrayal of what could happen?
Oddly enough, the one show I watched that really got me going was American Blackout the National Geographic channel. The absolute societal breakdown from just the power going out in the major cities was really scary. Even in areas that were more rural, people went crazy.
The vast majority of the people who live in the United States aren’t starving. They haven’t had to go more than a day or two (at most) without food, running water, and readily available heat. When you take those three things away, panic leads to irrational and desperate people who do things they never thought they would. And feeling justified in doing so.
Do you have plans for another book?
Yes. The sequel is already in the works and is being done as a weekly serial on HomesteadDreamer.com and I am happy to report that the story of Jimmy, Amie, and Captain will be a trilogy!
Readers are encouraged to vote and help shape the story. I believe that it is the involvement of the readers that adds the color and spice to the overall story. It makes it more relatable and ‘human.’ Plus, it is a blast to write!
The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific next Tuesday with the winner notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article. Please note that the winner must claim their book within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.
The Final Word
Each week as I write about these books, I speculate as to whether something catastrophic such as a cyber-attack (or globally destructive computer virus), could really occur. Unlike Marty McFly, I do not have a DeLorean that will project me into the future so I can see for myself. Sometimes, no, oftentimes, just thinking about the possibility makes my head hurt.
That said, I keep on reading and keep on prepping. I soldier through, hope nothing happens, attempt to educate the world about the merits of being prepared.
Enough doom and gloom! Good luck in the giveaway!
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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Spotlight: Aftermath: A Story of Survival
When the picture of a dog taking a dump shows up on every computer and cell phone screen with the words, “IT Happens,” Jimmy Walker knew things would never be the same again. What he didn’t know was just how bad it would be.
Bugging out to his cabin in the Manistee National Forest, Jimmy figured he would ride out the storm there. He knew there would be trouble from the criminal element and those who had not prepared but hadn’t counted on the United Nations moving in and gathering people up to be ‘relocated,’ too. Banding together with others in the valley, Jimmy works to meet the threats that seem to come from all directions at once.
Plus: The Preppers Guide to Food Storage
No list of books would be complete without my own book, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage. The eBook print version is available.
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