One of the first post-apocalyptic fiction books I read was Brushfire Plague. I liked it so much that I left a review which is something I almost never do (shame on me). The day the second book in the Brushfire Plague trilogy was released, I scooped it up and read it. Finally, we have the third book, Brushfire Plague Retribution, and it is another winner.
The Brushfire Plague series by R.P. Ruggiero, for me, set the standard for survival fiction. I liked that the characters were interesting and even more important, believable. They were strong, but they also had their weaknesses, just like we do. Perhaps most important, the books were a reminder that no matter what happens, we need to stay in touch with our relationships and the human side of prepping.
With that introduction, I am thrilled to share an all-new interview with R.P. plus I have three copies of his book up for grabs in a giveaway. Enjoy the interview then be sure to check in below to learn about both the giveaway and a very special offer of the eBook version of books and two. (Hint: 99 cents!)
An Interview with R.P. Ruggiero, Author of Brushfire Plague Retribution
Given your background, knowledge, and experience, what do you feel are the three most important survival or prepping skills?
I’ll focus on the least talked about in our community: soft skills. I break it down as the ability to read, lead, and need people.
Reading people is a critical skill in a survival situation as it can help you separate dangerous people from those who are not. It is a fiction to think we will successfully survive a short or long-term survival situation if we treat everyone as a threat.
Skill in leading other people will also be an important skill set. Every group will have the need to keep morale up, manage the inevitable tensions and dynamics that arise between people, and harnessing people’s natural talents and skills. So, it’s easy to see the value of leadership skills.
Finally, while it’s not so much a skill as a willingness to need other people. It is an exceptionally rare person who can truly survive the breakdown of society or other extreme survival situation as a ‘lone wolf’. So, accepting that we will need other people will put you ahead of the curve. In the Brushfire Plague trilogy, I explore the soft skills and what I call Survival Leadership in some depth.
Fortunately, like hard skills, all of these skills can be developed. You can practice and learn to trust your intuition—which is something we all have and it evolved as part of our survival over the eons. You can also learn and grow your ‘emotional intelligence’, which will raise your ability to read people, notice changes, and better understand people.
There are hundreds of books and seminars on developing your leadership skills—and a multitude of ways to practice those skills in ‘normal’ life. Finally, we can all do work on growing our knowledge of why we need other people in all parts of our life—and particularly in a survival situation. Still wondering about this last one? Just remember, beyond all the skills we’ll need…we all need to sleep at some point!
What would you purchase if you only had $500 to spend on preparedness supplies?
I’d spend $100 on a quality water filter, most likely one of the gravity fed ones that can purify thousands and thousands of gallons of water. Then, I’d spend another $100 on food that is storable for a long period of time and is transportable. Finally, I’d spend $300 on a quality used handgun and some ammunition.
In my opinion, these form the basics of the Survival Triangle of water, food, and protection. Most other needs can be found or improvised.
Do you feel totally prepared and if not, what prep area concerns you the most?
I don’t think anyone is truly ever fully prepared! It’s always a work in progress. My motto is: start where you are and then take the next step. It is truly a life-long endeavor.
For me, I haven’t found the time or money to prepare for a long-term (multi-year) total collapse scenario. Thankfully, I have enough connections and relationships with other people that I might just survive this situation!
To what extent does your family participate in your personal preparedness efforts?
My family is fully supportive. We have all seen enough situations that they understand the threat is real. Without question, I still lead our family’s efforts, but they are in it as well. I will admit, as my two boys have become teenagers, it has been much harder to keep them engaged. At this age, there are a lot more things that compete for their time!
What work of fiction do you feel gives the best portrayal of what could happen in real life?
I’m a big fan of One Second After by William Forstchen. For his scenario, an EMP strike, I believe he lays out a very realistic description of how society would devolve and collapse. I believe he also does a good balancing job between focusing on how things change, as well as the people side of things.
Other, older apocalyptic works that I think do a good job are Alas, Babylon and The Earth Abides.
If there was a disruptive event and you had to evacuate, what non-fiction books or reference manuals would you take with you?
Oh, that would be long list! I’d start with The Survival Medicine Handbook by Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy.
Where There is No Doctor is another very useful medical survival tome. I’d certainly grab my copy of the SAS Survival Handbook by Lofty Wiseman. From there, I’d grab some of my reference books on carpentry, electricity, and mechanical repairs.
Do you have anything else, such as an announcement, message, personal experience, that you would like to share with the readers on Backdoor Survival?
Certainly, I hope that your readers will take a look at the Brushfire Plague trilogy. I think they’ll find it a great and entertaining read that has a lot of useful survival lessons woven throughout it. It also makes a great introduction to friends or family who don’t yet get the need to prepare. You can find them in paperback or e-book format on BN.com or visit www.brushfireplague.com for more info! Finally,
I’d just close with what I started with: build up your ‘people skills’ as they will serve you well in any survival situation.
R.P. has reserved three copies of his book in this newest Book Festival Giveaway.
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:
What character trait would you be most likely to seek when either starting of joining a survival community?
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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.
A Special Offer on The Brushfire Plague, Books One and Two
To celebrate Brushfire Plague: Retribution being featured this week in the Prepper Book Festival, the publisher, Prepper Press, has dropped the price of the eBook versions of Brushfire Plague and Brushfire Plague: Reckoning.
This promotion will run for just one week and I urge you grab one or both. I know you will love these books!
The Final Word
When I left a review, here is what I said:
“Every once in a while, a survival novel crosses my path that is not only a relaxing and entertaining read, but also a thought provoking primer on dealing with the unexpected consequences of the breakdown and collapse of society. The book Brushfire Plague, by R. P Ruggiero is such a book and I do not say this lightly.”
Ditto for Brushfire Plague: Retribution. You will not be disappointed.
For more information about the books in this latest book festival, visit Prepper Book Festival 14: Books to Learn, Prepare, and Be Ready for Anything.
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Spotlight: Brushfire Plague: Retribution
They say “Only the Truth Can Set You Free.”
In the thrilling conclusion to the Brushfire Plague trilogy, Cooper Adams is on the run in a world ravaged by a virulent plague and the shattering consequences from the conspiracy he has unearthed. His perilous journey has him facing danger at every turn, finding new allies, and stirring up a budding rebellion.
As he is pursued by authorities bent on silencing him, he remains doggedly on a path to bring justice to the governor of Oregon—who remains at the center of the plot that dismantled America.
Will Cooper survive the violence and disease that is destroying the country he once loved? As his young son spirals downward amidst the decay, can he help him maintain his humanity? How can he finally confront the governor and deliver justice for the millions upon millions dead—including his wife?
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.