Summer 2014 Book Festival: Forsaking Home by A. American

Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: November 24, 2020
Summer 2014 Book Festival: Forsaking Home by A. American

The Summer 2014 Backdoor Survival Book Festival continues.  This time, A. American is back for another interview plus, he is giving away his complete four-book Survivalist Series to one lucky Backdoor Survival reader.

For those of you that are not familiar with A. American, his Survivalist series is an action-packed series of books that follow the trials and tribulations of Morgan Carter.  In book #1, Going Home, Morgan’s vehicle breaks down 250 miles from his home.  Coincidentally, the nation’s power grid has collapsed and there is no electricity, no running water, no Internet, and no way to know when normalcy will be restored.

Forsaking Home BDS 470

An avid survivalist, Morgan takes to the road with his bug-out-bag on his back.  In book 4, Forsaking Home,  Morgan has weathered the period after the collapse and has been reunited with his family.  That is good news.  The bad news is that society is volatile, unstable, and getting worse by the minute.

Sounds like our worse nightmare, right?  Enjoy the interview and be sure to check out the details of this week’s four-book giveaway below.

An Interview with A. American, author of Forsaking Home

Given your background, knowledge, and experience, what do you feel are the three most important survival or prepping skills?

I would say fire making in a primary skill, with it many others naturally come. It amazes me to see people today that cannot even light a grill without lighter fluid.

Another is the proper use and care of cutting tools. We take them for granted.  To most folks, knives are something in the kitchen drawer, a set they bought at Wal-Mart or somewhere similar. They buy them, toss them in a drawer and never think about them again.  They probably will never see a sharpening stone in their lives.

The last one is harder to pin down but I’d say they adaptability and being able to adapt to your situation and not lose your head. Realizing you’re in a potentially bad situation and keeping your head about you to be able to make the proper decision the situation dictates.

A quality water filter would be number one. In our modern world, we have the luxury of clean running water when it’s gone people will have a hard time. These can be expensive or done fairly affordably.

The other items depend on the individual location, different regions require different equipment. For me, a quality blade is a must, the Mora series of knives is a great entry-level tool, very affordable and great quality. Next would be a quality fire steel, they always work and with some practice, the user can become very proficient.

One thing a number of people don’t think about is a quality pair of shoes, hikers or the like. Something that you can walk a long distance in comfort. These should be kept with you whenever you travel away from home. How many people simply slip on a pair of flip flops to leave home? I’ve even seen people that will get on a plane in them.  If the worst occurred could you imagine trying to walk out of a burning plane in flip flops?

Another couple of inexpensive items would be a couple of heavy duty contractor grade drum liners, these aren’t typical trash bags and have an unlimited number of possible uses.

To what extent does your family participate in your personal preparedness efforts?

I do bushcrafting with my kids, though as my girls get older they seem to lose interest in it. But they all still enjoy it and participate. My wife is fully on board and we work together for things like food storage and the like.

What is your favorite survival or pepping book? It can be fiction or non-fiction.

Well, mine of course! LOL, seriously though, my favorite novel is Alas, Babylon , one of the first and in my opinion one of the best. Pat Frank did a fabulous job.

Do you have anything else (announcement, message, personal experience) that you would like to share with the readers on Backdoor Survival?

Book five of the series will hopefully be out by the end of the year. I’m also currently in talks with a major cable network about a reality survival show, think Survivorman on steroids.

The Book Giveaway

This is a biggie.  A. American is giving away the complete, four-book set of the survivalist series.  That includes, Going Home, Surviving Home, Escaping Home, and of course, Forsaking Home.

To enter the giveaway, you need to utilize the Rafflecopter form below.  There are a number of options including a “free for everyone” option that requires just a single click. Note that this giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada.

The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific next Thursday with the winner notified by email and announced in the Sunday Survival Buzz.  Please note that the winner must claim their book within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.

The “Rafflecopter”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Final Word

Without question, Backdoor Survival readers are planning to hunker down rather than bug-out.  But if caught away from home, or caught in an area where the chaos, looters, and thugs make life unbearable, bug-out we will.  In books such as Forsaking Home and the rest of the survivalist series, we can role play with the characters, formulating our own plan of action if and when we have to make unthinkable decisions.

As always, I encourage you to enter the giveaway.  Good luck, everyone!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you enjoyed this article and this giveaway, consider voting for me daily at Top Prepper Websites!

In addition, SUBSCRIBE to email updates and receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

Spotlight Item:  Forsaking Home

They survived the collapse, but can they survive the aftermath?

Morgan Carter has weathered the weeks after the collapse of the nation’s power grid, reuniting with his family and ensuring their safety but his struggle isn’t over yet. Carter must focus on survival in an increasingly unstable society—but the challenges he faces are beyond his wildest imagination.


Meanwhile, the enclosed quarters of the nearby government-run refugee camp make for an environment where injury, assault, and murder are the norm. As Jess creates trouble within the camp, Sarge and his crew plot to take down the entire establishment.

From the author of the hit Survivalist Series books, Forsaking Home is an action-packed adventure that depicts the harrowing possibilities of a world gone awry, and the courage it takes to protect what matters most.

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.

Note:  If you covet an e-Book reader, consider the Kindle.   And if not, at the very least pick up the free Kindle app so that you can read Kindle books on your PC or favorite electronic device.

Summer 2014 Book Festival #6 – Fiction

Day After Disaster
Jingling Our Change (Liberty Dying Series Book 1)
Nanny State Nightmare (Liberty Dying Book 2)
The Shadow Patriots
Survivor Max: Too Smart to Die
Collective Retribution
Event Horizon (The Perseid Collapse Post Apocalyptic Series Book 2)
Forsaking Home
Sanctuary: A Postapocalyptic Novel
299 Days: The War
Bishop’s Song (Holding Their Own Book 6)

Summer 2014 Book Festival #6 – Non-Fiction

The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch
Food Storage for Self-Sufficiency and Survival: The Essential Guide for Family Preparedness
The Practical Prepper: A Common-Sense Guide to Preparing for Emergencies
Prepper’s Long-Term Survival Guide: Food, Shelter, Security, Off-the-Grid Power and More Life-Saving Strategies for Self-Sufficient Living
Duct Tape 911: The Many Amazing Medical Things You Can Do to Tape Yourself Together
The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster
Countdown to Preparedness: The Prepper’s 52 Week Course to Total Disaster Readiness



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


Get the E-Book for Only 99 cents.  Also Available in Print!

No list of books would be complete without my own book, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage.

The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage is a book about food: What to store, how to store it and best practices. It is a roadmap for showing ordinary citizens that long-term food storage is not something that will overwhelm or burden the family budget.   It is based on my own tried and true experience as someone who has learned to live the preparedness lifestyle by approaching emergency preparedness and planning in a systematic, step-by-step manner.

Whether you simply want to prepare for natural disasters or whether you believe the world is headed toward a major food crisis, this book is for you. It covers basic tips and techniques you can use to stock your food storage pantry so that you can be assured that your family will have food to eat, no matter what.

Aff | Emergency Blanket

[DEAL] Emergency Survival Blanket

Pocket-size survival blanket could save a life - throw in your bag or car.

Get Cheap Security
Aff | Tactical Flashlight
[DEAL] Ultrabright Tactical Flashlight Get This Deal

96 Responses to “Summer 2014 Book Festival: Forsaking Home by A. American”

  1. What fire-making skill or skills do you possess?
    I always carry a magnesium fire starter in my pocket. Only used it a couple of times to make sure I could start a fire with it. I also carry a zippo lighter and usually start fires to burn brush or trash with it. (Using grass/leaves/twigs for kindling). The thing I like about the zippo is that in an emergency it can use almost any flammable fluid. I keep thinking about making a fire bow, but haven’t done so yet! 🙂

  2. I’m so excited for this giveaway!

    Oh, and how do I start a fire? Currently, I use doritos…lol….bing on a no-carb diet. But in the woods, it’s kindling and my wax coated survival matches!

  3. I have a husband, son and 3 son-in-laws that love to make fire, so to be honest, I let them. I have never made a fire other than to light the propane BBQ grill. :-/

    • Knowledge is power, and practice makes perfect. Find one way you are comfortable with trying, and practice it. You never know, you may need to be your own best friend in a tough time.

  4. I meet with a small group of survivalist twice a month. One meeting was “how to build a fire without matches”. We all built a fire. The easiest way was to use a flint and char-cloth. A 9 volt battery and steel-wool was easy. I have a magnifying glass in my BOB, and by far the hardest way was to rub two sticks together. I can build a fire these ways, but to light my back yard campfire, I use newspaper and a few matches.

  5. I can start a fire a couple ways. 1) with a magnesium fire starter;
    2) with a battery and steel wool and, 3) with matches or lighter!
    All are in my BOB, along with cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly. Hope to be taking a primitive fire starting class in November. That’s the ultimate. Do I sound like a survival nerd or what!!!

  6. I have a moira fire knife, matches, a couple hundred bics, and a bucket of fire starter I like to practice with. Sounds like overkill but better safe than sorry

  7. Many years ago I became a Girl Scout leader and we learned several different types of camp fires to build depending on the purpose of the fire. It was fun to take the girls camping and teach them this important skill.

  8. I have tried primitive methods of fire starting. What I have determined is that I must always have a lighter and/or matches and kindling of some sort with me.

  9. I am so excited to be able to enter these giveaways and learn more. I am sorta new to prepping/survival but I love learning as much as I can to help myself and my family now and in times of disasters.

    • I also have not started a fire with anything other than a match. I have a flint that I have never used. I can’t wait to practice and learn more and better ways to start a fire.

  10. I have been able to make a campfire in several different ways from childhood. We were required to do the work of an adult when camping, fishing and become proficient at outdoor skills. I have all of the “primitive” methods, but religiously carry all-weather matches, a couple of lighters in my purse, BOBs, carkit, jockey box, etc.

  11. I am horrible at fire starting! That is top on my list of skills to practice. I have several methods that theoretically should work but it is going to be a learned skill!

  12. I am a former Girl Scout (back before they became PC), so I have had experience (albeit in the somewhat distant past) making fires with matches – I certainly know about starting with tinder, moving to kindling, etc. I also am aware of different ways to make tinder materials to store in a bug out bag.

  13. I learned many years ago when I was a Girl Scout. Practiced it years ago when a Brownie Scout leader and a Cub Scout leader. Have not used the skill since so while I could most likely get a fire started it might take quite a while.

  14. I used to have to start a fire in the fireplace every day during the warmth for warmth. But that was years ago. I need to brush up on my skills for sure! I hadn’t really thought about it until I read this article.

  15. I have plenty of strike everywhere matches sealed in vacuum bags, and I’ve been practising with my fire steel and Mora. Hope to buy more so everyone has one on their keychains.

  16. Oh my gosh! I need this so badly! I have a terrible time starting a fire! I use lighter fluid and fire starter and still have a tough time

  17. Starting fire is a skill learned decades ago and still practice. Sure can light the charcoal in the grill without fluid, it’s easy.

    Filtering water so it is clear enough I feel safe using my life straw and purification tables is also an old skill.

    Enjoy reading books like this as they make me think deeper about what if situations.

  18. I don’t have any skills in fire starting (yet). This is one of the skills I am working on learning. Thanks for all you do. Love your website!

  19. We have a huge amount of wooden kitchen matches stored up as well as one of those little metal type (magnesium?) fire starter things. (can’t think right now what those things are called!) Both hubby and I know how to build a fire from scratch. Oh! Hubby just told me it’s called a swedish fire steel…..scout model……So there you go! lol

  20. I carry all weather matches with me at all times but it seems I need to brush up on my Girl Scout skills just in case!

  21. It would be wonderful to win this giveaway. I recently watched a documentary on starting fires using water. Very interesting, and I can’t wait to try them.

  22. I start fire with a Bic lighter usually. I have used several other methods, like a battery and steel wool and a magnesium strip. I have begun practicing with a fire bow or fire drill (whatever you call it). Haven’t succeeded yet but I will keep trying. I put several packs of Bic lighters in our storage and one pack (each pack has 5 lighters) in each bob. I have other methods stored as well. I believe redundancy in prepping is essential. The more ways you have to do something the better it is for your survival.

  23. Have never had to start a fire for survival reasons so I guess that is good but when the power went out for a month I had to light the gas stove with a match instead of the electrical starter working!

  24. I haven’t lit many fires but have stocked up on several methods: matches, lighters, magnesium steel flint, cotton balls soaked in Vaseline, dryer lint, charcoal, propane, etc. I have also researched and printed out how-to’s on various methods including how to start a fire with water.

  25. I have started fires pretty much every way possible and built most every style of camp fire. The easiest is a lighter, lots of paper, and a pyramid or teepee style fire. The hardest is a bow drill even though the mountain man competitions make it look easy. But the best way is the way that you have practiced.

  26. I have started fires with; Fire drill, 9 V battery & steel wool, bic lighter, magnifying glass, matches, magnesium & sparker.
    Love your site and e-mails

  27. During ‘The 11th Month Before Christmas” I gave all the kids a ‘fire starter bag’ for their bug out/in buckets that contained Coleman orange container w/ wood matches, Box of waterproof matches, BIC lighter in toothbrush holder, Magnesium fire starter, Quick start tinder, Cotton balls rolled in petroleum jelly, Hair ties and Tinder bag. And information: Fire Craft, Wildfires,6 ways to start a fire, and Fire safety tips for the home. So do you think I have practiced to light fire, no I tried to start a fire in my rocket stove and was not successful. Must try again

  28. Not much of a fire starter but have stocked all sorts of fire starting materials. I’m more of a “propane torch on the grill” type.

    A. American’s series is really great! Good as a teaching tool about what we can expect in a terrible situation. Looking forward to book five!

  29. I’ve made some cotton-ball/vaseline firestarters and some waterproof matches. But I’ve only tested them after I made them, not actually used them. Since I don’t do camping, I test them periodically so make sure they’ll still “work”. I have a rocket-type stove that uses wood pellets or twigs that why I chose these items as firestarters.

  30. This might be a great series. I bought the series but didn’t get very far because of the foul language. Please inform people before buying.

  31. I have multiple ways to start fires & have done them. I guess the most important advice is to have them everywhere you might be if & when SHTF. In your purse, in the vehicle in many cubby holes, at work, in coat pockets, in the house & garages & workshops. Also in the root cellar/tornado shelter/bug out shelter. Caches too. Friends and family are urged to do the same. Just be very very ready.

  32. I keep a fire starting tin with me in my backpack and another one in my vehicle. I have a magnesium rod, razor blade, cotton ball and steel wool. I also carry a small bic lighter.

  33. I have multiple ways to start a fire – waterproof and regular matches, lighters, cardboard rollers stuffed with dryer lint. I was right there through the majority of my teenage sons cub and boy scout years, so I know how to do make fat lighter, wood teepees, etc. We’ll practice with one of the Bear Grylls fire starters on our overnight FTX this month to get the cadets some practice.

  34. Really great interview and I believe spot on with authors suggestions and observations. Looking forward to getting his books, one way or the other.

  35. I am fairly decent at starting a fire “from scratch” in our wood burning stove by using dryer lint, crumpled paper and matches. I have flint rock,(it’s pretty common around here just to take a walk and pick it up off the gound) i just need to get serious about learning how to use it. I have used a magnifying glass to get a paper smoldering before…does that qualify me for the McGuyver club? lol

  36. Be ready to “camp out at home” after the 4 hurricanes here in Florida in 2004 we were without power for 4 weeks and only our preps kept us fed and with water. Too many people did not have a clue, they were out looking for food and water. thee 4 book series is a great read.

  37. Since I have a large number of survival books at my disposal, I have an equally large number of methods to start a fire always depending on what materials I have available. So I’ll say six for the moment.

  38. Took the survivalist merit badge in scouting…now its been…um…a couple years but learned a lot of different methods back then.

  39. My son and I would love these books. They sound exciting. Gaye, great website. Thanks for all the info! You keep me thinking, and I love that.
    I’ve been building fires since I was a kid with my family, and now my kids call me the fire-maker. For our campfires, I do it the easy way with newspaper, matches, building the sticks up pyramid style but I have practiced and prepped for a few other ways.

  40. I can start a campfire using a lighter or matches & tinder. I’ve also tried dryer lint stuffed in empty toliet paper rolls and paper thin pieces of crepe myrtle bark inside the paper rolls. I do need to purchase ferro rods & magnesium starters. I recently received flint & steel from my son, but have not tried it yet.

  41. I only have made fire with a lighter, matches etc… Definately weak in this area! I have flint but have never used it yet. This is going to be top of my to do list for sure. I have used Doritos, some lint from drier but still used a lighter.

  42. Flint,steel and char clothe, magnesium block and striker, magnifying glass, Vic, battery steelwool, and bow( tedious and frustrating.

  43. I have vasoline coated cotton balls, magnesium striker, magnifying glass, 9 volt battery and scratch pad. I usually carry one or two ways to start a fire with me at all times.

  44. Once upon a time, in a Melanesian setting, the people I was with taught me to make a fire with a soft wood platform and a hard wood stick – not an easy thing to do but, I finally got a spark and fire going. I prefer a magnifying glass, even though I have to wait for the sunshine . . .

  45. We keep the fire starter and weatherproof matches in the BO bag. Get them out every so often to make sure they ( and I ) still work 😉 By the way, I appreciate your common sense advice. Thank you.

  46. I can light a fire in several ways. I carry a mag fire starter and a lighter. Plus a tin in my purse with fire starting equip. I also know how to do the stick rub, mirror and the magnifier fire starting. If all else fails and you are in your car you can use any of your car mirrors to start a fire. You can also syphon gas if you need to start a fire. I keep a hose in my car for this. You can use your own hair to start a fire, feminine products,baby diapers all kinds of things to start a fire with that you normally carry on you or in your car.

  47. Having grown up with a logger for a dad, we always had a wood stove, so I can start a fire in a wood stove, a fireplace, in a campfire pit, in a BBQ grill, and even an old wood cook stove (very cool to use, BTW…makes the BEST bread!). We also have candles, Coleman lanterns and kerosene lamps, but better have LOTS of lighters stashed away, because that’s how I light them. 🙂

  48. I would start out using my lighter, then matches, then I’d have to fall back to any of several dozen other methods my survival library shows me how to get that fire lit. Then I’d have to explain to the growing crowd why I’m trying to start a fire in the first place.

  49. I loved his first three books. Very much recommend to put in people’s mindset that life will not be easy when the government crumbles. Ready to win his new book to find out even more tactical ways to conquer end times.

  50. I have been teaching fire building to scouts for several years. I favorite method is using a Swedish FireSteel and my choice of tinder is cotton balls with vaseline. Works wet or dry.

  51. Matches and lighters are all I have used so far but I am learning more and more everyday from your wonderful site. Thank you for all the great info.

  52. I have heard of the many ways to start a fire, but I myself have only done it with a lighter or a magnifying glass. I really need to learn how to use the other methods I have heard of.

  53. I have recently used my flint and steel w/ char cloth to start a fire, as well as steel wool and a 9 volt battery, and a ferro rod and knife, all to show others how to start them……but the bowdrill fire still evades me 🙁 .

  54. I’ve used a fire bow but I always carry a BIC lighter. I use the fire bow every once in a while just to keep in touch with how to do it.

  55. I don’t have any fire making skills except to use matches or a lighter currently. We are just starting prepping and I am eager to learn new methods for survival! I hope I win so I can learn some more tips…

  56. Both my husband and I are pretty good at making fire both with a steel and using the sun with a magnifying glass! I would like to be better with other implements so that if I did’t have ‘my go to’s’ I wouldn’t be stuck!

  57. Both my husband and I were unemployed for an extended period following an accident. Having food and other necessities stored gave us breathing room for the months we were laid up. We even were able to feed our neighbors family when they hit a really rough patch after he was diagnosed with cancer. Living off our stores was a valuable lesson in living off our preps. We are now rebuilding our stores. A. American’s books sound like a great read.

  58. Guess I better “brush” up on my fire making skills. I too have the proverbial matches, lighters and steel wool/battery combo in the supplies and bags. As a former Campfire girl, we learned how to make fire using the fire drill/bow when we camped out.

  59. Unfortunately, my fire-making skills are minimal at best. (We haven’t actually had cold weather since I started prepping, so haven’t even lit the fireplace in a couple years.) Need to work on that this winter.
    However, I do know where the matches are. 🙂

  60. That’s funny about people walking on a plane with flip flops. Years ago(1970’s) when I took my first airplane flight I decided to wear hiking boots in case the plane went down.

  61. Since we heat with wood, I’d better know how to start a fire. I’d guuess I have about 8 or 10 ifferent ways of a fire, including things like hand sanitizer (alcohol) and a pushbutton propane torch. After all, you can easily refill those torch tanks from your grill’s 10 or 20 pound tank. Now, that said, you’d better start lining up long-term fuel supplies, too. I don’t plan on leaving home, since I have piped in natural gas backed up by a natural gas well 800 feet from the property, a coalmine, and 8 plus acres of trees. And the pipeline from the gas well crosses our land, so I don’t have to wworry about leaving the property. Just remember that knowing how to start a fire if you nothing to burn :).

  62. Always carry in your vehicle a fire kit. A BIC lighter and petroleum jelly soaked cotton balls at a minimum. Add waterproof matches and powdered magnesium which can be bought on ebay.

  63. Each of our bug out bags contains a number of different methods for fire starting, including waterproof matches, lighters, magnesium fire starter,
    a battery and steel wool, and cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly. We also are prepared to use a magnifying glass. We haven’t made or used any char cloth. Sounds like you have an upcoming article on that. We will be interested in adding that method to the ones we already have available.

  64. We make fires in the fireplace with well dried out firewood and LOTS of newspaper underneath. Start the grill with charcoal started in a Weber volcano-like gadget bought at Home Depot(?). Put wadded up paper in the bottom and light it and the coals on top heat up and are soon ready to put in grill. Hmmm. Looks like we need to practice for the real deal situation.

Leave a Reply