Book Festival and Giveaway: An Interview with Lance Long

Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: February 16, 2021
Book Festival and Giveaway: An Interview with Lance Long

books library (Custom)Today I share the second author interview in the Backdoor Survival Book Festival.  Lance Long, the the author of BOCA CHITA: Prepare-Escape-Survive shares his answers to my questions and is also providing one of my readers with a free copy of his book.

Before we begin, I would like to announce the winner of last week’s giveaway.  “Pocono-pat” has won a copy of Contact!: A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival.  Congratulations!  A will be contacting you be email for mailing instructions.

Here is why Pat wanted to win a copy of the Max Velocity book:

“I would like to win this book as we live in an urban area close to the downtown area next to low income apartments.  We are unable to leave when the SHTF because of family health reasons and need all the help we can get to prepare. We are doing all we can but would like the extra help that I am sure your book would provide. Thanks for being there to help us.”

Be sure to check out the details of this week’s giveaway below.

A Chat with Lance Long

Tell me about your book, Boca Chita: Prepare. Escape. Survive. What is it about?

Boca_Chita_cover (Custom)My novel, Boca Chita: Prepare.Escape.Survive. is a post-pandemic survival story set in Florida’s Upper Keys in the very near future. My primary character, Mark, a retired boomer with a powerful survivalist streak, manages to avoid contamination from the NÖEL virus that was released worldwide by terrorists on Christmas Eve. Within three days, 99.9% of the world’s population succumbs.

He escapes in his liveaboard trawler to Boca Chita Key, an uninhabited island seven miles offshore from Miami, where he uses his wits, resilience and mechanical know-how to establish a homestead as a self-sufficient hermit. As South Florida and the Keys suffer post-NÖEL catastrophes, spawned by nature but worsened by the shortsighted undertakings of the historical heroes and villains who developed the area, Mark faces his first challenging year with only the companionship of a fellow shipwrecked survivor, his dog Shadow, in a world where all the rules have been abandoned.

In his journal, Mark reflects on watching the weather, observing animals, harvesting the gifts of the sea, and sowing and nurturing a kitchen garden. He interacts with animals: dolphins, alligators, snakes, manatees, stingrays, crocodiles, and jellyfish, and with people: Cuban rafters, Haitian boat people, smugglers, slavers, coke whores and the last Navy SEAL.

Boca Chita is an amateur’s guide to hot-wiring boats & cars, breaking & entering, false imprisonment and misdemeanor manslaughter. It also celebrates the mundane: bicycling, baking bread, doing laundry, and working: fitting-out, running and maintaining boats, building, and the satisfaction of making successful repairs. The first anniversary of the terrorist attack comes to a close with a gathering of a small band of immune survivors, setting the stage for the creation of the community of New Islandia.

Boca Chita is about a careful and thoughtful man achieving equipoise as custodian of his “green” island hideaway, and how he overcomes his isolation and takes the next steps.

What type of research did you have to do while writing Boca Chita?

My research for this trilogy of novels has been both academic and experiential.

I’ve read everything I can find about Florida’s history including the often misguided efforts of the schemers, scammers and scalawags. Weather played a major role in the development of Florida, and I uncovered and recorded lots of detail about man’s many futile attempts to control nature.

Much of it is public record. I’ve tried to incorporate how the unique indigenous and exotic plants and animals have impacted my environment. Of course, my forty plus years as a boater have all shaped my vision. My books are Florida love stories.

How long did it take to write?

I spent several years reading and researching Boca Chita and made an initial start in 2010 that lasted about six months. When I returned to the novel in the fall of 2011, I was able to complete the first draft in about six weeks. With the help and guidance of my good friend and editor, Janet Doyle, I was able to produce a finished version by March 2012.

Every book, fiction and non-fiction, includes a message. What message do you hope my readers will take with them after reading Boca Chita?

Boca Chita is a post-pandemic survival story…or about getting a second chance to return to Eden…or about surviving in paradise.

Perhaps the message is that with competence, resilience, and self-reliance, a dedicated prepper can build a comfortable life with fresh water, unlimited food, and luxury shelter when the world as we know it is gone forever. Another theme touches on the history of the Upper Keys islands and the heroes and villains who have tried to change them, which becomes a parable about our inability to control the cleansing forces of nature—freeze, drought, fire, hurricanes and floods—that have the power to erase all trace of mankind.

Maybe it’s a guide to living alone and liking it?

Finally, Boca Chita is about how important it is for us to achieve balance as custodians of the environment, in this case, a “green” island hideaway.

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

After attending a New England prep school on academic scholarship, I worked my way through a Ph.D. in English using my carpentry, painting and masonry skills. My immigrant parents had eighth grade educations. In 1969-1970, I taught creative writing at the Mediterranean Institute in Deià, Majorca, where Robert Graves was my mentor. Later I taught English at the University of Florida and Maine Maritime Academy. I left the academic world in 1972 for life at Crescent Beach, Florida, where I planned to surf daily but ended up spending the next nineteen years as a residential, commercial, and industrial builder, real estate broker, and mortgage broker. During this period I was active in the St. Augustine Historical Architectural Review Board and purchased and renovated several historic properties in St. Augustine d’Antigua. My interest in Florida history later extended to the Florida Keys, where I’m a contributor to “Keys Historeum”.

After the failure of the savings and loan industry in 1989, I lost my entire real estate portfolio to foreclosure, but the experience gave me free time to research and write a 250-page book, Banking on Success, which became the training manual for my first seminar and resulted in $4 million in sales between 1992-2001. A second book, Live Longer, Younger, became the basis for a seminar on health and nutrition, resulting in sales of $500,000 in 1997.

Since 1991, I have produced, scripted, and starred in five half-hour television infomercials promoting my seminars, which ran weekly for ten years to 500,000 households. I presented more than 2,000 live seminars and workshops in 46 states and five Canadian provinces. Following 9/11, I closed my seminar business and began lecturing on supply chain security for the U.S. government in Canada and Mexico on behalf of DHS, CBP and the FDA.

By 2003, I had become a consultant, researching and writing a portfolio which has grown to more than sixty unpublished proprietary industry studies and business plans. I continue to write primarily on environmental issues: alternative fuels, solar energy, electric vehicles, bio-mitigation and sustainable aquaculture. My areas of interest and expertise also include: longevity through lifestyle, health & nutrition, national security, real estate investment, green construction and finance. My client base includes customers in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Israel, Russia, India, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Australia, and Oceania.

I have been married for forty-one years, and have a daughter with an MBA and a son with a Law Degree. My interests, highlighted in my novel, Boca Chita, are the environment, history, boats, dogs, Florida’s indigenous people, animals and plants, and gardening. I have cruised and traveled widely, including in the Caribbean, Latin America, the South Pacific islands, New Zealand, and Australia.

Unlike most academics, I’m a hands-on guy who can fly a plane, operate a bulldozer, or navigate a yacht…even more importantly, I can fix it when it breaks down and get everyone home safely.

Do you have plans for another book?

Boca Chita, the first book of the New Islandia trilogy, will be followed by Calusa Coast, which follows the parallel efforts of the New Islandia survivors and a group of Cuban Calusa Indians who are direct descendants of the Native Americans who have occupied the southwest coast of Florida for more than 10,000 years.

The final book in the trilogy, First Coast, takes place 100 years in the future and is set in northeast Florida in what is now St. Augustine, America’s oldest city.

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

Preparing for the uncertain future involves much more than stockpiling water, food, and weapons and escaping to a bug out location; it is a conscious decision to change your lifestyle. You need to learn skills to survive.

Technical training and hands-on experience will keep you alive in the future. The virtual world will disappear when the lights go out. Get out there and start learning how to do stuff! Only the prepared will survive.

The Book Giveaway

owl reading bookA copy of BOCA CHITA: Prepare-Escape-Survive has been reserved for one lucky reader.  You know how I like to make things easy so all you need to do to win is reply below in the comments area indicating whether you plan to bug out or bug in any why. A winner will be selected next Friday at random using tools on the website.

The Final Word

For many, myself included, the thought of a global pandemic goes to the top of the list when it comes to TEOTWAWKI scenarios.  If bad enough, drinking the kool-aid may be the only option.  I am about a hundred pages in to Boca Chita and can tell you, it is a good read and thought provoking.  Lance and his editor, illustrator and friend, Janet Doyle, have put together a compelling story of bugging out and self-sufficiency.

If you would like to read more from Lance, be sure to visit his blog, Boat Bug Out.  In closing this week, I echo Lance’s words:  Get out there and start learning how to do stuff! Only the prepared will survive.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


Spotlight Item: BOCA CHITA: Prepare. Escape. Survive.: A retired baby boomer with a powerful survivalist streak, manages to avoid contamination from the deadly NOEL virus, released worldwide by terrorists on Christmas Eve. Within 3 days, 99.9% of the world’s population succumbs. He decides to bug-out in his survival-prepared, live-aboard trawler to Boca Chita Key, an uninhabited island seventeen miles from Miami, where he uses his wits, resilience and mechanical know-how to homestead as a self-sufficient hermit. Wow, now if that does not head you under the covers with a flashlight to read with, nothing will!

Bargain Bin:  Listed below are all of the books in the Backdoor Survival Fall Reading List.  There are both fiction and non-fiction titles and a bit of something for everyone.

Also, just as a heads up, two or three times a week I post free Kindle books on my Facebook page.  The special free book offers come and go so I tend not to post them on Backdoor Survival.  Remember, you do not need a Kindle to read Kindle e-books.  Simply download the free Kindle app from the Amazon site and you are good to go.

The Backdoor Survival Fall Reading List – Non-Fiction

Contact!: A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival
Disaster Preparedness: Urban Preppers with Kids, Pets & Parents; Disaster Survival for the Family
Survive Any Food Crisis
The Prepper Next Door: A Practical Guide For Disaster And Emergency Planning
Deep Web Secrecy and Security – Guide to the Deep Web and Beyond
Broken Web The Coming Collapse of the Internet
The Weekend Homesteader: A Twelve-Month Guide to Self-Sufficiency
The Home Schooled Shootist: Training to Fight with a Carbine

The Backdoor Survival Fall Reading List – Fiction

BOCA CHITA: Prepare. Escape. Survive.
299 Days: The Preparation
299 Days: The Collapse
A Survival Story: Part I
11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life

Want to support Backdoor Survival? Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!

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This particular selection includes apricots, blackberries, mango, raspberries, strawberries and peaches.

Thought I would mention that the UCO Stormproof Matches and Case are also available for just a few bucks.

And if you are a fan of Shelf Reliance and Thrive products, come visit the Backdoor Survival virtual, online Shelf Reliance party with discounted party prices and some special packages not normally found at the Shelf Reliance site.

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15 Responses to “Book Festival and Giveaway: An Interview with Lance Long”

  1. I live in sunny, shaky California. If it’s an earthquake of a sizeable magnitude, my family insists I BUG OUT. I would turn off the gas, check on my neighbors first because this is a great neighborhood, then let everybody know my destination. I would take my trusty backpack loaded with Coast Guard biscuits, first aid kit, emergency water pump filter, and important documents, load up the cats and dog (and their food) and head out of town down the less-traveled country roads. I keep my car at least half-full of gas at all times, and know how to change a flat if necessary. Mission accomplished, that is if I didn’t get squashed flat in the earthquake, in which case, no worries!

  2. We don’t have major hurricane or earthquake fears to necessitate bugging out, and are preparing in earnest for hunkering down; however, I have started reading up in earnest on bugging-out preparations. Besides, I love a good read!

  3. Bug out or bug in? That is the question and for me the answer is simple, bug in and hunker down.

    Here at home I have water stored, food stored, stoves, heaters, generator, clothing, creature comforts more than enough to get us through a SHTF scenario. And of course a means of securing ourselves. If it were a virus then who is to say that chances are better out on the road exposed to all sorts of people and climatic exposure. While here at home I can lock the doors and control to the best of my ability, my families exposure to virus, which might be useless. But if I’m going to take a gamble be it forced upon us or not, my gamble is with staying in my home where I have sufficient resources so I can limit exposure, eat, drink, wash, sleep and carry on living WITH resources as opposed to bugging out into the wild.
    Life isn’t a sure thing. But if I’m forced to gamble my best is on my secured home and supplies.

  4. Bug in, we live near Bellingham and have a good place to stay. if something does happen in the future, family and certain friends will come together in a pre selected place. I have come to the conclusion that a group (even though it will take more food and water) stand a better chance to survive and thrive than if there are only 2 or 3. Getting prepared is the easy part, but in our current society where a lot of people are selfish and have bought into the entitlement attitude, staying your ground and keeping what you have safe will be the difficult part. A group or small community can do that.

  5. If times get really tough, my family will first try to hunker down and make it through, but if it gets too bad we have plans to bug out. We are a young couple with a new baby and with that comes the extra stress to protect our defenseless child. We are trying to prepare the best we can with what we have. Living in Alaska is very different from Florida, but I believe many of the same survival concepts still apply. This book would really help in guiding us towards total self-reliance. Thanks!

  6. Bug In. My guy and I are moving to support his 80+ year old parents, and transporting them would be quite complex and difficult. We’re also doing this as a strategic relocation, since his parents live in an area surrounded by Amish people who skipped the entire industrial revolution. People in the vicinity could still transport food (via horse and buggy) and there are huge stores devoted to cast iron, non-electric lighting, etc. It’s an interesting combination of Tea Party preppers, liberal Mennonite community activists, and Amish farmers. We can’t think of a better place to be when the SHTF. If things fall apart there, then they’re not likely to be much better elsewhere.

  7. I am quite new to this so I don´t have any specific plans yet but I live in an area with lots of woods and moderate climate, no big threats from the nature like tsunamis, earthquakes etc. I believe the biggest threat would be something that is gonna take the grid down – solar flares is my most probable candidate. So what I try to do now is learn how to grow my own foods and depend as little on the electric grid and modern things as possible, mostly reading through tons of materials and blogs right now 🙂

  8. I have a 93 year old mother living with my wife and me. There is no “bugging out” for us. We have to live and work with what ever happens here at home. I wouldn’t want it any other way!

  9. Bug in. My DH and I also live with an elderly mother – and seven dogs and two cats, none of which we’re willing to give up.

  10. We live in an isolated mountain valley with mostly older retired people. We plan to bug in and are in need of ideas on how to do it.

  11. BUG IN / BUG OUT …. these different approaches to survival don’t have much meaning down here. I live in rural URUGUAY, having voted with my feet 3 years ago. I’ll be staying put, BUGGING IN, as I’ve got plenty of water under my feet and plenty of food in my garden and what I don’t have we’ll barter for, if push comes to shove. This is a small country of @ 3.5 million people. If I were living in Montevideo I’d definitely be BUGGING OUT, as that place will have dis-locations in a disaster, but rural UY will make it through just about any disaster (natural or otherwise), just fine.

  12. Extremely concerned about the next few years. I watch the videos of Spain and Greece and think..”that will be us”. I remember the riots in London a year ago and how easy it was was for crowds of educated people to turn violent. You watch an annoucement of a new tennis shoe and see riots break out …over a pair of shoes! We walk a fine line of humanity and it wont take much to turn it into a vicious self serving mob out for violence for violence sake and the pure enjoyment no law.
    As for planning…my concern is preparing proper bug out kits plus the decison process to bug out at all. I live north of Atlanta in the burbs and the question is constantly going around in my head “if TSHTF” why do I want to attempt to go anywhere on crowded roads where I am limited in my ability to move and defend?” or should I stay and defend?

  13. I have NO intention on leaving -That just makes you a easier Target,your vehicle runs & theirs doesn’t.
    I’ve been thru a lot.I can survive where I am,
    keeb.n s va.

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