Spring 2014 Book Festival: Leaving the Trees

Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: June 28, 2019
Spring 2014 Book Festival: Leaving the Trees

Today is Saturday which means it is time for the next author interview and giveaway in the current Backdoor Survival Spring 2014 Book Festival. Richard Broome, the author of LEAVING THE TREES, is someone I have come to know over these past months. As with many of our book festival authors, we have become virtual friends, each having a respect for the other’s talents.

You have enjoyed Richard’s two think pieces, THE COMING CYBER WAR and BUILDING A CULTURE OF PREPAREDNESS and now he joining us for an interview. Naturally, one lucky reader will also win a free copy of his book.

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

Leaving the Trees Interview Giveaway

An Interview with Richard Earl Broome

Tell me about your book, LEAVING THE TREES. What is it about?

LEAVING THE TREES is a fictional account of the meltdown of our global society, as we know it. It has at its root cause a malevolent cyber attack on the global financial networks and systems by China that finally causes everything to spin out of control. It is initially set in Washington D.C. with political leaders who do not deal effectively with this calamity.

As things begin to unravel, and society loses the ability to cope, things just stop working. At this point the novel sharply transitions to the future and the aftermath of this global meltdown. The last two thirds of the book focuses on how a small community in Montana must pick up the pieces and learn how to survive, with what they have left and how they must live. It is suspense novel about trust, deception, betrayal and revenge that is filled with many twists, and turns.

What type of research did you have to do while writing your book?

My book is really the culmination of a lifetime of experiences, expressed in fiction, about the concerns I do have for all of us if we cannot find a way to get this country back on track.

Any student of history will recognize the United States is ripe for another nation to take advantage of us if we do not overcome this. A well-orchestrated cyber event could be our next Pearl Harbor.

In my book I use an attack that freezes up the global financial systems. Just as likely is some sort of a malevolent cyber attack on US energy systems that cripples our heat, power and light sources. Think about that in winter with the wind blowing and wind chills below zero. Trust me when I tell you our global adversaries definitely are. It would cause chaos for us and they know it.

How long did it take to write?

I have always been a writer of non-fiction articles and think pieces. I have several that have been published.

After retiring from my business career, I took two creative writing courses to sharpen my fiction writing skills and learn about such things a character development, scene setting, dialogue and so on. This got me underway with the LEAVING THE TREES. I started the novel in December 2012 and published it in July 2013.

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

A central theme in the book is what will be your “worth” if there is a societal meltdown? Not in gold or silver or other assets, but what contribution do you make that everyone else who is surviving values?

One of the main characters, Erin Owens, was a Wall Street broker who went from being wealthy and affluent to having almost nothing. She was very far from being prepared. She made it to a survival camp and her new worth was sitting in a tree and keeping watch for marauders who might want to attack the camp.

Here are some quotes from the book about worth, describing how the ex-military leader in charge of the survivors in the camp, Roberta Alvarez, measured this:

Their internal currency was their worth to the group. Barter was the norm. Chopped firewood was a haircut and trimmed nails. Standing watch up in a tree earned your meals that day and safe, warm sleeping place for the night.

Roberta was also the self-appointed “Worth Master” for the group. Roberta decided a person’s worth by using an internal mental gauge she had for each group member or potential member. She had the right of “Take In.” “Take In” was simple. Roberta decided you had worth to the group and would make a contribution; in short you were worth feeding and sheltering. If she said yes, you were allowed to join.

She also had the right of “Cast Out”. “Cast Out” was quick and brutal. If you no longer were contributing, Roberta handed you some food and told you to leave. She had demonstrated this more than once in the early days with some of the weaker members of the original group of about thirty people. If you were lazy, you were told to leave. No second chances with Roberta.

–Page 50, LEAVING THE TREES, All rights reserved.

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

I joined the U.S. Army at age of eighteen with a high school diploma. I then spent the next twenty-seven years in military service going from a Private to a full Colonel. By the end of my military service, I had earned my Bachelor’s Degree and two Master’s degrees. The military was followed by almost nineteen years as a businessman, mostly on Wall Street.

I had the extraordinary good fortune to be asked to serve on the White House staff for two Presidents of the United States, Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush as a member of their National Security Council staff as a part of their crisis management team. During this period I also spent a great deal of time studying and learning about the threats to the United States and what measures needed to be taken to insure our survival as a nation if the worst ever occurred.

After I retired from the military, I became a management consultant to both the government and to commercial businesses helping them plan for the resilience of their enterprises, against the increasing threats facing all of us. I am now a college professor at Montana State University and a novelist.

I was privileged a little over a year ago to deliver to the faculty and students of the Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship at Montana State, the fall David B. Orser Guest Lecture. My topic was: “Managing Risk in the New Operating Reality.” I have been married forty-four years and we have of four children and four grandchildren.

As an author in the survival, prepping and/or homesteading niche, what are you personally preparing for?

People need to think more deeply about this and consider the possibility that the unexpected event is more likely than the expected one. I notice on the prepper blogs a constant question is when will we know: “This is it?” In other words, to borrow from Malcolm Gladwell’s book title, when do we think we will hit the “tipping point” that really brings things down?

From my days on the National Security Council staff, and subsequently as a consultant, I have actually thought about this quite a lot. I have concluded a massive catastrophic event (e.g. nuclear) is the least likely cause. The most likely cause is an unexpected collapse caused by a cascading event that starts in an innocuous way and then slowly grows and undoes one of the primary and essential complex processes and its systems that keeps our society running. Food supply? Power grid? It could come from anywhere.

Do you have plans for another book?

Yes. This is actually a three book series. My second book, the sequel to LEAVING THE TREES, is complete and in the final editing process. The title is GOOD CRAZY. People who buy GOOD CRAZY need to read LEAVING THE TREES first to be able to follow the story line as these survivors of an apocalyptic meltdown of society learn to survive when things all fall apart.

Some of the survivors in LEAVING THE TREES were preppers; others were ex-military who knew what they had to do to stay alive. I spend more time in the next book, GOOD CRAZY, featuring in a flashback sequence, an excellent prepper who did things right and that the others came to rely on. I expect GOOD CRAZY will be out by this summer.

I have outlined the third book, which takes us through the restoration of civilization, and how that was achieved. I am targeting the third book for summer 2015.

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

I feel we are at a critical juncture in the country, yet have lost the sense of urgency we felt immediately after the attacks in 2001 in New York and Washington, DC. Time has passed, people feel more complacent. That’s dangerous.

The Book Giveaway

A copy of LEAVING THE TREES has been reserved for one lucky reader. Here is today’s poll:

Which of the following best describes you:

A – I am a Prepper
B – I am a Homesteader
C – I refuse to be labeled

To enter the giveaway, you need to answer this poll question by responding in the comments area at the end of this article. The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific next Thursday with the winner notified by email and announced in the Sunday Survival Buzz on June 8th. You will have 48 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.

The Final Word

As you are reading this, I should be relaxing in Alaska, Richard’s book in hand. Who else but a die hard prepper would read survival fiction while on vacation?

That said, I would like to alert you that on May 28th at 9:00 to 9:30 am MST, Richard will be a guest on the Aaron Flint show, “Voices of Montana”. He will be talking about his novel, Leaving the Trees, as well as his two articles published on Backdoor Survival. If you can, give it a listen and if not, I will try to get a link posted after the fact on the Sunday Survival Buzz.

In the meantime, I hope you will enter the giveaway to win your own copy of Leaving the Trees.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

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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: Leaving The Trees

LEAVING THE TREES is a fictional account of the meltdown of our global society, as we know it. It has at its root cause a malevolent cyber attack on the global financial networks and systems by China that finally causes everything to spin out of control. It is initially set in Washington D.C. with political leaders who do not deal effectively with this calamity.

As things begin to unravel, and society loses the ability to cope, things just stop working. At this point he novel sharply transitions to the future and the aftermath of this global meltdown. The last two thirds of the book focuses and how a small community in Montana must pick up the pieces and learn how to survive, with what they have left and how they must live. It is suspense novel about trust, deception, betrayal and revenge that is filled with many twists, and turns.

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.

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.

Spring 2014 Book Festival #5 – Fiction
Brushfire Plague: Reckoning
Through Many Fires: Strengthen What Remains
Flight of the Bowyer
The Jakarta Pandemic
The Perseid Collapse
Leaving The Trees
Fury of the Fifth Angel
Fugitives from Northwoods
Phoenix Island: A Tale of Disaster, Survival, and Rebirth

Spring 2014 Book Festival #5 – Non-Fiction
The Prepper’s Complete Book of Disaster Readiness: Life-Saving Skills, Supplies, Tactics and Plans
Simply Canning: Survival Guide to Safe Home Canning
The Prepper’s Pocket Guide: 101 Easy Things You Can Do to Ready Your Home for a Disaster
The Prepper’s Cookbook: 365 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals
Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure: A Prepper’s Book for Kids
The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months

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71 Responses to “Spring 2014 Book Festival: Leaving the Trees”

  1. A
    I may not be fully prepped, but I feel that mentally and emotionally I am prepped for most anything that might happen. If someone thinks nothing major can happen then they will be at a disadvantage when something happens. And that can quickly lead to their death!

  2. C
    Part of Croatia just had a big flood and you could see how many are prepared, but also that other part will help even without government…

  3. Would have to say A and B. Am working on both continually, it never ends. In my spare time I read survival novels.

  4. “Too many years ago” I was Boy Scout that learned that “being prepared” would serve me (and mine!) very well in the future. As an over the road trucker I spend many, many days away from home- often weeks at a time. My rig “almost” carries enough gear to get me by for almost any situation I may encounter: breakdown during cold weather to fishing gear during “down time”/nice weather. The situation at home is no where near what I want it to be, but I’m working on it! I’m a definite “A”!!!

  5. A for my family. We still have a ways to go but compared to most others I know, we are years ahead.

  6. A-I am a prepper
    Started for Y2K and ended up donating all the extra food when nothing happened. After we moved to a very remote location 9 years ago we had to stock up as we are 300 miles round trip to town. I became a REAL prepper two years ago and added so much more than canned goods to our stock pile. We have a garden and hope to have chickens soon but still have a long way to go to become self sufficient.

  7. We are A’s trying to embrace not just stuff but learning experiences and practices that will add to our value in a survival scenario. Age dampens the ability to fully homestead but years of experience and abundant knowledge of old and basic skills-forging/blacksmithing, gardening, canning, sewing, leatherwork, etc. we hope will make us valuable contributors. Even the “make do” habits of the past will be a news flash to many as our disposable society crumbles.

  8. I am a beginner. I do not feel I have enough resources or skills to call myself a prepper yet. I have a few acres of land & a small number of animals but not the fortitude to call myself a homesteader. But I’m working on it.

  9. I am trying to be both a prepper and a homesteader. I don’t feel like I have enough accomplished to be labeled either one yet, though. Of course, I’m not sure I will ever be as prepared as I want to be.

  10. I am both A, and B. We live off grid and somewhat remote. my mom taught me about
    having extras on hand at all times. though I’ve not always been preparing, moving where the military took me. I started up part time about 10 years ago. now its a full time deal with prepping, researching, reading, splitting fire wood, charging house batteries, gardenibg and maintaing fruit trees, hopefully later this summer will have some chickens and ducks, and fish in our small pond. no rest for the weary:-))

  11. Forgive me Gaye, I just have to laugh. People have been trying to put labels on me for most of my life. LOL About the time they think they know me, I do something which doesn’t fit that label. So it’s not that I refuse, I just keep growing in what I do. Prepping? Been doing that since I was a Brownie Girl Scout. Homesteading? Urban homesteading now so while I don’t grow animals, I know where to go and what to harvest when it comes to foraging and gardening even though I’m not good at it. Emergency Response? Last saturday I rolled up to the CERT table to ask if they could use me. The ladies were very solicitous, because they had me labeled because I use a wheelchair. They told me how I could be of use even in a wheelchair. Then I shared what my skills and experiences were and watched their eyes grow larger.
    So all that said, D would be my answer though I rarely refuse, my preference is to educate instead. 😉

  12. Hurricane IKE taught me that I was not prepared enough. My neighbors taught me
    they were not prepared at all. That scared me.
    I’m a Prepper.

  13. How about an A-? I’m a senior in a medium sized city with no land or property (aka I rent). I prep what I can with water, food & other supplies, but have limited storage. I’ve decided to invest in learning about & preparing herbal remedies as I see the current medical system imploding. Plus it looks like a “hobby” instead of the prepping it is. Hopefully I will be in a position to barter for things I don’t have and make a contribution to the community as well.

  14. I wasn’t sure if A was applicable but read what Barbara had to say and am in an almost identical situation.

  15. I would have to say I am in the “C”, I feel lables seem to put a limit on a person. If you decide that you are a prepper you limit yourself to that. If you are a homesteader you limit yourself there also. I learn and grow from all that I take in, and to me, that is limitless.

  16. I’m an A & B. Started as an A during Y2K and began working on being a B this year by planting our first garden. Will be trying to expand my skills with some canning this summer. I believe that whether you’re a prepper or a homesteader it is an on going learning process. It takes head & practical hands on knowledge to be ready for anything & everything.

  17. I am just a person, trying to do good, trying to live the good life, a bit frightened about the directions the world seems headed in . . .

  18. I’m a prepper that homesteads on 1/2 acre with lots of animals and a very large garden who dislike the limits of a label. Have lived frugally and simply and taught others to do the same for many years.

  19. D. All of them. Add to that – a teacher, protector, caregiver, jack of all trades and preacher. Can’t go wrong when all you want to do is help people.

  20. Although I detest labels I guess in this instance it would be fair to say I’m a prepper. I certainly have a long way to go before I could in fairness claim that title.

  21. Don’t know if I’d put a label on me, I’ve always been taught to have extras on hand for an emergency and have been refining that (wink, wink)for the last year or so. I was a Campfire Girl and Dad and brothers were Boy scouts. It just been how we’ve always lived.

  22. I’m pretty sure I’m not B- Homesteader but I wish I had some of there skills. I can’t really say I’m a A-Prepper either but that is probably the closest of the three and C- Refuse to be labeled may come close in some respects but then that is really a “label” anyway if you think about it.

  23. I am a prepper, been one for a long time…never had the funds to buy everything we needed or wanted, learned to trade, barter, make do, build it ourself etc etc…actually a good life!

  24. I am a farming homesteader who is approximately 70% self sufficient. My greatest need is solar electric. My assumed value lies in my knowledge of basic skills using and maintaining primitive tools and gardening.

  25. All of the above! Like katieo, I was a Campfire Girl. My Dad was Scoutmaster and my brothers were Scouts. My mom had a Cub pack. We lived on a ‘homestead’ and my folks taught me how to do everything…and so I have continued. I am now 70, and still learning. Today I canned cherries, gathered eggs from my hens, and made homemade biscuits to go with our pantry meal…Life is good. I do not know If I am a Prepper, Homesteader, or any label at all.I love this site and the info here is awesome!

  26. I’m a prepper, limited budget and all.My hardware is secure, my toolworks at 60%, my knowledge base at 90%+, my physical 60%, etc. But I live in the evil empire, so my likelyhood is @ 25% at best.

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