Summer Book Festival and Giveaway: The Wayward Journey by Nathan Hale Jefferson

Avatar Gaye Levy  |  Updated: December 16, 2020
Summer Book Festival and Giveaway: The Wayward Journey by Nathan Hale Jefferson

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Today I share the next author interview and book giveaway in the Backdoor Survival Summer Book Festival. Nathan Hale Jackson, the author of The Wayward Journey, answers my questions and also is providing one of my readers with a free copy of his book.

Summer Book Festival Wayward Journey

Before we begin, I would like to announce the winner of last week’s giveaway.

“Harold L.” has won a copy of Emergency Air for Shelter-in-Place Preppers and Home-Built Bunkers. Congratulations! I have contacted you by email with instructions for claiming your book.  Here is how Harold answered the question “Other than food and water, what, if anything have you done to prepare for a Shelter-In-Place event?”

Trying to connect with other likeminded individuals because I know my wife and I cannot survive alone. Trying to learn more primitive cooking skills (Dutch oven) and definitely need to learn more medical / first aid skills.

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


Tell me about your book, The Wayward Journey. What is it about?

The story follows a man traveling across the country to return to his family in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake from the New Madrid fault line.

To make matters worse, before the quake hits, the country is already struggling through a horrible economic crisis brought on by an oil shortage and high inflation (It’s all just fiction, right?). I try to highlight the dual factor as the reason everything falls apart because I believe people are very resilient and think that it would take two or more large blows to society before it all would fall apart.

What type of research did you have to do while writing The Wayward Journey?

Most of my research came from the DHS coordinated national exercise in 2011 and from the USGS. I also researched many historical records from the last major earthquakes in the region to help provide details on the locations and the range of damage.

How long did it take to write?

It took me about 8 months at an average of about 20-30 hours a week to write the original draft, then about 2 more months to go through edits and revisions. Hopefully the second installment won’t take as long.

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

The biggest thing to take away would be awareness. There is a high level of awareness out there in regards to other potential disasters or catastrophes like pandemic, EMP, nuclear explosions, etc. But the majority of people living in earthquake susceptible areas don’t even realize there is a danger.

The other main take away is the idea of a how a dual (or triple, or quadruple!) blow to the country would be a likely downfall to society. Humans, by nature, are very resilient and in dozens and dozens of disasters, wars, and other catastrophes in the past things have gone crazy but eventually and usually pretty quickly things get back to a level of normalcy. But I would like to help foster thought around what would happen if two or more of these catastrophes lined up together.

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

I’m just an everyday guy trying to do my best to provide for my family. I grew up on a produce and tobacco farm in the Ohio River Valley where a lot of our neighbors drove a horse and buggy.

After working with state level DHS a few years ago and seeing several documentaries, I have jumped head first into being prepared for the potential problems that might arise in or around the country.

A lot of the story comes from some of my personal fears. I’m a consultant who travels across the country almost weekly to many of the areas I describe in the book.

Do you have plans for another book?

I am currently writing the second installment of this series and have the third book outlined from beginning to end. Depending on how everything goes the story line could be continued beyond that, but I don’t currently have plans to keep it going beyond the next two books.

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

First I’d like to thank everyone who read my book, and to say that I really hope you enjoyed it.

My goal is to write stories that have a mass appeal, not just to preppers, but to everyone, especially to those who are ‘on the fence’ or currently unaware of the need to be prepared.

Hopefully I can help entertain, educate and get you thinking at the same time.


A copy of The Wayward Journey has been reserved for one lucky reader.  Here is this week’s question:

If you were an elected official, what is the one thing you would do to help prepare your community for a natural disaster?

To enter, respond in the comments area at the end of this article. The deadline is 6:00 AM Pacific next Friday. A winner will be selected at random using tools on the website.  In addition, the winner must respond to my email within 72 hours or an alternate winner will be selected.

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.

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I love survival fiction – simply love it.  Learning how fictionalized characters behave in the most dire of situations and yet prevail at the end provides me with inspiration and sets my brain cells ablaze with potential strategies of my own.  I don’t always agree with the handling of events in these fictionalized accounts, but most assuredly I do learn something.

The only issue, if you want to call it that, that I have is that there are not enough hours in the day to read as much as I would like to.  For that reason I love audiobooks and hope that more authors and their publishers will make audio versions of their book available.

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:  As survival fiction goes, The Wayward Journey is one of the good ones.  It is the story of family and of hope and ultimately of the strength of the human spirit when faced with insurmountable obstacles.

Bargain Bin: Listed below are all of the books in the Backdoor Survival Summer Reading List. There are both fiction and non-fiction titles and a bit of something for everyone. Also, some of these books are Kindle e-books but 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.

owl reading book


The Unofficial Hunger Games Wilderness Survival Guide
The Mini Farming Guide to Composting
Meals in a Jar: Quick and Easy, Just-Add-Water, Homemade Recipe
Fight, Flight, or Hide. The Guide to Surviving a Mass Shooting
Don’t Be A Victim!: An Officer’s Advice on Preventing Crime
Emergency Air for Shelter-in-Place Preppers and Home-Built Bunkers
Real Time Machines: The Future is an APP
Survival Medicine Handbook
Getting Home
Staying Home
Guns Across the Border: How and Why the US Government Smuggled Guns into Mexico
Spiraling Downward: Thinking About and Planning for Economic Collapse


Holding Their Own IV: The Ascent
Apocalypse Drift
299 Days: The Visitors
The Western Front (Parts 1,2,3 – The Complete Collection)
The Wayward Journey

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Although I like to make my own oil candles, I keep of these Clear Mist 100 Hour Plus Emergency Candles on hand as well.  This month they are sale for $3.99 each.

In the gear department, the Venture 6 Tool is on sale.  This versatile all-in-one tool is compact and converts to a shovel, a saw, a hammer, or a hatchet.   It is 35% off this month.

There are a lot more items on sale this month – be sure to take a look.

Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials

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36 Responses to “Summer Book Festival and Giveaway: The Wayward Journey by Nathan Hale Jefferson”

  1. What would my one tip be for a successful food storage.. go slow.. If you eat ten cans of beans a month then buy 20 and when you get to the ten can limit buy twenty again.. do this will all your products.. you can drop that amount to to satisfy your grocery costs as well.. then once a month add one dehydrated product. before you know it you will have your years supply of food and water. I have found that people that attempt to do it all at one time get discouraged because they get overwhelmed with the magnitude and cost but if you take it slow it will appear in short order.

  2. If I were an elected official in my community I believe I would have to educate my constituents, the more information the better. CERT is a wonderful way to educate they offer free classes and give free tools to help. MRC medical reserve corp is another program with CERT. as well as fire corp. I would involve local schools, churches, businesses and the general public of the plan should a disaster occur in our community so that every one had knowledge and get all able body people involved and assign small parts to each eg: help with neighbors that are unable to help them self sort of a buddy system. the best resource we have is each other. I would make sure our community had resources like food and water and medical supplies stored enough to help sustain our community until larger govt officials could bring in more. i would send out monthly letters or place notices in local papers keeping the community up to date on plans of action and monthly meetings. i would tell the truth about funding situations and ask the community for there thoughts and get there input. because we all know a plan of action is only as strong as the people who are involved in it. so the more people involved the stronger the plan. i would also have several reenactment days so people in the community could see and implement there skills and learn how to help in the event of any disaster or emergency. I still recommend each person have there own personal plan as well as getting involved with there local CERT group and recommend each person to contact your local officials and find out what the plan is for there community should a disaster or emergency arise in your community.

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