Today I share the next author interview and giveaway in the Backdoor Survival Book Festival 7.
Lynda King, the author of Preppers: History and the Cultural Phenomenon, is here to answer the Book Festival questions and of course, to award one lucky reader with a copy of her book.
You will find this book to be a fascinating timeline of survivalism and modern day prepping. If you are a history buff, and even if you are not, you will enjoy the walk through time. It attempts to answer the question of who are preppers and what are they preparing for? It does so in a rational manner without portraying us as kooks or weirdos, just ordinary people trying to stay safe in an uncertain world.
Enjoy the interview and be sure to check out the details of this week’s giveaway below.
BDS Book Festival 7: Preppers History and the Cultural Phenomenon
Tell me about your book, Preppers: History and the Cultural Phenomenon. What is it about?
It takes a look at the events that have prompted people to prepare throughout history. It shows that preppers aren’t “new”—or weird, and talks about the people that make up today’s “prepper movement.”
What type of research did you have to do while writing your book?
I did a huge amount of research online—it’s really amazing how much information is now online, including declassified government documents. I also read books on World Wars I & II and the Great Depression.
In addition, I interviewed some people who are well-known in the prepping community today, including author James Wesley Rawles; Kellene Bishop of PreparednessPro.com, who was on season 1 of National Geographic’s “Doomsday Preppers”; and Dave Duffy, editor of Backwoods Home magazine.
How long did it take to write?
It took me more than a year, because I just couldn’t do it full-time. I would do a big chunk of research and then have to get away from it awhile for the information to “sink in” and to decide what to do with it. I also did a lot of re-reading and editing as I went along.
Every book, fiction and non-fiction, includes a message. What message do you hope my readers will take with them after reading Preppers: History and the Cultural Phenomenon?
I hope people will realize that prepping is not just for people on “the fringe.” There are so many things that happen in life that could have a detrimental affect on us if we aren’t prepared, that being prepared is the responsible thing to do. When I do book signings,
I often write on the inside cover: “Stuff happens—be ready!” And that’s what I hope people take away from this book.
Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?
I am a freelance writer and former newspaper editor. I’ve lived in New England nearly all my life and have been instilled with a sense of self-reliance and resourcefulness, which has always guided my life. But I didn’t focus on prepping as a conscious, intentional thing until the last 8-10 years or so.
And realizing the importance of—and all the reasons for—being self-reliant, I took on an initiative with a friend to raise awareness in our community about preparedness, self-reliance, and caring for our environment in a way that will make life sustainable into the future for everyone. Our group is now 5 years old and has gained a lot of “traction” in town.
My husband and I maintain a “mini-farm” on a small, almost-one-acre lot. We have a large, organic garden—last year we grew 40 tomato plants—and I put up as much of our own food as possible: tomato-based sauces, jellies and jams, syrups, pickled goods, and vegetables. In late winter we make our own maple syrup. We also have a flock of 9 chickens.
Being a big do-it-yourselfer, I’m a firm believer in making foods from scratch. (I don’t even like using canned cream soups.) In the last two years, I’ve probably purchased only four loaves of bread; the rest I’ve made. I also dabble in making herbal remedies, with homegrown herbs wherever possible, and making some of my own skin care and cleaning products.
As an author in the survival, prepping and/or homesteading niche, what are you personally preparing for?
First, I think you have to be a creative thinker and be ready to roll with whatever life throws at you. That said, I can say that my preparedness efforts pay particular attention to things that have affected me in the past and that could have a wide-ranging impact in the future.
For example, I live in the Northeast, and we’ve experienced frequent power outages over the years in the wake of hurricanes, blizzards, and high winds taking down tree branches over power lines. On three occasions we were without power for a week or more (and fared very well, by the way).
Realizing the vulnerability of the power grid to things that could bring more widespread and longer-lasting power outages, I try to be prepared to live my life without electricity for an extended period if needed.
One other thing that is a big concern for me is the safety and security of our food supply, which is one of the reasons I’m so intent on growing my own food and making as much food as possible “from scratch.”
I think that some of the ingredients that have made their way into our foods over the years have been big contributors to obesity and diabetes, and with the advent of genetic modification of foods, I shudder to think what the future holds. In addition, I’m very concerned about corporations that are patenting seeds and taking over seed companies.
I think this could impact food security, along with things like droughts in the West, where much of our supermarket food comes from, and the availability of truckers, who could go out of business because of reduced profits or go on strike if gas prices spike again.
Do you have plans for another book?
I’ve kicked around some ideas, but I don’t have firm plans at the moment. I think if I take on another book, it would be food-related, but there are already a LOT of books out there in that category. I think a new entry in that market would have to be something unique.
In addition, my book-writing time is pretty limited at the moment. I’m very active in a couple of community groups, and I do some writing and editing for two local newspapers, while working to live the self-reliant lifestyle I advocate, which, as your readers probably know, is a time-consuming proposition.
Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?
Well, I hope they enjoy the book, and consider it for gift-giving for any friends or family members who think prepping is for crazy paranoids.
One of the reasons I wrote it is that I became aware that few of the people in my circle of friends and acquaintances knew what prepping is. In one case, when I started to explain it, the person I was talking to said, “Oh-h-h. Well, I choose not to live my life like that.”
To me, this kind of thinking gets in the way of common sense. Anyone paying attention to things going on in the world today—from extreme weather to terrorism and more—should realize that it is only logical to be as prepared as possible for the unexpected.
The Book Giveaway
A copy of Preppers History and the Cultural Phenomenon has been reserved for one lucky reader. To enter the giveaway, you need to utilize the Rafflecopter form below.
The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific next Tuesday with the winner notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article. Please note that the winner must claim their book within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.
The Final Word
This is the first book of its type that has crossed my desk and it is a good one. It is extremely well documented with footnotes and references and is nicely indexed. That said, I have a fondness for all of the books published by the Prepper Press and this one is no exception.
Good luck, everyone!
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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Spotlight: Preppers: History and the Cultural Phenomenon
The word ‘prepper’ seems to have burst onto the scene within the last 10 years, and has increasingly become associated with “fringe” extremists. They have been labeled by some as “domestic terrorists.”
But is prepping a new phenomenon? Or is it a manifestation of a growing collective psyche that has learned, from traumatic events throughout our history, that preparedness is critical to human survival? For new preppers who think the worst is yet to come, this book offers a walk through history that shows the worst has been here before.
For those who wonder why so many people are concerned about being prepared, this book will show that when the worst has made an appearance, those who weathered it best were those who were prepared. For those already familiar with history’s worst who think, “THAT will never happen again!”—this book offers a reminder of the Wall Street adage: “Past performance is no guarantee of future results.”
For those who wonder what a prepper is, this book offers a look at what they used to be—and what they are today.
Plus: The Preppers Guide to Food Storage
No list of books would be complete without my own book, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage. The eBook print version is available.
A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food at Half the Price – Now Available
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