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BDS Book Festival – Rivers + Interview with Michael Farris Smith

Avatar for Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: August 1, 2022
BDS Book Festival – Rivers + Interview with Michael Farris Smith

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When the time came to decide which book to include in the next installment of the current Backdoor Survival Book Festival, I went to my stack of books and picked out something I wanted to read simply for the pleasure of reading.  Given my huge library of prepping, survival and homesteading books, picking something to read for relaxation and enjoyment makes this a guilty pleasure and one that I do not take advantage of often enough.

With over ten books in the survival fiction genre to choose from, I selected Rivers: A Novel, by Michael Farris Smith.  Rivers is a story that describes what happens in the aftermath of over 600 days of recurring hurricanes and torrential rains.  Things are so bad, the map of the gulf coastline has been redrawn by the government and there is a new boundary 90 miles to the north.  Everything below that line is a no-mans land.  The book, so far, is a page-turner.

Rivers Michael Harris Smith - Backdoor Survival

Today I share an interview with the author, Michael Farris Smith,  who is also providing one lucky reader with a free copy of his book.  Enjoy the interview and be sure to check out the details of the s giveaway below.

An Interview with Michael Farris Smith

Tell me about your book, RIVERS. What is it about?

RIVERS is set in a time where the hurricanes won’t stop. The Gulf Coast has been abandoned and life below the Line, which is drawn by the government 90 miles above the shoreline, is violent and lawless and those that stay behind, stay at their own risk. It’s a devastated, marshy wasteland, no services and no electricity and no rebuilding, and the hurricanes keep coming. The story follows Cohen who has hidden himself away on family land in an effort to hold on to his dead wife and child, but when he’s attacked and left for dead, he sets out for revenge, unaware of the craziness that lurks out in the rain-soaked world.

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

Not much. I looked at a map every now and then to get distances and names correct, but I wanted to write this world in the way that I imagined, so I didn’t look at any footage or photographs of weather-destruction.

How long did it take to write?

It took about 18 months with the original draft, then another 6 months revising, so right about two years.

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

I don’t think too much about that, but I would probably say that RIVERS is largely about surviving, emotionally and physically, under the most drastic elements. So many times in the novel it would be easy for the characters to give up, but they don’t.

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

I’m from South Mississippi, right about the Mississippi-Louisiana line. I grew up in small towns, played whatever sports was in season, was in church all the time since my dad is a preacher. I later lived in France and Switzerland for some time before coming back to Mississippi. I’m married and have two beautiful little girls and an aggravating dog.

Do you have plans for another book?

Absolutely and I’m in the early stages of something new.

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

If you love the power of Mother Nature, you’ll love RIVERS.

The Book Giveaway

A copy of RIVERS has been reserved for one lucky reader.  Here is the giveaway question:

If your home became a no-man’s land, would you stay or leave?

To enter the giveaway, you need to answer this question by responding in the comments area at the end of this article. The deadline is 6:00 AM Pacific next Thursday and the winner will be selected at random using tools on the website.  As always, the winner will be announced in the Sunday Survival Buzz.

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.

summer book festival 2013_04

The Final Word

We all need guilty pleasures and for me, reading survival fiction is one that I covet.  That and some of those M&Ms I call Backdoor Survival Tranquilizers.

I hope you will enter the giveaway to win your own copy of this fabulous new book!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

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Spotlight Item:  Rivers: A Novel

Following years of catastrophic hurricanes, the Gulf Coast has been brought to its knees. The region is so punished and depleted that the government has drawn a new boundary ninety miles north of the coastline. Life below the Line offers no services, no electricity, and no resources, and those who stay behind live by their own rules.  Cohen is one who stayed.

Eerily prophetic in its depiction of a southern landscape ravaged by extreme weather, Rivers is a masterful tale of survival and redemption in a world where the next devastating storm is never far behind.

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.owl reading book


Backyard Cuisine: Bringing Foraged Food to Your Table
Home Remedies
Living on the Edge: A Family’s Journey to Self-Sufficiency
Make It Last: Prolonging + Preserving the Things We Love
Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills
The Pocket Guide to Wild Mushrooms: Helpful Tips for Mushrooming in the Field
Good Clean Food
The Amazing 2000-Hour Flashlight
Recipes and Tips for Sustainable Living
The People’s Apocalypse
Go Green, Spend Less, Live Better


Going Home: A Novel of Survival (The Survivalist Series)
Surviving Home: A Novel (The Survivalist Series)
Expatriates: A Novel of the Coming Global Collapse
The Border Marches
Rivers: A Novel
After the Blackout
The End: A Postapocalyptic Novel (The New World Series)
The Long Road: A Postapocalyptic Novel (The New World Series)
3 Prepper Romances:  Escape To My Arms, plus 2 other e-books (your choice)
Prepper Pete Prepares: An Introduction to Prepping for Kids


The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking
Escaping Home: A Novel (The Survivalist Series)
Living Ready Pocket Manual – First Aid: Fundamentals for Survival


Emergency Essential Order Jul 2013_03

The monthly specials at Emergency Essentials feature discounts of up to 35% off sometimes a bit more.  I have a monthly budget and each month I add a bit more FD products to my long term storage – always making my selection from sale items.

There are a lot new items that are put on sale each month – be sure to take a look.

Note: I earn a small commission on your purchase making this a great way to support Backdoor Survival which will always be free to everyone.

Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials


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48 Responses to “BDS Book Festival – Rivers + Interview with Michael Farris Smith”

  1. If my home became a no-man’s land, would I stay or leave? I would stay. I feel it is safer to stay even if there is no more people. I live in an area where we can hunt for food and I have room for a large garden. There is lakes and rivers near by to get water. So to be near a population I feel would be dangerous because more people who cannot take care of themselves can get out of hand. Being alone away from people would be safer.

  2. I’d keep my home as a base camp but I would set out to explore and stock up on supplies while they are available.

  3. I think I would leave in order to try to keep my family safe…depends on WHY it’s considered a “no man’s land”. I love survival fiction =)

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