BDS Book Festival 7: The Avalon Series

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Updated Nov 12, 2016 (Orig - Dec 31, 2014)

I am jumping the gun a day early again this week with the next author interview and giveaway in the Backdoor Survival Book Festival 7.

L. Michael Ruskin, the author of Avalon: The Retreat and Avalon: Beyond the Retreat is a here to answer the initial round of Book Festival questions and to award one lucky reader with a copy of his two books.

The Avalon Series by L. Michael Rusin |via|

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

An Interview with L. Michael Rusin, Author of The Avalon Series

1. Tell me about your book, Avalon The Retreat:

Avalon: The Retreat is about a small group of people who have a retreat they relocate to after terrorists detonate nuclear bombs in two major U.S. cities.

As the world tumbles into chaos, they ensure their survival by relying on the skills and supplies they have spent the past six years accumulating.  In the process, biker gangs rise up and are defeated by the group in a all-out war of good versus evil.

My novel Avalon The Retreat was the culmination of a 35 year project. I wrote the book initially more than 35 years ago when I was conducting a class in survival, which I taught to airplane pilots flying in Alaska. During this period, the North Slope airlift was ongoing. Throughout that time there was an airplane in the air coming and going to either point Barrow, Alaska or to Fairbanks, Alaska, 24 hours a day. The airplanes were spaced about 45 minutes apart.

On a weekly basis a plane and crew would go down. Many times, those crewmen were never recovered. It was my intent to impart enough basic information to those people as I could, to enable them to survive the brutal conditions up there. Each time a crew finished a basic survival course, I would give them one of my books. It was a self published book by a company that no longer exist.

My initial book was more about the survival techniques an individual might use to set up a camp site, build a small protective shelter, start a trap line, look for firewood and start a fire with it and finally, to melt snow or to secure a means of having a water supply. It was my thought at the time that most of those pilots could survive if they didn’t panic or give up hope of their rescue. Included in the course was a few simple procedures to signal airplanes passing over them.

Many years later I went through the metal notes in my mind and decided to rewrite my book. This time I wasn’t teaching a survival course per se and I wanted to emphasize the need for a safe place to go in case things changed and required a refuge where people can go to and whether out a storm.

As I wrote the first book, my most important criteria was to write a survival book, wrapped around an interesting story so as not to read like a textbook on survival.

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

The majority of the research I did was in my mind already. I reached into my storage banks and pulled it out as I was writing the book.

I had to justify certain things such as the state of the economy in the world currently, the saber rattling that is going on presently with the Russians and the Chinese and the mindsets of many current day Americans who think they are ready for a world changing event that might happen at any moment, but in all likelihood, they are not ready for any of it.

In order to make the storyline more plausible, I decided to base it on two events, the possibility of a nuclear attack on the US by terrorists and later, a nuclear war by other countries against the US.

If you look at what is been happening on the world stage lately, my scenario might not be far off in terms of this actually happening.

3. How long did it take to write your book?

I wrote Avalon The Retreat in about 90 days. Of course the editing and other pertinent editorial items was done later, and it took as long to edit the book as it did to write it initially.

4. Every book, fiction and non-fiction, includes a message. What message do you hope my readers will take from Avalon The Retreat?

My message is this: get your house in order and don’t delay in getting it done.

Also, I encourage people to find a place they can stock up with the items that are necessary to survive long-term and also to group up with enough people to make it a viable enterprise. It is where you and your loved ones and friends can survive what might be in the process of happening out there at this very moment.

The world is a very fragile sphere, anything can happen, and it any given moment. A train derails loaded with hazardous chemicals, an earthquake can manifest itself and then followed by this, a monsters Tsunamis.

These things happen daily all over the world, the best any of us can do is be prepared for them if we want to survive and why wouldn’t you want to?

5. Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

I’m currently retired and live with my wife in Costa Rica Central America. I’m a veteran and  moved here 15 years ago because I like the weather, and the laid-back lifestyle one enjoys living in a tropical paradise. I enjoy going to the beach with my dogs, love to shoot arrows with my bow, have two greenhouses that I grow food in, and what I can’t eat or sell, I donate to an orphanage.

I have been a practicing survivalist for many years, in fact, for at least 40 years. It is my fervent belief that even if nothing happens we should still have those necessary things available to us to ensure that no matter what happens, we will survive. Surviving with dignity is in my humble opinion where it’s at.

I was once an active airplane pilot, with many thousands of hours as pilot in command behind me, and although I no longer fly, I have great memories of the many years that I was an active pilot. I’ve been married to the same woman for 45 years, and I believe with all my heart that relationship has been one of the cornerstones of my life. I’m an old, grandfather, as well as a father. Although I had a very busy life, the pace is a lot slower and very satisfying.

I also enjoy writing books, which I will continue to do until I am no longer able to.

6. As an author in the survival, prepping and/or home study’s niche, what are you personally preparing for?

My preparations are for any contingency that might occur. It doesn’t matter if the world bombs itself into insensibility, or a plague wipes out mankind.

All any of us can ever do is prepare to be the most skillful we can, and hope for the best. We can spend a lifetime getting prepared for most eventualities, and in spite of our best efforts, we might fall off a ladder to get struck by lightning, and die. But that’s life is in it, we all die sooner or later?

I don’t worry about dying, it’s inevitable. I just concentrate on living life to the fullest while I’m able to.

7. Do you have plans for another book?

I am currently in the process of writing the third book in the Avalon series. It will be called Avalon-Wormwood.

I will do my best to touch on the subject of rebuilding a world almost totally destroyed by the misadventures of mankind. In that third book I would like to paint a picture of what it really could be like to live in a world where peace, tranquility and people working together in harmony with each other and the mother earth. People who live in a world where every life, and every individual is important to everyone.

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

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has bought Avalon The Retreat, Beyond Avalon The Retreat, and my latest book California’s Child. I’m gratified and humbled that so many thousands of people have purchased my work and have enjoyed it. There’s no greater feeling than to know people all over the world have accepted what you have written and they tell you how much they enjoyed it.

The Book Giveaway

A copy of Avalon: The Retreat and Avalon: Beyond the Retreat has been reserved for one lucky reader.  To enter the giveaway, you need to utilize the Rafflecopter form below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If for some reason the Rafflecopter widget is not working, you may also enter here.

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

You already know that I truly believe that a lot of real-life skills can be gleaned from survival and post-apocalyptic fiction. Having two new books to read and to learn from in the new year with get you off to a good start.

Good luck, everyone!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


If you enjoyed this article, consider voting for me daily at Top Prepper Websites!

In addition, SUBSCRIBE to email updates  and receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.


Spotlight:  Avalon: The Retreat (The Avalon Series Book 1) and Avalon: Beyond the Retreat (The Avalon Series Book 2)

This is a compelling account of how one group of survivalists endures the worst event the world has ever known – a Nuclear World War. It incorporates real survivalist skills to help prepare you for that fateful day when catastrophe strikes.

In the first installment of the Avalon trilogy, there is a great cast of characters recovering from the devastating effects of a nuclear invasion of the United States. Their survival skills and advance preparation demonstrate that there can be survival after holocaust.

In book two of the series, the same great characters move on to the next step, establishing sense and order out of the chaos left behind from two devastating attacks on the United States. While this struggle seems hard enough, there are new and unprecedented challenges. Amoral gangs form. With their mission to rape and pillage the remains of the country and its survivors, incredible acts of human ignominy run rampant.  Add the nightmare of an incurable plague, with all of its consequences, and the going just gets tougher.

Punctuated with poignant personal stories, the Avalon survivors are personalized, and share their fears, hopes, and souls with the readers.

Bargain Bin:  For your convenience, here is a list of all of the books in the current Backdoor Survival Book Festival.

Book Festival 7 – Non-Fiction

The Ultimate Situational Survival Guide
The Practical Preppers Complete Guide to Disaster Preparedness
The Art of Eating through the Zombie Apocalypse
Developing a Personal Preparedness Plan
Survival Guns: A Beginner’s Guide
5 Acres & A Dream
Ultimate Dehydrator Cookbook
Preppers: History and the Cultural Phenomenon
Urban Emergency Survival Plan: Readiness Strategies for the City and Suburbs

Book Festival 7 – Fiction

Liberators: A Novel of the Coming Global Collapse
77 Days in September and Daunting Days of Winter
Good Crazy
Point of Crisis
Avalon: The Retreat and Avalon: Beyond the Retreat
Rebellion in Northwoods
Prepper Pete’s Twelve Days of Prepper Christmas
Prepper Pete’s Gun of a Son: A Gun Safety Book for Kids

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 is only 99 cent plus the print version is available for less than $6.00.


Shop Emergency Essentials Sales for Fantastic Deals!

Emergency Essentials | Backdoor Survival


Need something from Amazon (and who doesn’t)? I earn a small commission from purchases made when you begin your Amazon shopping experience here. You still get great Amazon service and the price is the same, no matter what.

Amazon has a feature called Shop Amazon – Most Wished For Items. This is an easy tool for finding products that people are ‘wishing” for and in this way you know what the top products are.  All you need to do is select the category from the left hand side of the screen.

The Amazon Top Most Wished For and Best Selling Outdoor Items
Emergency Preparedness Items from
Amazon Gift Cards

Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!



[FREE] Emergency Survival Blanket

Pocket-size survival blanket could save a life - throw in your bag or car.

Get Free Blanket →

Updated Nov 12, 2016
Published Dec 31, 2014

61 Responses to “BDS Book Festival 7: The Avalon Series”

  1. Kind of ashamed to say it, but I do believe in honesty….from the house to the and back….never thought to practice!!

    • Oops! To the car and back

  2. I guess to the car and back does not count!! BUT, it has been many miles in the car.


  4. I haven’t gotten my BOB set up yet, although I’m working on it, and as I am disabled, out to my car would be about as far as I could go.

  5. Sad to say, but I tried it on and walked to the living room, then back to the spare bedroom.

  6. We have to keep adjusting the contents from extreme cold to summer heat. We are trying to get four BOB’s ready. One for our jeep, one for the modern car, and both our BOB’s. Also getting as many cache containers set up this winter to be put in locations this spring. Relay all info. to your children. And don’t forget the pets.

  7. It was about 20 miles combined with our summer camping mini-vacay.

  8. I walk the dogs in the morning a few miles and where I go it goes with me. 🙂

  9. Well, I haven’t worn a backpack in my life, but I have carried my BOB from the garage to the living room and back.

  10. The only practice drills I do are with my kiddos and since they are both very young yet it is pretty limited, but we have hiked a half a mile out and another half mile back through wooded areas and small canyons. We all had our ‘adventure packs’ on The whole time. I’m very proud of what my kids can do already.

  11. Well I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who hasn’t practiced with my bag. I got some new backpacks and need to repack everything anyway. I’ll make sure to try them oUT when I’m done.

  12. As it is more of a “get home” bag for us, from the house to the car as I adjust for the seasons and rotate the food in it but it goes with me EVERY where I go. Oh yeah, I made DH take one and water with him last year when he went to take care of the GDKIDS when Son 1 had them for the summer in the South.

  13. Still assembling my BOB. Everything seems important. Hope I will be able to carry it.

  14. Oh dear. I don’t even have a BOB, so have no practice either. We homestead in a small way on 7 acres way out in the country so had planned on staying put no matter what.

  15. My plans to practice hiking with my BOB went out the window this past year as I had back problems resulting in surgery this month. 2015 will be a better year and I will get it done! Thanks for you do Gaye and Happy New Year!

  16. I’ll be glad to be able to walk the dog in the years to come.

  17. I have my bag in the car all the time but I have only walked with it for a few miles but you make me think.

  18. Mine too is a Get Home Bag. I’ve only walked around the house & out to the truck & back with it.

  19. In spite of back surgery earlier this year, I was able to walk a mile in the neighborhood just for practice, despite the strange looks I got from other walkers.

  20. I have been educating myself, but don’t have any bug out practice drills to report on…. YET!

  21. I need to re-evaluate the contents of my bag as it is way to heavy right now with all of the winter contents and will do that shortly. I have carried my bag as far as 1-2 miles but need to get in better shape.

  22. Now that I’m “officially” elderly (read over 70) my car carries the BOB. If I can’t use the car, then I’m going to be bugging in whether I want to or not 🙁

  23. My Bob is with me every day when driving. It’s in the car for trips, errands around town and long multi-hour drives. A short coming of mine, realized in reading the comments and above article is I’ve not carried it but from the door to the car, 20ft at most. In the new year I’m going to do the following. Get in better shape by caring my BOB as currently decked out, with its current weight and items on hikes. I’ll start out slow, shorter walks, a mile or two, then expand it to several miles and possibly over nighters. Over nighters would be great practice for real minimalist camping. It will allow me to test my skills, teach my children, see what works, what doesn’t, make improvements, and what I need to learn more of.

    Happy New Year.

  24. I sure wish I could get the Rafflecopter to work.

    • Did you see that I included a link to a web page you can use instead? I will double check t ensure that it is working.

  25. We will be bugging out here so the kids have plans to get here. Hubby is concentrating on getting home from work which is 20 miles away.

  26. This, I have not done because I am retired and will be bugging in.

  27. we have repeatedly hiked our 30 acre property with our BOBs. It’s pretty hilly country, and its been good exercise to stay in shape to do the work on creating the gardens, orchards and woodlots we will need to create a self-sustaining homestead.

  28. I’m just getting started…so I have the bag, but haven’t yet assembled it. I’m working on a list of what goes in it…

  29. Unfortunately I haven’t yet as we’re still putting BOB together

  30. These books sound as if they are something we all need to read and put into practice the advice given in them. Thank you for having the drawing.

  31. We actually haven’t hiked with our bags at all. Old age and ill health make that difficult at best.

  32. My NE TX 48 acres homestead will become my children’s and my brother’s bug-to place. I have worn my bug-out-bag (kept in my car ALWAYS) around the house and up and down the lane outside.
    NEWBIES: I used an empty backpack, then placed a 4 pound bag of sugar in first. Got used to that, then increased the weight very gradually.

  33. My home is my bug out location, and each of my vehicles have a get home bag in the trunk.

  34. I’m not sure if I entered the contest properly. The topic seems to about practicing BOB carry. NOT. I Have 4-8 days of water and a month of grains, beans, and nuts. It weighs a ton. I simply cannot process the 72 hour concept in my brain. If things got so bad I had to leave home I don’t see how I could return in just three days. No I’m not goin to a shelter. I see bugging out as going to live permanently in the woods.

  35. All the way to the sidewalk.

  36. The Get Home BOB(s) always stays in the vehicles. The 72 hour BOB(s) goes from the house to the vehicles for any non-routine trip. No backpacking.

  37. Embarrassed to admit…have yet to practice with the bug out bags…got them to the top of the cabinet by the door, and that’s as far as they’ve gone. 🙁

  38. One bag and supplies live in my car trunk. I live in L.A. so my parking garage might not make it in an earthquake. I have an alternate bag in my apt, but haven’t practiced any scenarios yet.

  39. Afraid to say, I don’t have one set up yet. My job doesn’t take me very farm from home so I have a very small get home bag in my purse. But have done nothing towards making a bug out bag since we plan to bug in.

  40. 1 day and about 10 miles thought I was a dead man.

  41. I’ve traveled about 10 miles.

  42. I haven’t actually taken it out. In fact, I’m still trying to get it fully assembled.

  43. Hanging head in shame – have not practiced beyond going out to the car…

  44. I walked the Appalachian Trail with about a weeks worth of food and then had to resupply. It is hard to carry more than that on your back.

  45. I’m still working on “staying in place”. I haven’t gotten a BOB ready yet.

  46. Never done this. Sorry, I know that’s bad to say as a “prepper” but we live in the country and plan to shelter in place. I have a few supplies in each vehicle for emergencies, but don’t have a BOB.

  47. We are rural so carry get home bags in our vehicles.

  48. We haven’t gotten that done. Pretty old and couldn’t do it anyway.Maybe with a real light pack.

  49. Putting BOB’s together this weekend finally after gathering all the items.

  50. I am still working on it! Not far!

  51. This is the first time I’ve been able to find the “question” to answer to enter a giveaway. I am really new at prepping and my husband has finally agreed. We have just started accumulating food and water but have to be careful with the “fixed income” situation. We haven’t practiced yet, hubby hasn’t quite made it that far, but we’ve STARTED!

  52. Nowhere. Working on getting things together when i actually, have a job.

  53. Sadly not very far…

  54. I sure would like to win. This would help me a lot.

  55. New to all of this…so I do not have a BOB yet. It’s kind of overwhelming. Trying to be smart about how I spend my money. Thanks!

  56. I took it on a short hike one day to test it out.
    I think it needs to be a little smaller.

  57. Practice drills? Not yet…..

  58. I have not made it out of the house yet due to injury and disability but am working on it.

  59. I have never traveled to practice survival skills. At most, I guess I could count camping while on a fishing trip. That would have been about 200 miles from the city I lived in to the lake where we went fishing. Otherwise, I try out survival skills at home or the back yard.


Leave a Reply