Prepper Book Festival 12: The Borrowed World Novel of Post Apocalyptic Collapse

Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: August 24, 2021
Prepper Book Festival 12: The Borrowed World Novel of Post Apocalyptic Collapse

For the past year I have found that when it comes to post-Apocalyptic fiction, there is a lot of sameness.  Either the story lines have been told before or the writing is dark and oppressive to the point where I can’t get beyond the first twenty pages.  Call it a personal quirk if you must, but I want to learn from survival fiction and to open my mind to possibilities and scenarios that could play out if “it” – whatever it is – happened to me.  But I also want to enjoy the read.

It is the dearth of suitable titles that have prevented more fiction from appearing in these past couple of book festivals. For that reason, a couple of months ago I reached out to multiple book festival author, Kyle Pratt, and he suggested that I contact author Franklin Horton to see if he would be interested in contributing to a prepper book festival.

I am glad I did.

The Borrowed World | Backdoor Survival

His book, The Borrowed World: A Novel of Post-Apocalyptic Collapse, grabbed me from page one and accomplished my reading goal of examining how I would act and re-act in a world where the laws of society no longer exist.  The Borrowed World is book one of a series of 3 books and Franklin has generously offered three sets of the entire series in the book festival giveaway.

They include The Borrowed World, Ashes of the Unspeakable, and Legion of Despair.

Enjoy the interview with Franklin and then check in below to enter the giveaway.

An Interview with Franklin Horton, Author of THE BORROWED WORLD Series

Tell me about your book. What is it about?

My first novel, The Borrowed World, is the story of a prepper who is on a business trip with a group of coworkers when there’s a coordinated terror attack on the country.

The terrorists target the infrastructure of the country, including fuel refineries, bridges, dams, and vulnerable connections in the power grid. The result is a cascading systems failure event, which is a situation where one collapsing system burdens other to the point that they collapse too. With the refining capacity diminished, the president freezes fuel sales to the public through Executive Order, leaving this group stuck hundreds of miles from home.

While part of the group is willing to accept that FEMA will find a way to get them home, another contingent prefers to take their chances on the road.

The Borrowed World and the following books in the series are the story of that journey, along with the story of the main character’s family trying to survive at home without the man they trusted to take care of things for them. It’s a story of survival but also a story of family.

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

I have been interested in survival from an early age. As a teenager, I read Soldier of Fortune magazine and a lot of the survival magazines of 1970s and 1980s. I am an also an avid hiker, backpacker, and shooter. Those hobbies provided me with a strong background for writing these books.

As a result, most of my research ended up not being about gear and techniques, but about cascading systems failure and how society can begin to collapse when deprived of a few of the basic conveniences we take for granted.

Without fuel, we quickly lose food because the trucks aren’t running and the just-in-time inventory model collapses. Without food comes civil unrest and crime. Without power people lose access to information, refrigeration, essential medical devices. All of these issues lead to first responders being overwhelmed. Those are the things that I spent my time researching. The nuts and bolts of how societies crumble.

How long did it take to write?

The first book was written over a four month period on my lunch breaks at work. I had written some unpublished novels before so I knew what was involved in the process. I knew that if I could crank out one or two thousand words a day, I could have a book in a few months.

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 think the take-away from my books is that survival is more than information and gear, it’s about mindset. You can own all the gear in the world and you can take all kinds of training and classes, but developing a survival mindset is the difficult part.

I consider mindset to be adopting the attitude that there will be hardship and pain but you are going to survive because you are willing to make the hard decisions and live with the consequences. You may have to let other folks die so your family can live, you may have to kill people so they don’t come back and kill you later, you may have to turn away people wanting to take your food and other preparations – those are all cases where your survival mindset comes into play. It’s the difference between why some people lay down and die and other keep walking.

That’s part of why my book is about a regular guy and not a highly trained super-soldier. The point is to show that normal folks can have the mindset to get them through this type of event.

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

I’m a native of southwestern Virginia but have lived in some other parts of the country over the years. I’m married and have two children. We do a lot of camping, kayaking, and other outdoor activities. I think those outdoor experiences are important as a basic entry into survival training. It teaches your kids not to be scared of the outdoors. They also get to practice fire building and outdoor cooking.

I live a preparedness lifestyle and try to always be learning new skills and techniques. And as a testament to perseverance, I wrote for over 35 years before hitting on a commercially successful project.

As an author in the survival, prepping, self-sufficiency or homesteading niche, what are you personally preparing for?

I have two things that I am wary of. The first is weather events. My region has been struck by freak snow and ice storms before that have left people without power for weeks at a time. We are also close enough to the coast that hurricanes hitting the Outer Banks of North Carolina can sometimes impact our weather. So I think that weather preparation should be a basic event that everyone prepares for. If you cannot handle a few days without power after an ice storm, you’re really going to have a tough time if we got into a more catastrophic event that lasts even longer.

I am also concerned that rather than facing an immediate catastrophic event, we may fall victim to a slow slide into economic collapse like some European nations and like Venezuela. There won’t be a defining event after which things become worse but instead we begin to notice that each year is a little worse than the year before and that the things we’re used to buying are less available than they had been. In my region that’s going on now.

What would be your first prep-step if you were just getting started?

Learning the basics of food storage, with a goal of having enough food on hand to survive a severe weather event that may shut your local stores down for a few days. Set an initial attainable goal of something like two weeks of food and water. Then expand that to a month’s worth. Then six month’s worth.

As you push out further, your eventual goal would be to have a sustainable food supply that could keep you for years if supplemented by a garden and some livestock. Even most suburban homes could raise a few rabbits or chickens for food if times got hard. A lot of people get hung up on gear and guns. I know people with thousands of rounds of ammunition and only a few days of food storage. That’s not prepping.

What movie do you think gives the best portrayal of what could happen?

I’ve not seen any movies I felt were really accurate, although National Geographic’s AMERICAN BLACKOUT special seemed pretty realistic.

Do you have plans for another book?

I have released three books in The Borrowed World series so far which has made for a very busy year.

I’m currently at work on a stand-alone novel that should be coming out in July about a prepper dad trying to get his daughter home from college during a collapse event. I think anyone with children or family living any distance away from them will find this one interesting.

I hope to have the fourth book in The Borrowed World series out in the fall. That will be released by another book in the late winter/early spring that I’d describe as a terrorism thriller.

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

Just that I enjoy interacting with my readers. They can follow me on my website — — where they can contact me, sign up for my mailing list, or read about my projects. I’m also on Facebook and Twitter.

The Giveaway

Franklin has reserved three sets of his Borrowed World Series (that is 3 books per set) in this newest Book Festival Giveaway.  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific 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.

Note:  This giveaway is only open to individuals with a mailing address in the United States.

The Final Word

I have always been a bit of a bookworm.  Even when I was in grade school, I would hang out at the school library during recess.  These days, with time to precious, most of my fiction reading is by audiobook.  You would be surprised at how quickly you can get through a book that way.

While listening to The Borrowed World, I found my mind wandering into areas I  had not visited in quite some time.  If there were a catastrophic terrorist event and I was away from home, would I stay put and make do with my get-home-bag or would I try to hoof it. I came to the conclusion that weather conditions, the distance, my age, and the severity of the disruptive event would all play a role in my decision.

This is a decision I hope we never have to make.  That does not, however, mean we should not consider the possibility.

For more information about the books in this latest book festival, visit Prepper Book Festival #12: The Best Books to Help You Prepare, Stay Healthy and Be Happy.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you enjoyed this article, consider voting for Backdoor Survival 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:  The Borrowed World: A Novel of Post-Apocalyptic Collapse

In a night of devastating terror, ISIS operatives have unleashed a coordinated attack on America’s infrastructure. Life as we know it in America grinds to a halt as the electrical grid collapses, communication networks are damaged, critical bridges and dams are destroyed, and major fuel refineries go up in massive fiery clouds.

When the government responds by immediately halting fuel sales to the public, Jim Powell finds himself in a terrifying predicament – trapped five hundred miles from home with a group of coworkers. With thousands of trapped travelers and scarce law enforcement, the miles between Jim and his family become a brutal gauntlet where the rules of civilized society no longer apply. As Jim puts his years of preparation and planning to the test, he is forced to ask himself if he has what it takes to make it home.

Does he have the strength — the brutality — required to meet this new world toe-to-toe?

Bonus:  The author is also including Ashes Of The Unspeakable and Legion of Despair in the giveaway.  These are books two and three of The Borrowed World Series.


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.

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90 Responses to “Prepper Book Festival 12: The Borrowed World Novel of Post Apocalyptic Collapse”

  1. my initial focus is to be informed of developing conditions which have the ability to affect my family’s well-being . Then to be confident that I am adequately prepared as best as I can for different scenarios, be it weather disaster, economic, or man-made threats.

  2. I’m a firm believer that our country is not going to make it another year without major problems. We must be ready. I feel the number one item of need is guns and ammo. Next is food and water. Next is the knowledge to use all your preps
    I grow some livestock. I have a green house. I garden each year and I assure you I learn something new in my garden each year. We must have practice with all prepping things that it takes to survive. I find it hard to even think about going on a vacation that will take me far from home. I feel the most difficult thing I would have to do in bad times is to have fight my way back home.

  3. What defines the survival mindset for me? Gosh, don’t blackball me, or throw buckets of grain….but I (almost) have the mindset, if things get too, too hard, to merely go outside and breathe deeply and let the pollutants, toxins, viruses and such just take me away! I’ve got a lot of strengths and I’ve got my fingers crossed that the conditions will match my abilities….but, if not, the mask is coming off! =)

  4. My biggest concern is my 19 yr old granddaughter living hundreds of miles away. Does the family here stay together to survive or does some one try to go get her? Lack of communication concerns me a great deal.

  5. I look on a “survivalist mindset” as someone with situational awareness, not just immediate surroundings but also possible national/international dangers. They can face and respond to reality. AKA no cognitive dissonance. If a person has that, then they usually respond with “preparedness” in a variety of ways – food storage, BOB, etc.

  6. My mindset is about storing food and water, and learning all I can about surviving in different situations.

  7. To me, a survival mindset means realizing that things are going bad and having the will to survive by whatever means necessary. This can and does include many things and skills and attitudes but it all boils down to surviving the best that I can.

  8. I’d like to be able to read these books out loud so that my wife can hear it. Sometimes, in a family where the prepper is doing all he can, the rest of the family is either having a party or not doing anything at all.

    • Tom, I understand your frustrations. Losing power most winters helped my husband to recognize the need to be prepared for the very short term. In order to bring him into the full prepper mindset I forwarded him emails about world & U.S. events that show(ed) that there is a likelihood that a major event will occur in our lifetimes. Sometimes I’d read him blurbs about what’s happening & then initiate discussion abt them. Anything to actively and subliminally let him know that the world is seriously unstable.
      I don’t have kids so I’m no help there.
      Best of luck.

  9. To me, the “Survival Mindset” means logical thinking. For example: if I need pants, should I buy one pair of flimsy dress pants, or three pair of sturdy cargos for the same price? Likewise, go out to a restaurant for one meal, or buy 30 pounds of rice? Seem like no-brainers, but not in today’s society…

  10. These books sound interesting. The interview with the author was interesting as well, and makes me curious as to his storyline.

    • Looks like the book is well-reviewed on Audible, which is (usually) a good indicator. I’ll have to grab the Audiobook for the first book and give it a shot if the giveaway doesn’t play out in my favor!

      It’s great when fiction can take us to situations we really may need to grapple with someday.

  11. I think the Survival Mindset means letting go of all the modern conveniences and things that aren’t necessary to survival. This will be very difficult for most people, and impossible for some.

  12. This sounds like a series my husband and I would both enjoy.It might help us as we continue to develop the mindset necessary to meet the needs of our family.

  13. My survival mindset: continue adding to my stock of food and water, ammo and non-electric items, practice using them, and stay calm.

  14. Dear Gaye, I am absolutely over the moon about this bookset. I do not often indulge myself by saying please, please, please pick me. Yeah, I know it’s up to Rafflecopter.

    I have not allowed myself to buy any post apocalyptic fiction for a couple of years. I’m dying of thirst. I need the doom, the gloom, the horror, the fear, the scarcity, and above all the chance for rugged, adaptable, fearless individuals to triumph over government.

    The survival mindset?

    Detachment from comfort, convenience, taste and expectations.

    Adaptability and creativity. Solve problems with whatever is at hand.

    Willingness to kill when threatened. Making the decision to kill in a split second.

    Ability to withstand or perform surgery without anesthesia. There will be a lot of bullets flying around.

    Robust health, stamina, strength, and being able to survive on little sleep. Really good immune system. High tolerance for pain.

    The ability to work with others if you are fortunate enough to have or find an honest group.

    Good boots and wool socks. Had to get wool socks in there somewhere!

  15. My survival Mindset concerns the basics for survival. I live in a high desert region. Shelter to protect from the environment comes real close to having an adequate source for potable water (which I currently lack.). Food comes next. None of this matters if you lack the will to continue , no matter how bad things become. In this area, Summer heat or Winter cold can kill you before you die of thirst or hunger. Any shelter from the elements is better than none. Stored water and food are good for short term survival, but preps will eventually run out or be taken , either by the unprepared, or by the government to share with others. Skills that enable survival when the preps are gone are essential. If you live within 100 miles of a major city, and plan on hunting to survive, most of the available wildlife will be gone quickly. Gardening is always a good idea. Hidden gardens are better. For the past 4 years my area has been beset upon by grasshoppers that eat everything to the ground just before harvest time, in a day or two. You must keep an open mind about these things and have the capacity to carry on during the starving times. Learn the skills to live off the land. Learn that it takes a community of skilled people to survive. Human beings are social creatures, and without companionship tend to go insane. It also lessens the load for the individual. Interesting times are upon us. My best wishes to all of you trying to do the right thing, no matter your perception of what that might be.

  16. For some reason, I feel the need to live more closely the life of my grandparents. They had to grow enough of their own food – vegetables, meat, fruit, etc., in order to survive. Stores were not ready available, nearby, or stocked the way we expect today. There were no fancy items to add to your diet, no boxed or frozen meals ready to go. You had to do it all yourself. For me, the survival mindset is being independent enough to have the things we need to survive on a daily basis . It is being able to create repair what you need and have. It is cooperating with like-minded neighbors and relatives to get larger projects done, bartering for what you need, or to ensure safety. Survival is depending upon yourself and not institutions or government to support you.

  17. Being self reliant and being able to provide for my family and keep them safe, regardless of the circumstances.

  18. Making sure that you don’t fall prey to the ‘normalcy bias’. It seems like it is going to be exhausting to live when nothing can be taken for granted. As a child, I used to posit questions to my parents on road trips, like: How do you know there will be a road after we get over this hill?” I think I was a most disconcerting child, but I think thoughts like that will keep you alive after SHTF.

  19. I think a main issue is to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the enormity of trying to prepare for anything/everything. I’m trying, for example, to become prepared for a “survive-in-place” event, rather than try to become completely self-sufficient, living off-grid, etc. right away. This can get to be a slippery slope.

  20. Being able to accept what happens mentally, physically, and emotionally. Being able to adapt to radically changing situations and being ready, in advance, when something happens. Being able to drop the old lifestyle and move comfortably into what is presented.

  21. Living a prepared life and always practicing survival skills even when there may be an easier way is what I call a survival mindset.

  22. The survival mindset isn’t just about doing what you need to do to “get through” it is the about being able to not lose “humanity” in the process. Accepting that you will have to make hard decisions and live with the results of the aftermath of those decisions.

  23. Would love to see some of these post apocalyptic novels written from women’s prospective. Women travel far from home all the time. What happens to them? Must they always depend on rugged bearded men to save them? What about the millions of single mom’s, divorced, never married or widowed women? Look at all the women responding on this site. How about you write one Gaye?

  24. My survival mindset is about long term food storage, the ability to keep my food storage, having a productive garden and fruit & nut trees, extensive knowledge of foraging for food & healing, & physical fitness. These and the understanding and acceptance that I may have to do things that would be against my “normal” choices under everyday circumstances.

  25. I think that long-term survival in a crisis situation depends on not only being prepared but also having the mindset to grow food, re-use and re-purpose things. It also means being prepared for a lot of hard work. Our grandparents survived without all the conveniences, but their lives were not easy.

  26. Sometimes it is easier to reach people with fiction (books, movies) to build awareness of coming trouble. Books (print) are low tech and don’t need batteries! It’s fun to record your own thoughts in the margins.

  27. A Survival Mindset must try to not panic because that would make things worse. Certainly not everything will go smoothly but try to analyze the problem and come up with a solution.

  28. I feel like just the idea that someone knows the government isn’t going to be there to “save” them, that we are all on our own, with maybe a few other like-minded people, and we need to be prepared to survive on our own. Too many people are going to sit down and wait for the “authorities” to show up and tell them what to do.

  29. The mindset would be don’t be dependant on the government coming to the rescue and having the knowledge; along how to use it.

  30. Hmmmm….great question. To me- a survival mindset is a mind that is prepared, flexible, confident, calm, and free.

  31. Survival mindset? Realizing that decisions are going to have to be made that will be hard and that won’t sit well with some of the young idealists in the family. Their mindset of needing to help everyone could put us at risk. of course, in addition, I’m prepping as much as I can.

  32. Learn what I can, prepare as best I can, then keep my eyes on my Lord and
    Savior for guidance each day.

  33. Being able to stay calm under pressure, adaptable to the situation, perseverance, faith that God is with you no matter what.

  34. “The survival mindset” – I guess would be having the skills and tools to continue life when everything around you stops.

  35. “Survival mindset” to me is food and water. Home security follow closely. I’m still a beginner and hubby does not have a prepper mindset so that makes it a bit challenging too. Thank you so much for your website!

  36. I think a true survival mindset is personified by those people who are willing to do what it takes beforehand to prepare so when a disruptive event does occur switching to survival mode is a natural and seamless process.

  37. It’s paying attention- to surroundings, local/national/world events and how it could affect us. It’s planning for the what-if’s as best I can.

  38. Realizing that everything can change in just a second. And being willing to accept it instead of spinning in circles wasting time.

  39. Attitude is everything for me. We just had a massive neighborhood blackout yesterday and I made do with my lukewarm instant coffee and tried to enjoy the day without the internet and electricity. I prepped my flashlights and candles, thought of you of course, and yes prayed things would get back to normal. Attitude and common sense are key in more drastic situations. You can’t panic and prepping is all about thinking what you would do in these situations so you are mentally prepared, along with the obvious other preps.

  40. My survival mindset is always working for a better and more efficient way to store food, take note of wildlife in the area and preserve fresh water supplies. My community is diversified with many different occupations that would be beneficial in a SHTF situation.

  41. To me, survival mindset is along the lines of prepare best you can for the worst, but hope for the best.

  42. Your ability to Be ‘able’ and ‘willing’ to do whatever it takes to survive will be most important.

  43. A survival mindset is the ability to see options when things aren’t normal. It doesn’t have to be an end of the world scenario, just an event that pulls you out of your secure lifestyle and makes you have to rely on your knowledge and intuition instead of the habitual routine.

  44. I’m always looking for good books like this that I can learn from while being entertained as a bonus. If I’m not a lucky winner will have to buy them!

  45. last post-apocalyptic novel i read was “the road”. veeeery dark. this trilogy sounds like it would be much easier to read and enjoy.

  46. I like what Franklin said about it’s more than having guns…I come from a long line of hunter/gatherers…aka preppers, but I don’t like to kill the animals. I could do it to protect others and probably in a survival situation, but until now, I’ve always had hunters in my family. I need to brush up on my fishing skills and I’m helping my parents with the garden this year. I’m a survivor…I’ve always known that…:) I live alone and probably have enough food for 3 months, but I want to get more organized. We freeze our food so I’m looking at freeze-drying and dehydrating.

  47. I am a single gram-ma and need to learn more about how to survive the old ways. looks like your books would be a good learning tool. Thanks for the chance to win.

  48. These books are amazing! I’m so glad you’re giving them away. From the very first page I was hooked and can’t wait to find out more about the characters. I can’t believe it’s already been 3 books but it’s a great story. I love it.

  49. The survival mindset involves many aspects: awareness, common sense, determination, multiple skills and areas of know-how, preparation/storage, adaptability, perseverance, quick thinking, ability to remain calm, and faith in God, those we will be surviving with, and ourselves.

  50. My survival mindset is situational awareness and thinking outside of the box both with the supplies and knowledge obtained.

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