John Wesley Smith of Destiny Survival Radio invited me back this week to talk about my most recent book, Refuge. You can listen to the interview in full here:
John has posted some of his thoughts about the book and the interview on his website here:
He also shares some thoughts about what he calls “survival” or “prepper” fiction, and we seem to agree on the aspects of this sub-genre that we both like and dislike. For example, none of my characters are survival experts, seasoned preppers or ex-special forces military types. I understand the appeal of books with heroes of that nature, but for my own writing I prefer to place mostly ordinary people into extraordinary circumstances and see what happens. While some of the characters in my stories have special skills or backgrounds that make them more adaptable to the dangers of a post-collapse world, none of them are “preppers” or “survivalists” and I do not consider myself one either. I don’t like either term because of the popular misconceptions of them, even though I have written both nonfiction and fiction books could be considered to fit into those descriptions and my most recent nonfiction book was even titled The Prepper’s Workbook.
I’ve been interested in learning wilderness survival skills for as long as I can remember, having spent much of my childhood reading outdoor adventure stories and wanting to be able to do the things the heroes in those stories could do. Even then I knew I would pursue real-life adventures as much as possible when I got old enough, and I was lucky enough to make many of my dreams come true in that regard. As a consequence, it was essential to learn many of these skills and to learn how to be comfortable in conditions and circumstances far outside of ordinary modern life. This is the background that has provided the inspiration for the last seven books I’ve written, including the three novels, and I plan to continue the stories started in The Pulse and The Darkness After as two ongoing series. Aside from those, I have plans for other unrelated stories, such as Sailing the Apocalypse, which is in progress now. Most of these other ideas have a survival or apocalyptic theme, and all are adventures in one way or another because adventure is what I live for.
Speaking of those future projects, if you haven’t signed up for my new email newsletter, please consider doing so now. There was some confusion when I started the new mailing list because many of you who are reading this have subscribed to my blog posts on this site. I want to point out again that the blog subscription is a separate thing and I have added sign-up forms for both the newsletter and the blog posts in the sidebar to the right on this page. If you are already a blog subscriber and are reading this in an email or RSS feed, the proper link for the newsletter signup is here:
The purpose of the newsletter is to keep my readers updated regarding my new books and other events and one of the benefits of signing up is that you will automatically be entered to win free copies of my books in the many giveaways I’m doing there. In October, one subscriber was chosen each of the five Fridays of that month to receive a free copy of Refuge, and before that, ten copies of that book were given to winners chosen at random from that list. I have more book giveaways and announcements coming up, so stay tuned for those.