PRACTICAL PREPPING: NO APOCALYPSE REQUIRED arrives in August!

practical4-2PRACTICAL PREPPING: NO APOCALYPSE REQUIRED, is a light-hearted, instructional look at the basic steps ANYONE can take to prepare for a disaster. From a foreign invasion to the zombie apocalypse—just kidding. We included No Apocalypse Required in the title for a good reason. This isn’t a book about ditching the suburbs for a heavily defended, self-sufficient compound in rural Minnesota. We explore real-life concepts and solutions to REAL-LIFE problems.

Disclaimer: This is not a “HOW TO” manual for every scenario. Sure, you’ll find a few lists, and a number of highlighted suggestions, but the bulk of our book focuses on practical readiness steps you can take or tactical concepts you can embrace, without interrupting your life or breaking the bank. Randy and I offer a layered, foundational approach that can be tailored to YOUR circumstances and motivation level. Let’s face it, few people want to spend an inordinate amount of time, effort and money preparing for something that may not happen. ME INCLUDED. We’ll discuss what you can do to prepare for what will likely happen. I think you’ll be surprised by how little time, effort and hard-earned cash you’ll need to put into PRACTICAL PREPPING.

You’re probably curious how we’ll pull this off. Will it be a didactic lecture, broken into boring chapters? NO. We decided specifically to avoid that format. Randy and I have identified roughly 20 topics worth addressing, from obvious stuff like FOOD, WATER, and FIRST AID to harder topics like HOMESTEADING, COMMUNICATIONS and POWER. Each chapter will contain an excerpt from one of my books that relates to the topic, followed by two essays (one written by each of us). Randy and I share the same philosophy, but we may have a different approach. That’s what will be unique about PRACTICAL PREPPING…if I’m boring, you can switch to Randy’s essay and learn from a real expert!

Who is Randy? Randall S. Powers of Practical Tactical, a personal readiness consulting business based out of Georgia. Randy has been a consultant to The Perseid Collapse series from the start, reviewing my prepper/survival based concepts and keeping me somewhat in line with reality. I considered starting most of my essays with “Whatever Randy just said.”

With that said, I’ll leave you with a sample chapter from the book. Keep in mind that his is un-edited. The typo police have not paid this manuscript a visit. Chapter 4 contains a few great examples of the foundational elements applied throughout the book. ENJOY!

Sample Chapter (Word)

Sample Chapter (PDF)

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The Black Flagged Series gets a facelift by Jeroen ten Berge

Published nearly three years ago, Black Flagged’s cover has morphed to reflect the ever changing Technothriller market. Check out the evolution of Black Flagged’s cover, followed by Jeroen ten Berge’s latest design concept. I’m beyond thrilled to share these.

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2014 Redesign:

1142 Steven Konkoly ebook Black Flagged_21142 Steven Konkoly ebook Black Flagged_REDUX_21144 Steven Konkoly ebook Black Flagged_APEX_51149 Steven Konkoly ebook Black Flagged_VEKTOR_2

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Eight Tips for New Writers…of any age

This post is dedicated to a young gentleman named Noah (10 years old), who is writing a science fiction story about the future of mankind. His father, an avid reader and fan of my books, asked if I had any tips for his son. I decided to compile a short list of advice that might inspire and guide a young writer, realizing halfway through— that this is the same basic advice I would give to a new writer oftyping-test any age.

Good luck, Noah, and all of the new writers out there!

1. Eat lots of vegetables and don’t talk to strangers…sorry kids, a few parents paid me to put this here! By the way, this advice applies to adults more than children.

2. Keep a notebook for ideas and spontaneous writing.  If an idea or scenario strikes, starting writing—even if you have no idea where this story will go. If the story doesn’t progress beyond a page of notebook scribbles—no worries—it might be the seed of a great story later. As a writer, the junk drawer doesn’t exist. 

3. Write every day. Just a little. OR a lot! If you don’t feel like writing “in a story,” create a character, or draw a character or scene. Continuously create!

4. Do a little research into your story. Feel like a professional…under supervision. Lots of wrong turns to take on the internet…even for adults.

5. Let everyone know you’re writing a story. Seriously. Bottling up or hiding your work is the best way to ensure that it never sees the light of day. People like to read, and they like to read stories. The more people who know you’re a writer, the better! You’ll build an audience of supporters early.

6. When you find a story that you continue to write, it’s time for a plan. Nothing fancy or complicated, just a quick spin beyond what you’ve written. Where do you see the story headed? How do you think it will end? Who are the characters? Can you create a timeline or progression of the story or world you’ve created? This shouldn’t feel like work…even when it’s your job (like mine).

7. Take one series you’ve seen on TV/Movies and read the books. Compare the two in an essay. What did each do better? Worse? As a writer, you want the reading experience to be the better experience.

8. Read as much as you can. This isn’t original advice, but I can’t understate the importance of reading. Novels, essays, novellas or short stories. Exposure to the written word is an essential building block for a writer. Did that sound too obvious? Here’s the thing—I had no idea this was true until I started writing in my late 30’s. When you read, you absorb without studying. You casually examine story telling styles, grammar, sentence construction, plotting…all without spending a second in the classroom. I’ve taken one writing class in my life, a semester of Creative Writing (at the U.S. Naval Academy), but I’ve studied writing, without knowing it, for my entire lifetime.

9.) Always Remember—there are worse ways to make a living! 

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Pre-Order Point of Crisis today for July 30th release!

LINK TO PREORDER!

Check out THIS POST to see the cover and detailed description.

Thank you!

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Cover reveal and blurb for Point of Crisis: Book Three in the Perseid Collapse Series

Getting close to the end now. With a launch date set for July 20th, I thought it was time to reveal what I’ve been slaving over for three-month, in between boat work, garden prep, yard prep, spring school festivities, dance recitals, book revisions…a little sleep here and there. Poor me, right? Not really.  Take a look at Jeroen ten Berge’s knock out design for the third, and possibly the last installment to The Perseid Collapse series. I haven’t decided if this is the last Fletcher adventure. Truly, that’s up to you—the reader. I will return to the Black Flagged books next, no matter what you say. I promised, and I keep my promises. A teaser blurb follows the cover, so keep scrolling. I’m extremely excited about this story.

1114 Steve Konkoly ebook POINT OF CRISIS_3_4L

 

“In the aftermath of the brutal attack on his family compound, Alex Fletcher embraces his rapidly expanding role within the New England Regional Recovery Zone (RRZ). Fueled by a limitless drive to protect his family and a rekindled sense of duty, he enlists the reluctant aid of a local militia commander—to help ease the public’s fears of a federal government takeover and maintain civil order within the Security Area (SA).

As Captain Fletcher digs deeper into the government’s plans, he starts to question the federal government’s intentions—and capability to stabilize the situation in New England. With the region’s major port facilities destroyed and the nation’s electrical grid crippled, Alex can’t envision how the government can supply the camps throughout the winter. He predicts a human cataclysm, with several hundred thousand desperate refugees marching north—into Maine.

At the same time, Alex learns that Eli Russell has started to rebuild his militia. Obsessed with finding and eliminating the psychopath that attacked his family, Alex scours the back roads to find him before he can destabilize the tenuous security situation in southern Maine—unaware that Eli’s plans are far more personal.

With the world swiftly unraveling around him, Alex will face his most difficult decisions ever…”

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Doubleshot Reviews take on Event Horizon

1051 Steve Konkoly ebook EVENT HORIZON_3_LA special thanks to Heather Faville for putting the time and detail into an incredible review. I figured she would enjoy the novel, but you never really know with Heather—or any reader. I change up just enough in each novel—even closely tied series—that the experience isn’t the same. The last thing I want is for readers to feel like they’re digging through the same book they just finished.

Doubleshot Review of Event Horizon.

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Polar Bear Protection Instructor Duty

Polar bear 4A welcome break from writing, and an interesting morning in my fourth office (Scarborough Fish and Game Association). Author and magazine writer Tim Queeney chronicles my efforts to help a couple choose an effective, but manageable firearm for their sailing trip through the Northwest Passage. The catch? They’ve never touched a firearm before, and their choices are limited by Canadian and Greenland federal laws, which requires them to carry a shotgun or big game rifle to protect themselves from polar bears. Not exactly beginner firearms. Check out Tim’s recap of our morning at the gun range.

Polar Bear Protection 

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Podcast interview with Tim Knox

at Interviewing Authors. 

I’m going to come clean right now and tell everyone that I went into this interview thinking Tim Knox was “just some guy” putting together author interviews. To say I didn’t invest in a little due diligence is an understatement. I’ve been so busy lately, I devoted all of my prep time to outlining talking points for the interview and securing a pair of headphones (with mic) that didn’t make me sound like I was talking from outer space. I travelled really far to find them too…my son’s room (I knew he wasn’t talking to himself while playing games online).

With the bulk of my “spare” time exhausted, I really had no idea “who” I was talking to when I donned the headphones. Well, Tim Knox is not “just some guy.” Holy %$#! I’m glad I took this seriously! Tim is a widely respected talk radio host, author, entrepreneur, motivational speaker…the list goes on. Check out his official website. The man gets around. He’s been there and done that…twice. Not only that, he’s a great guy, or maybe the southern accent disarmed me.

Needless to say, the interview was fantastic. Take a listen or read the transcript here. With a focus on entrepreneurship, Tim convinced me to give up my million dollar secret…unfortunately, that secret involved non-stop writing for several more years. I was looking for a quicker method.

 

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Interviewed by James Moushon of HBS Author’s Spotlight

This is a fantastic interview (not because of me) by James Moushon of HBS Author’s Spotlight. He clearly put a lot of time and effort into his questions, and I enjoyed taking the time to delve deeper into my own process. Take a look.

SPOTLIGHT Questions and Answers with the Author:

First things first. Let’s start with what’s next. Rumor has it that you have another book on the horizon called Event Horizon. Can you tell us the timeline for its release and give us a little tease?

Yes! I just wrapped up Event Horizon, the second book in The Perseid Collapse Series. It’s available now for preorder on Amazon, and will be released on March 20, 2014. The Perseid Collapse Series is a gritty, post-apocalyptic story set in New England that chronicles the collapse of society from an “event.” The “event” is a devastating combination of a natural phenomenon with a sinister, manmade attack. The first several chapters of the novel focus on the big picture conspiracy and mechanics behind the “event,” but the reader is quickly put in regular shoes, to experience the disaster on a personal level.

You have a good following on twitter. How important have your social media relationships been? How did you build your following in your niche? Did you use forums, newsletters and methods like that?

My Twitter following can be a little deceptive. While I do engage with readers on Twitter, most of the impact there comes from retweets by other authors or followers interested in my genres of writing (Post-apocalyptic and political/espionage thrillers).

It’s an easy way for readers to reach out to me, without a ton of expectation. 140 characters makes for short conversation. Twitter also draws people to my blog. I keep a Twitter feed rolling with book reviews (for other authors’ books) and articles that I have posted to my blog. I see these retweeted quite often. The bulk of my regular social media presence comes from Facebook, both my personal page and thriller-writing page. It’s probably the best place to catch what I’m doing, besides my blog.

All of my news filters through Facebook. Blog posts, new release updates, exclusive content releases, contests, genre related news pieces. Beyond that, I do keep a mailing list, which I regularly (2x per month) update with new release information, exclusive content (sneak peek chapters), and upcoming book deals. I converse regularly via email with many readers on this list.

Finally, I’ll talk about finding a niche and expanding it— on my blog at http://wp.me/p1knlr-8h. Sorry to do that to everyone, but I can’t possible do justice to this important topic without sending this interview’s word count through the stratosphere.

Do you do book signings, interviews, speaking and personal appearances? If so, when and where is the next place where your readers can see you? Where can they keep up with your personal contacts online?

I have to admit that this is one part of the writer’s world in which I am conspicuously absent. Prior to quitting my day job in September of 2013, my time was divided between day job, family and writing, which left little time for anything else. The prospect of giving up weekend time or evenings to sign books didn’t appeal to me.

I have started to do radio interviews, which typically occur later at night and do not interfere with home life. Last week I spent an hour talking to a radio host and listeners in Fairbanks, Alaska. Reaching out and expanding my public exposure is one of my 2014 goals.

You have great covers. They carry a theme and your brand with them. How does your book cover creation process work? Do you hand over the basic theme or do you have more of a hands-on approach? Do you get your readers involved in its development?

Jeroen ten Berge is a gifted artist. I truly wish I could say that I had a direct hand in creating these amazing covers, but I don’t. I send Jeroen an early draft, sometimes just half of the book, and he starts to conceptualize the cover. He’s a big post-apocalyptic fan, so we talked back and forth quite a bit about the story, but I never dictate what I want to see. I leave that to him, and the results are incredible.

What writer support groups do you belong to? Do they help with the writing, marketing and the publishing process?CATCH THE REST AT HBS AUTHOR’S SPOTLIGHT!

 

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First Contact (Part One in the Genesis Series)

1082 KW PINES_Konkoly_GENESIS part oneI know I just hit you with book 2 in The Perseid Collapse Series, but I have one more offering that should interest some of you. First Contact. Let me explain.

Blake Crouch, a talented author I’ve admired for years, asked me to write a novella based on his runaway hit series, Wayward Pines. If you haven’t heard of Blake Crouch or Wayward Pines, you’re in for a treat. Part apocalyptic and horror—all thriller, Crouch’s thought provoking series is unforgettable. I can’t recommend the series highly enough.

First Contact is a prequel to his series, and unfortunately contains some spoilers that would ruin the unbelievable, mind-bending twist that unfolds in Crouch’s books. Even the Amazon description of my book might undermine the twist. Seriously, the ending to book one in Crouch’s series is THAT GOOD!

If this sounds like your “cup of tea,” I hope you check out the series and give my novella a try. Coincidentally (for real), both of the books in his Wayward Pines series are on sale for $2 each at Amazon. Links below:

Pines by Blake Crouch
Wayward by Blake Crouch
First Contact by Steven Konkoly

This is a great opportunity to discover a series that has created an incredible amount of buzz in the book writing world and Hollywood. The Wayward Pines series was picked up by the FOX television network to be a miniseries staring Matt Dillon and Juliette Lewis. Executive produced by M. Night Shyamalan, the series has been filmed and will likely air this fall.

http://www.fox.com/wayward-pines/

Thank you again!

Steven Konkoly

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