A quick look into the prepping world of The Perseid Collapse series

Readers of The Perseid Collapse series know that I teamed up with Randy Powers from Tactical Practical  to put a professional eye on the survival/homesteading/prepper aspects of the novel. The Perseid books take these themes to the next level, and I wanted to make sure I wasn’t too far into left field with my ideas and theories. I reference a Handbook created by Randy in the acknowledgments of The Perseid Collapse, which contains an incredible amount of valuable, distilled information. I thought I would share one of his blog posts, which explains the BOLT Kits used by Alex Fletcher and his family. Randy has a unique take on the heavily popularized “Bug out Bag.” Enjoy! Practical Tactical B.O.L.T. Kit©: What It Is And What It’s For You’ve probably heard of a Bug Out Bag (BOB) or a Get Out Of Dodge (GOOD) bag that can be used as a grab and go kit in case you have to leave an area during an emergency situation. At Practical Tactical, we urge our clients to build what we call a B.O.L.T. (Basic Operations for a Limited Time) Kit. This mobile kit based on the basic tenets of preparedness: shelter, water, food, fire, comms/defense and READ MORE

Final Cover for The Perseid Collapse

Jeroen ten Berge has turned the tables on me! He’s delivered an incredible cover design, and I haven’t finished writing the book!  As always, Jeroen scored a bullseye. His design brilliantly captures the core essence of The Perseid Collapse’s sweeping apocalyptic world. “2019. Six years after the Jakarta Pandemic, the United States stands at the brink of a fiscal and industrial resurgence. Stories of prosperity and confidence dominate the headlines, orchestrated to distract the nation from a dangerous current of hostility and fear—running strong below the surface. Nobody has forgotten the horrors of the Jakarta Pandemic. Sickness. Hunger. Desperation. Unspeakable violence. On August 19, 2019, an unprecedented “mass event” will release a darkness across the United States. A human darkness with a vast appetite for violence and chaos. Alex Fletcher will awaken to this new world, catapulted unwillingly into an frantic odyssey, against overwhelming odds, to save his family and friends.” READ MORE

Sample Chapters of The Perseid Collapse

I have decided to release “unedited” chapters of The Perseid Collapse periodically until the novel’s release in December. A fair number of you have waited VERY patiently for me to return to the apocalyptic genre, so I thought I would give you something to hold you over until the launch. I anticipate posting roughly one chapter per week through November, which should bring you about a third of the way through Alex Fletcher’s latest survival journey. Yes, the Fletchers are back, just as the United States has effectively settled into a comfortable, but tenuous post Jakarta Pandemic routine. A new era of isolationism has emerged, with the economy stabilized and the population better prepared for disaster.  On the surface, its business as usual in the United States, but dig a little deeper and you’ll find that one thing has remained the same. Trust in the government is at an all time low. The collective memory of twenty-six million deaths (nearly one in every ten citizens) during the Jakarta Pandemic runs like a shallow current, waiting to break through the thin facade of prosperity and confidence. The Perseid Collapse takes place in 2019, six years after The Jakarta Pandemic. It starts with a READ MORE

Book Review of Paul Jones’ EXTINCTION POINT

If you’re a fan of Post-Apocalyptic fiction, you don’t want to miss this one. This is the first in a planned series reminiscent of The Stand, Omega Man and Invasion of the Body Snatchers…all wrapped into one. Check out my review. ” Paul Jones has started a refreshingly unique Post-Apocalyptic series, unlike anything I have read in the genre. Set in the present day, Extinction Point starts out with news of an advancing world-wide phenomena… an intense red colored rain that falls mysteriously at 12:30 PM local time and abruptly stops a few minutes later. Emily Baxter, reporter for a Manhattan based newspaper, finds herself indoors when the thick crimson rain strikes the concrete jungle around her. Careful to avoid contact with the thick red fluid, she reports to work, expecting to find a flurry of activity. She finds the rest of her colleagues speechlessly glued to the news floor’s television monitors. Reports from western Europe are sketchy at best…Eastern Europe has stopped transmitting video altogether. As New York City descends into panic, Emily returns to the safety of her apartment, never to emerge into the same world again. Extinction Point brilliantly increased the tension with each successive chapter, as READ MORE

Updates to The Jakarta Pandemic…

On April 28th, I alluded to some changes by unveiling The Jakarta Pandemic’s new cover. One month later, The Jakarta Pandemic is officially DONE!!! I know, the book was “done” in late October, then again in November…I think I substantially changed it every month since it was first launched. I really mean it this time. I’m through tweaking this book, and so is my editor. I can’t thank Felicia (editor) enough for convincing to make some necessary changes to the format and content. I am extremely pleased by the final product…enough to leave it alone, which is big for me. What major changes can you expect to see in the latest revision? First, the book is about 25 pages lighter than before, thanks to some aggressive editing of “long” news segments and a few scenes that really didn’t propel the storyline. STREAMLINING. Almost all of these cuts came from the first third of the book, which is good news for readers…the nasty pandemic induced mayhem comes quicker. I love story setup, so it was tough to part with some of this content, but I firmly believe the words were not sacrificed in vain. A moment of silence please. Second, I READ MORE

Some changes afoot…

Artist Jeroen ten Berge created an incredible cover design for The Jakarta Pandemic. Check out his write-up of my novel…along with more of his influential design work.  Jeroen ten Berge READ MORE

After Armageddon…everyone should watch this

My son loves to watch The History Channel, and despite our desperate (and often futile) efforts to cut down on our kids’ screen time, I never give him any hassle with the history channel. He found something incredibly interesting today…and we’re all sitting inside on the first sixty degree day of the year watching it. We’re watching a special called After Armageddon, and it describes what would happen in the event of a severe pandemic. It follows a daily time line, and alternates between a story (follows one family) and expert testimony. It’s extremely compelling, if not frightening. Amazingly, I can honestly say that I had never viewed this special before. Why amazing? Because my novel, The Jakarta Pandemic, describes nearly the exact same breakdown of society, item by item, in the face of a pandemic…and my novel also focuses on the story of one family’s struggle to survive. My fictional family is a little more prepared of course. You can view one section at a time on You Tube, if you dare. Here are the links: After Armageddon Part One After Armageddon Part Two After Armageddon Part Three After Armageddon Part Four After Armageddon Part Five After Armageddon Part READ MORE

You Tube review of The Jakarta Pandemic

As all of you hopefully know, I encourage readers to contact me with questions or suggestions regarding my book, and I actually hear from some of them. Most of them are surprised to hear back from me, which I can’t believe. Hearing from readers is one of the most rewarding aspects of writing a book. It’s proof that someone actually read it, and didn’t just need to spend the remaining three dollars on their Amazon gift card. I suppose some of you will remind me of this post, when I hit the big time author circuit, and get swamped with fan mail. Back to reality Steve. So the other day, I started a conversation with a reader from my home state of Indiana. After exchanging a few emails, he said he would do a review of my book on his You Tube channel. What? I thought people just posted videos that featured laughing babies on You Tube. I didn’t realize that some people actually used it for constructive purposes. I was wrong.  Below is the link to my first “live” review. The only thing that upsets me about this, is that I didn’t think of this first. Thanks, Hooser9mm for READ MORE

Updates!

I have a few exciting updates to announce: 1.)    My book has been professionally edited, so the typos and grammar errors that most of you have been so kind not to mention, should be mostly eradicated. When I get unsolicited emails from readers, complimenting the story, then volunteering to edit my next book…I know it’s time to put this in the hands of a professional. Still, I took a few readers up on the offer to sweep The Jakarta Pandemic, and they turned up enough errors (I’m embarrassed to say how many), that my editor didn’t consider re-negotiating terms in the middle of the project. Thank you guys and ladies for taking the time. You know who you are. And thank you, Noah Mullett-Gillman, for taking on the editing project. You should check out his book, Luminous and Ominous, another recently released Post Apocalyptic tale. 2.)    Noah also recently hosted Post Apocapalooza II, a series of interviews with new/indie Post Apocalyptic writers…and I was included in this group. The term apocalyptic fiction wasn’t in my vernacular until a few months ago, and I’m not kidding. I’ve read plenty of PA fiction…The Stand, The Road, World War Z…and I love READ MORE

Don’t characterize my characters…just yet.

Good plot. Immersing detail. Popular genre.  Quick tempo. All the trappings of a worthy read…right? While these qualities in a book might draw you in, and keep you there for a spell, nothing, in my humble view, detaches the reader quicker than hollow characters. I’ve read the reviews (not on mine thankfully…yet). “Cardboard, one-dimensional, flat, undeveloped, unrealistic…” The list goes on. Unrealistic?   Now this description captures my attention the most, because it reminds me of something Stephen King said about writing good stories. I am paraphrasing at my worst, but he said something to the effect that an interesting story pits normal people against extraordinary circumstances, not extraordinary people against normal situations. Realism defined? I don’t know, but I like reading stories about characters that have to struggle to overcome an extraordinary problem. Is James Bond one of these characters? At first you’d probably say “no way!” I might agree, but I’d argue that he is an extraordinary person pitted against insanely extraordinary circumstances. It’s the same formula, just presented in a higher octane fashion, which is why it works…more so in the recent Bond films. Ever read a book where the protagonist is an unstoppable, unbeatable hero? Mentally READ MORE