Sucked into a FIRE STORM

That’s what will happen when you start reading book 3 in The Zulu Virus Chronicles! SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? Fire extinguisher is probably the right answer. FIRE STORM: Book 3 in The Zulu Virus Chronicles is now available in ebook and hard copy format. Audiobook will be available in mid-March. CLICK HERE TO ORDER THE KINDLE BOOK CLICK HERE OT ORDER A PAPER COPY SOMETHING MERCILESS WATCHES OVER THE OUTBREAK–GUIDING ITS COURSE. Having narrowly survived the KILL BOX, HOT ZONE’s hardened survivors and their KILL BOX allies separate to pursue different objectives–outside of the Indianapolis quarantine zone. For David Olson, that means bringing his son south, to the safe haven of his parents’ home–far away from the infected cities. Eric Larsen takes him up on the offer to rest and heal at the house, before departing on the long journey to find his family in Colorado. For Rich and his secretive black ops team, that means transporting Dr. Chang and Dr. Hale to a secure facility out east, where they will join the nation’s few surviving bioweapons researchers–with the hopes of pinpointing the source of the virus and possibly developing a vaccine. Neither group will get very far, before READ MORE

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO SURVIVE?

NOT AS MUCH AS YOU THINK, if you’re smart about it. I should be writing book 3 in the Zulu Virus Chronicles, but I’ve instead been writing “the book” on Chronic Procrastination. Actually, I’ve been tackling some administrative stuff before I launch into FIRE STORM, which is the far less glorious part of being an author. That said, one of those tasks turned out to be a lot more fun than I expected. About a month ago, I was approached by Amazon to create a list of items related to my post-apocalyptic/dystopian books and make it public through a new system they’ve rolled out to their affiliates. I’ve always wanted to create a list of useful survival and readiness items (with links), and include it in my books, but I wasn’t sure how to go about it until now. Amazon just made it incredibly simple. By CLICKING HERE (or the image below), you’ll see over a hundred readiness related items that I’ve either purchased…or THINK I NEED (but my wife will kill me if I buy). I’ll let you all guess which category each item falls under. Currently, they’re not in any particular order or clustered by category,—and I certainly READ MORE

NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

WRITE MORE 2015 was kind of a slow writing year for me. I have a deadline to meet at the end of February, and more books to write after that. The more I write, the more you get to read. I plan to accomplish this by… SURFING THE INTERNET LESS Sorry, but this is a polite way of saying “spend less time on social media.” I’m not going away, but every word I type on Facebook is one word taken away from my work in progress. Added up (and it ADDS UP!), this forces me to work longer days to meet deadlines, and ultimately takes time away from… SPENDING MORE TIME WITH FAMILY There’s no reason for me to be writing during family time on weekends. A few hours in the morning by choice is still fine. I like to write every day, even if just for an  hour or two, and I can do that in the early morning hours when most of the house is asleep. But spending most of the weekend days writing to meet an easily achievable deadline is not healthy or fair to the most important parts of my life. Same goes for weekday evenings. Cutting READ MORE

Executive Summary of The Perseid Collapse books by Simple Man

No, I didn’t just insult the owner of Backwoods Survival Blog by calling him a Simple Man. Like an author that uses a pen name, I can only assume that the creator of this comprehensive readiness/survival site desires privacy—in the form of anonymity. I can thoroughly appreciate that, since everyone within a 100 mile radius of me knows where to go if they run out of food and supplies when the SHTF. Rule one of prepping. Do not advertise your preps. Lesson learned. With his identity protected, I wanted to draw attention to the amazing reviews he has put together over the past few months for ALL of my post-apocalyptic, prepper-themed novels. Simple Man hits the proverbial nail on the head with his reviews, in more ways than one. He intuitively roots out some of the deeper themes and plot devices I had buried in the novels, bringing them to the prospective reader’s attention. His reviews truly form an executive summary of my novels. If you’ve been on the fence about reading my series, take a few minutes to read what Simple Man has to say about them, and don’t forget to check out the BACKWOODS SURVIVAL BLOG. REVIEWS: The Jakarta Pandemic READ MORE

What I think you should know about Ebola—Part Two

Have you thought about Ebola lately? Probably not. If you have, it’s most likely because U2 and dozens of artists have just recorded a new version of the original 1980’s Band Aid charity song “Do they know it’s Christmas?” to raise money for Ebola victims. THAT’S IT! IT’S OVER FOR NOW! Not so fast. Ebola (for now…never say never) has remained squarely an African problem, and one month after the massive Ebola fear hype in the U.S., most Americans have returned to their pre-Ebola scare lives. Some of us have a few more sterile gloves and N95 masks than before, but that’s not a bad thing. An influenza pandemic is a far more likely scenario to affect us. There’s a great fiction book written by someone I know that explains exactly how that might happen. 😉 Did we beat Ebola? According to a Denver Post opinion piece, the U.S. beat Ebola. http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/1824674-155/ebola-africa-spencer-west-care-denver Good news for everyone. Right? Of course, but this article falls squarely in the hindsight is 20/20 category, and fails to look forward. AT ALL. The opinion piece derides the fear that gripped the U.S., pointing out how the system in place worked. You know, the ten systems progressively implemented after the CDC and READ MORE

What I think you should know about the Ebola crisis…

When I published The Jakarta Pandemic in 2010, I had no idea it would be so widely read. Nor did I ever expect to be considered a “source” of information about pandemics. Over the past two months, I have fielded questions from concerned readers, friends, family, readiness bloggers, authors and preparedness consultants regarding the recent Ebola outbreak in Africa. I’ve been rather guarded in my approach to the crisis, having watched it slowly build throughout the summer. When the death toll exceeded previous outbreaks, including the outbreak made famous by the groundbreaking novel The Hot Zone, I started watching it more closely. The novel The Hot Zone, by Richard Preston was the catalyst for my interest in pandemic grade viruses and an inspiration for my first novel. With that said, I want to share my thoughts on the current crisis and point you in the direction of some balanced, informative articles on the topic…along with a few other resources. WHAT DO I THINK ABOUT THE EBOLA CRISIS? I suspect that world health authorities have currently lost control of the virus in Africa. A combination of controllable and uncontrollable factors conspired to worsen this crisis far beyond other Ebola outbreaks.  Take a quick READ MORE

Review of Charley Hogwood’s The Survival Group Handbook

Review of The Survival Group Handbook by Charley Hogwood Disclosure: I was provided an electronic copy of this book for a blog tour. I’ll start this review with what I would normally say at the end. Upon finishing Mr. Hogwood’s book, I immediately ordered a hard copy version. I could have easily printed the PDF provided, but 1.) I felt that the time, effort and expertise put into creating this handbook WELL merited my money. 2.) I want to have a compact, easy-to-carry version available for reference. First, don’t let the page count discourage you. When I received my copy, I groaned. 350 pages on Survival Groups? Can’t this fit into 30? Trust me when I say that there’s not a wasted word in the handbook, and that’s coming from a writer known to waste a word or two—here and there. With that said, you can’t expect to read this in one sitting. It’s 1.) Too important of a topic. 2.) Covers every aspect of survival group dynamics you can imagine. This book needs to be read in stages and sections, giving you time to reflect on the subjects presented Survival group basics and dynamics are an often-overlooked topic in READ MORE

Zombies, black helicopters, the government…

I’m not sure which is worse! In Practical Prepping: No Apocalypse Required…it doesn’t matter! From a snowstorm induced power outage to a full-scale invasion of the United States, Randy Powers of Practical Tactical and I will point you in the right direction…the hills out yonder in case of an invasion. Seriously, the title says it all. There’s something for everyone in this book, written with a little humor and a lot of humility. Don’t be caught off guard by the next disaster, adopt the Practical Prepping mindset TODAY! Available as Kindle book or hardcopy Order From Amazon   READ MORE

A quick Homesteading lesson

From the Konkoly family garden. I decided to try something new this year. After researching and writing three post-apocalyptic, prepper-themed books in a row, I started to grasp the sheer scope and effort required to raise enough food on your land to survive without supermarkets and 2-day Amazon prime delivery of freeze-dried food buckets. I won’t go into the details of my broader “awakening” here. Instead, I’ll share one stark example. I’ve never planted dry beans (beans suitable for drying and long-term storage) before, so I wanted to get a handle on the difficulty involved and general yields. I planted a 1.5ft x 6 ft row of Cannellini bean plants, spaced according to the seed packet recommendation. 9 square feet. I wasn’t planting for a big harvest…this was a test run. The results? Growing the plants proved to be effort free. We saw a small amount of bug damage and light spotting on the leaves, but the pods looked healthy throughout the summer. Yield: 9 square feet produced 2 cups of beans or .22 cups per square feet.  Lesson Learned: Depending on the availability of other protein sources, to provide 8-10 cups of beans per week for a family of four, we READ MORE

Who wants to listen to me talk for 4 hours?

Probably none of you. I know I wouldn’t. How about one hour? Sounds better to me. Last week I spent four combined hours on live internet radio and podcasts, talking about the upcoming post-apocalyptic collapse, survival, prepping, the Ebola threat, myself (occasionally), my books and the menstrual threat lurking around every corner (you can thank Prepper Chicks for that). Lots of great information, hearty laughs and serious confessions broken into four, one hour segments. There’s something for everyone—I promise. Prepper Chicks morning segment via You Tube. Shooting the breeze with NRA instructor and kick-$#! prepped-mom Lori . Check out her website. Prepper Chicks After Dark segment via You Tube. Playing the survival card game “Conflicted” with Lori and Kat “Herbal Prepper.” By the end of the show I had been awake for nearly 20 hours, so it gets a little “punchy.” All Things Apocalyptic show via You Tube with best-selling author G. Michael Hopf. G. Michael served as a Marine in the Gulf War and now writes post apocalyptic novels for a living. Check out his critically acclaimed New World Series.  Rational Survivor Podcast. Finally, Randy Powers and I spent more than an hour talking with Kyle, the Rational Survivor, about our upcoming collaboration, READ MORE