Guest Post from Chad A. Clark Author of Behind our Walls

This guest post is by Chad A. Clark, author of the end of the world novel Behind Our Walls. It’s fascinating and encouraging to see some of the influences that inspire people to write books. Growing up in the 80’s, I can sure relate to a lot of Chad’s inspiration! Thanks for sharing Chad! I encourage all of you other guest posters and readers to chime in and leave a comment and follow/say hi to Chad A. Clark.

behindourwallsSeveral years ago, I wrote a short story, titled Tomorrow’s Memory. It is set in an apocalyptic future following some undefined event in which the governments and societies of the world have collapsed. The main character is a man in his early twenties, traveling with a female companion. Along the way, he decides to start keeping a journal and the story consists of his entries in that journal.

I have always been fascinated with what the landscape of the end of the world might look like. And what I mean by that is, we have seen no shortage of films and books, laying out scenarios by which our society could meet its ultimate destruction. And while I have certainly enjoyed these stories, I also wanted to try going in a different direction. I was interested in the perspective of the people on the ground and how their lives are affected, where they go from here.

Just as an example, one thing that has always captivated me about the film Cloverfield is how it is essentially the telling of the Godzilla story, but from the perspective of the screaming mob trying to get away from the monster. This was the sensibility I tried to bring to this story. In an age where we depend so much on technology for our information, what happens when the world crashes down around us and the only means of learning about things is from the mouths of people you encounter on the road. People you may or may not be able to trust.

These were my favorite aspects of writing Tomorrow’s Memory and it would eventually spark my desire to write a full length novel in that same universe. It was from the seeds of that initial story that Behind Our Walls would eventually grow.

I didn’t want this to be a supernatural story. There are no zombies. I didn’t want this to be a techno-thriller. I wanted it to be a human story. I wanted to take genuine characters and see how they handled complete immersion in a hostile and violent environment. What would it look like if a group of survivors were to try and rebuild on the ashes of a society and start over?

The book I wrote was originally much longer and offered a few more backstory and clues as to what caused society’s downfall. In the end, I decided that I was being too ambitious and that it would be better to quickly immerse the reader in the world of this story. I wanted to challenge myself to bring the reader closer to the experiences of the characters.

Behind Our Walls is a dark book. It presents a bleak picture of our humanity and what people could be capable of, if left alone with each other and to their own devices. But I think there is also a hint of optimism there as well. As I wrote this, I definitely wanted to bring to bear all of the beautifully grim fiction I had read over the years but I also wanted to avoid the idea that all hope was lost. At the end of the day, I still believe in the inherent goodness of ourselves and I think that should be evident as the story draws to a close.

This book, as the rest of my writing in general, is driven by my love for dark fiction. There are any number of sources I could point to as the origins for my narrative sensibilities. As a child, I was reading at a very early age and by the time I was ten or eleven, I was given a fair amount of liberty in terms of what I was allowed to read. It wasn’t long before I found my way to the likes of Stephen King and Robert McCammon.

And of course, no discussion of the eighties can rightfully leave out the incredible horror movie franchises that came about. There was a special immediacy and dark reality of the practical special effects of the day. Watching slasher or zombie movies, you had an uncomfortable feeling that you were being made privy to something that you weren’t supposed to see.

All of this acted as a brine of sorts, in which my narrative outlook would start to develop. I love the visceral experience of the horror genre. I love the view you get of humanity in the reflection of horrific events of a story. I love reading and writing books with dark content because it forces you to be a part of the process. You have to bring your own morality to bear and evaluate the things that are happening and how they make you feel. That’s what I think all good art should do.

And if I can accomplish that at least some of the time with my own writing, I will consider myself to be a success.

 

Chad A. Clark

cclarkfiction.wixsite.com/chad-clark

Follow Chad A. Clark on Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and Google+.

Guest Post from M.L. Cain Author of Dead Salvage Series

Our latest guest post is from M.L. Cain, author of the post apocalyptic book series Dead Salvage of which the first book called Mourning is now available. M.L. Cain told me that he wrote this on his phone which I must say is impressive! Thanks to M.L. Cain for sharing his very unique perspective with us below!

deadsalvageAlright, my name is ML Cain, an author within the Post apocalyptic/ Military Sci-fi genre, though I don’t like to limit myself. I typically don’t talk about myself much, so forgive me if the awkwardness bleeds through.

Oddly enough I’m not a fan of fiction books (there are a couple of exceptions, of course), when it comes to books I prefer non-fiction, usually within the realm of Military History, Ancient Greek history/mythology, and books about killers or other strange happenings and subjects based somewhat in reality.
 
So what was my motivation to create a post-apocalyptic fiction series? Simply and honestly put, I enjoy entertaining the idea of human extinction, and the path or struggle to extinction. I grew up on Horror movies, and the gory, adult themed Anime of the 70s- 90s era. I’ve always been fascinated by dark stories of gore, horror and the annihilation of the human race via movies and anime. I’m sure I can attribute some of my inspiration to these films and series which held me spellbound in my early childhood and teen years.
 
For me, personally, I look at writing as a form of art, as self expression… I don’t play an instrument, I don’t draw or paint, so I write, it is my release… more than communicating a message, I may want to communicate an emotion or ask a question, or maybe i just want to assault the reader in a non physical way. I’m someone that writes without care for social or moral norms, or rules of a genre. My works are an outlet for my thoughts, emotions and philosophies.
 
Dead Salvage is my first work of fiction, and my first series. My goal with the Dead Salvage series is to tell the story of human extinction, in a unique, meaningful and interesting way.  With this and my other up coming works I hope to define/refine myself and my style as a writer,thank you.
 
Official page: Authormlcain.com
 

Addiction and the Apocalypse

nickbloodAfter watching the first season of Fear the Walking Dead (FTWD) again, it occurred to me that we rarely see any type of substantial fictional exploration of addiction and the apocalypse. As you may or may not know, depending on whether you watch the show, one of the main characters is a heroin addict. He is one of the first characters that we meet on the show and is also one of the first to encounter zombies if indeed the outbreak started in California.

Regardless of how you might feel about FTWD, the writers deserve some credit for making a legitimate effort to humanize addiction through Nick. Whether or not you agree with his reaction/behavior, it is an interesting fictional story line worthy of further exploration. Nick’s character offers some insight into the implications of addiction during and after the apocalypse.

The most fascinating idea that comes up through Nick’s character is that his life before and after the zombie apocalypse isn’t that much different. Death was always his constant companion. He was already living moment to moment, never seeing beyond his next fix.

An addict’s life isn’t that much different from the life of a post apocalyptic survivor. Instead of finding more drugs, almost all of a survivor’s energy is spent obtaining the necessary food and supplies and protecting those resources. Death is never far away in either case. Indeed, it is a constant companion.

Now, consider the life of an average, modern day person. Most people have become so dependent on modern conveniences that a drastic change in lifestyle would be a major shock to say the least. Many people simply wouldn’t be able to let go of their former life and do what is necessary to survive. It is in this light that we can begin to understand Nick’s relative ease in adjusting to his new environment. Compared to everyone else, his new life isn’t much different from his old life.

This is not to say that I necessarily agree with FTWD’s particular interpretation of the way a typical addict might respond to the zombie apocalypse, however, I applaud their valid attempt to address the issue. Actually, FTWD is the first major end of the world type fiction that I have encountered that tries to examine the topic of addiction on more than a superficial level. Many might argue that a drug addict would be less concerned with the well being of their family and more concerned with raiding homes, pharmacies or hospitals for leftover opoids. This is usually how the issue is dealt with in apocalyptic fiction – “those degenerate addicts need to be contained” type of attitude prevails, in most cases, always implying that “these people” are the first stage of the human transformation into raiding cannibal clans.

As with most issues, its not quite as simple as “forget about those degenerates”, especially when someone that you love is an addict or alcoholic. Ultimately, I think most people would be surprised to find out that addiction is running rampant right in their cozy little neighborhoods.

Having been sober and drug free now for 16 years, I can attest to the notion that some portion of alcoholics and addicts can recover and that they might be people that you would want around should things go bad.

If anyone knows of any other works of fiction that explores addiction and the apocalypse please forward it to me.

On a side note, I have been really pleased with the response to our first few guest posts and I really appreciate everyone that has given positive feedback. I’m still looking for people to write guest posts and would like to make it a regular occurrence on this site. If you are a writer, please send me a note at apocalypticfiction@gmail.com or use the contact form below to express your interest in doing a guest post. For a guest post, rather than discussing your book or fictional work directly, I would prefer if you could discuss some of your inspiration for creating it and possibly share some life experience that has influenced you and drawn you towards the apocalyptic genre. I look forward to hearing from and meeting as many of you as possible!

 

 

Guest Post From E. Rachael Hardcastle Author of the Aeon Infinitum Series

This guest post is from E. Rachael Hardcastle, author of the post apocalyptic book series Aeon Infinitum. E. Rachael Hardcastle offers us some great insight into her motivation and inspiration for writing. It’s very encouraging to see that she shares similar motivations with our previous guest post author Michael Poeltl and considers her post apocalyptic book series somewhat of a cautionary tale. I encourage all of you, fans and other authors to follow E. Rachael Hardcastle on social media after reading her guest post below!

The Meaning of Life and Writing

My name is E. Rachael Hardcastle. I’m a British indie author of high fantasy and post-apocalyptic novels.

aeoninfinitumI write in these creative genres because I believe the human race is capable of change. I’d like to play my part in initiating it by showing you what I predict could happen if we don’t. Through my work, my aim is to transport you through time and space to a variety of desperate futures; to show you them through my eyes.

Between the lines of my most recent release, Aeon Infinitum: Run For Your Life, I’ll introduce you to Ad Infinitum, a planet suffering six months of night and day. I’ll show you mutant creatures driven mad by unbearable temperatures, the ruins of a once flourishing society and a community forced underground, starved and overpopulated, to escape what their own ancestors created. I’ll ask if we are really the dominant species in a universe so vast and endless.

Although my novels don’t follow a religious theme, they invite readers to be open-minded and imaginative, using creation, survival and the overall meaning of our existence to guide my  characters through various life or death scenarios.

Writing is also a means for me to empty my chaotic mind and an outlet for the ideas I hoard. Authors like J. R. R. Tolkien, Stephen King, Charlaine Harris and countless others have imprinted on me just as much as their other fans – only difference is I feel it my duty to turn that positive influence into something new, exciting and memorable.

Aeon Infinitum: Run For Your Life is book one in a trilogy that’s published out of order. Book One, the story of survivors in a post-apocalyptic world, is actually the second along the time line of Earth’s fall. Aeon Infinitum: The Wanted, the explanation behind the end of the world is the prequel. Aeon Infinitum: Faded Realm is the continuing adventure of the survivors and the sequel.

Book one is now available with Amazon Kindle and in paperback (even with Prime). Visit www.erachaelhardcastle.com to read my mission statement, learn more about writing and publishing with my author interviews or check out my other published novels.

Follow E. Rachael Hardcastle on Facebook and Twitter

Guest Post from Michael Poeltl Author of An Angry Earth

This next guest post is from Michael Poeltl, author of the apocalyptic book series The Judas Syndrome Trilogy and more recently, a picture book called An Angry Earth. These guest posts are even more fascinating than I anticipated as we get to see why some writers choose to write about the end of the world and what comes after. It turns out Michael Poeltl’s motivations are essentially altruistic as he seeks to use his fiction as a learning tool for change. Read for yourself below. Enjoy!

Why a Picture Book about the Apocalypse? It all began a long time ago…

angryearthIn 1999 I had just completed my first novel. It was nowhere near polished enough to be published, but it was finished in that unedited, unformatted way that most unrepresented author’s works end up. It was a book about an Apocalyptic event which took a group of teens out of their comfortable summer vacations and into survival mode after a nuclear war erupted around them. That book was professionally edited and self published in 2009, and was well received by indie-readers, which stirred enough confidence in me that two more books in the same, evolving storyline, soon created a trilogy – The Judas Syndrome.

This was my first foyer into writing at the novel level, and as The Judas Syndrome went on to win awards and accolades, its successes prompted me to continue the writing and self publishing journey.

Apocalyptic books took a back seat to experimenting with other genres until the summer of 2016, when a story emerged during a bedtime reading to my six-year-old daughter.  Eyes too tired to read another page from her children’s books, I turned out the light and this story about environmental awareness popped into my head.  I went on about how the earth rumbled and the sky fell and the water rose and all because of the damage we were doing to the planet. When she was asleep I sat down and wrote what had poured out of me and thought; ‘there’s a book in there somewhere’. As it turned out, it was to be a picture book.

It’s a tell it like it is story which includes dark pen and ink illustrations to help visualize the story. I wanted to make sure people take away the vision I had for the book. Be scared. Be very scared that our world could end up like the one in the book. Do something about it. Stop the apocalypse before it becomes unstoppable.

I’m marketing An Angry Earth to adults and parents rather then to children, leaving it up to them whether they want to share the potential of a dark future with their children. I will be sharing it with my daughter. I think it’s important to teach consequence where their actions or inactions effect the health of their environment and their very lives.

Being a picture book, it makes sense to want it in print format, which is available and recommended, but I have also made it available as a Kindle for those who are done with printed volumes. 

Michael Poeltl

Follow Michael Poeltl on his WebsiteFacebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Amazon.

 

Guest Post C. Chase Harwood Author Of Sudden Origin

Our next guest post comes from C. Chase Harwood, author of the Of Sudden Origin Saga. In his apocalyptic book series C. Chase Harwood introduces us to his own action packed interpretation of the zombie apocalypse. Thank you C. Chase Harwood for giving us all some insight into your creation and for sharing your thoughts with us!

ofsuddenoriginI suspect that we all secretly wish for a zombie apocalypse–for a day. I also imagine we would all want the option to exit the moment we might get chomped.
It’s not as if we want our family, friends and neighbors to deal with such a horror. It’s the survival thing. We all fantasize about surviving the worst; being put into a situation of terrible odds, the thrill of facing the dead head on just around the bend. We don’t imagine that it just happens, that we’re walking down the sidewalk and a raving zombie suddenly charges us–we defenseless and without arms, no, we imagine ourselves well prepped for such an event. We’re ahead of the curve as the news of the building catastrophe grows into the day of reckoning. When it comes, we are ready to take on the end of civilization–for a day.
Zombie novels provide a window, a visit to such an event without having to actually get the hands dirty… or em… bloody or the face bitten off, guts used in a ropey tug-o-war. Zombie novels let us imagine blasting our deepest nightmares apart, fighting injustice and overcoming the worst of men. They place us in the raw undiluted space of me against the ruined world, perhaps with the help of some friends.
All of this is fine. All of this is fun. I’m as much a huge fan of The Walking Dead as the next guy or gal, but there’s one part that always leaves me frustrated: how in the hell do the dead walk–particularly the ones that are mostly skeleton? I know it’s best not to ask such things. Just go for the ride already. Don’t delve into how the cars stay on the track.
Of Sudden Origin solves this conundrum for me and I hope for others like me. It utilizes the conventions of Armageddon and zombies, but goes a bit further. The series makes an attempt at creating a scientific basis for a zombie apocalypse. The zombies aren’t dead. They can die any way that any other person can die, but they are fast, have a bit of brains left, and are just as relentless as their dead kinfolk. They also have a secret weapon: the novels explore a sudden leap in evolution, thus the title Of Sudden Origin. The offspring of the infected are the next iteration of man, and you don’t want to meet one. You’d much rather have the covers pulled up to your chest, book in hand, rather than cowering under the blanket as mad humans and their horrific offspring charge into your home.
As with most apocalypse tales, Of Sudden Origin explores our relationships and interactions with each other when faced with the very worst and asks, can the best in us survive?
C. Chase Harwood

Follow C. Chase Harwood on Facebook, Twitter and get his books Here or through the link below:

Guest Post Raymond Dean White Author of The Dying Time Impact

Our first guest post comes from Raymond Dean White, author of The Dying Time: Impact. His apocalyptic book explores one of my favorite end of the world scenarios – a large asteroid impact! He offers us a brief synopsis of his novels and gives us some insight into what pulled him to the genre. Thanks Raymond!

 

dying-time“THE DYING TIME: IMPACT” reveals my take on how to survive the worst possible disaster that could befall humanity—a mountain-sized asteroid impact.

When the Impact destroyed civilization and re-sculpted the globe the only survivors were the hastily expanded crew of the ISS, who watched the devastation below with growing horror, while wondering if they would ever get to go home, a few Preppers, whose stores of food and other commodities made them irresistible targets and the desperate hordes who would do anything–eat anyone–to live.

“THE DYING TIME: IMPACT” is a stand alone novel that is also book one of a trilogy. It has almost 300 great reviews. You can find it here on Amazon.

 

http://amzn.to/29G9jRf

 

“AFTER THE DYING TIME” is also a stand alone novel and is book two in the trilogy. It details the fight to preserve liberty against a rising feudalism.

In a post-Impact world there are Kings, subjects, slaves and those desperately fighting to remain free. Twelve years after The Dying Time Impact, Joseph Scarlatti reigns as King of California, or at least that’s what he’s called to his face. Behind his back the words tyrant, butcher, monster and cannibal are spoken softly in fear of being overheard. His spies are everywhere. His empire spans the remains of the entire West Coast. But his need for power is all consuming so he invades the Colorado Freeholds and the Nation of Deseret (formerly Utah) and he hasn’t forgotten about gaining control of the top secret weapon that can assure him of world domination.

On the moon, where the crew of the International Space Station relocated to survive, a mutiny is brewing. The population is growing, resources are getting scarce, their power supply is failing and people are getting sick of military rule.

There’s also a growing fear that if anyone on Earth gains control of The Weapon they’ll use it against Luna City and plans are hatched to destroy the space based laser.

Meanwhile, Havoc’s twin is hurtling toward Earth and that weapon is the only thing that can prevent another Dying Time.

“AFTER THE DYING TIME” has received more than one hundred great reviews. You can find it here.

 

http://amzn.to/29ozBtb

 

As a boy of ten I stumbled upon Andre Norton’s post-apocalyptic tale titled “Star Man’s Son” and thus began a life long love affair with apocalyptic fiction. I’ve been an avid reader for more than fifty years now, but the novels that finally pushed me over the edge from reader to writer were a pair of classics. Stephen King’s “The Stand” and Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle’s “Lucifer’s Hammer” did the trick. They captured my imagination and inspired me to begin writing about my own apocalyptic vision.

Please visit my author website at www.RaymondDeanWhite.com and check out my other books as well as my Dying Time Newsletter. Those signing up received a free copy of my non-fiction Prepper book, “BUGGING IN: WHAT TO DO WHEN TSHTF and YOU LIVE IN SUBURBIA.”

Follow Raymond Dean White On Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest!