This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com
Today we are featuring Through Many Fires by Kyle Pratt.
What is it about? Through Many Fires is a work of fiction that has the following Amazon book description: “Terrorists smuggle a nuclear bomb into Washington D.C. and detonate it during the State of the Union Address. Army veteran and congressional staffer Caden Westmore is in nearby Bethesda and watches as a mushroom cloud grows over the capital. The next day, as he drives away from the still burning city, he learns that another city has been destroyed and then another. America is under siege. Panic ensues and society starts to unravel. Through Many Fires is the bestselling first book in the upcoming post-apocalyptic Strengthen What Remains series.”
Below is my interview with author Kyle Pratt.
1. Most of our readers live in big cities, and it is a big concern that cities will become unsafe in a widespread disasters such as the ones described in the book. What would you advice city dwellers on improving their chances to survive a large scale disaster; or is survival in rural areas the only way to go?
Cities like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles are not going to be livable in a major, grid down, disaster. Food would quickly disappear from the stores and water stop flowing from the tap. You might as well be in a desert.
I live in Washington State. In any major disruption of the complex web of services that make up life today Seattle would be unlivable, but law and order, and life in general, might be maintained in Spokane.
Find the medium or small town and move there. If your job requires that you live in a city I’d say the smaller the better, or move to the suburbs. Wherever you are store enough food, water and fuel to get out of town. Know beforehand where you are going and two or three ways to get there. Buy a gun and learn how to use it.
Also, get to know your neighbors. In a disaster it is nice to have friends on your street. Organize a neighborhood watch.
Preparing is like insurance, you buy it and hope you never have to use it, but when you need it you’re really glad you have it.
2. How fast do you think society would unravel if a string of disasters were to happen?
In a grid down situation society will unravel quickly. When water stops flowing from the taps panic will ensue. Food will disappear from the stores within three days. People will start leaving the cities and that will clog the freeways. Gridlock will exacerbate the all of the problems. Think of New Orleans and hurricane Katrina.
3. Please tell us a bit about your background.
I grew up in the mountains of Colorado before the Internet and out of the range of television and most radio stations. Before moving there I had never read a book, but one day during junior high in a moment of desperation I picked up a science fiction novel by Robert Heinlein. Before I graduated from high school I had read every novel Heinlein had written at that time and many other books by Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke and others.
Since that first day I have been a constant reader of both fiction and non-fiction. I developed a keen interest in apocalyptic fiction and have read all the classics in the genre including, Alas Babylon, Earth Abides, On the Beach, I Am Legend and Lucifer’s Hammer.
I earned an Associate in Arts degree from Mesa State College in Grand Junction. When money for college ran low I joined the United States Navy as a Cryptologic Technician. I thought I would do four years and then go back to college. Sometimes life doesn’t work out the way we plan.
My first assignment was with a U.S. Navy unit at the Royal Air Force base in Edzell, Scotland. While on leave in Israel I met Lorraine Best from Plymouth, Devon, England and married her in her hometown the next year. Our first son was born while we were living in Scotland. Together we spent the remainder of my twenty year naval career traveling around the world to Guam, Japan, Hawaii and other places.
Even before I retired from the service I was writing short stories. I released my debut novel, Titan Encounter, in July of 2012. My second book, Final Duty – The Speculative Fiction Anthology, was released in January of 2013. Through Many Fires was released last August. All of my books have been on Amazon bestseller lists. Through Many Fires is still a bestseller.
For the last seven years I have lived and worked as a teacher in the Yup’ik Eskimo village of Eek, Alaska and during the rest of the year I live on a small farm in Western Washington State. Yes, it’s a really long commute. Now that my writing is taking more of my time, and earning me more, I will probably retire to the farm at the end of this school year and just write.
4. How much research did you have to do while writing this book? How long did it take to write?
As I said, I spent 20 years in the navy, and my youngest son served in the Army so, we had the military culture, lingo and equipment pretty well covered. I did read several eyewitness accounts of nuclear explosions for that part of the book. I don’t dwell on technical details like some survival novels do, but if I mention a radio, gun or some piece of equipment the details were either known to me or my son personally or I researched it to ensure it was correct.
I added a glossary to the back of the book so those unfamiliar with weapons and military terms would have easy access to the information.
Through Many Fires took me well over a year to write, but I can’t say exactly how long it took because I don’t remember precisely when I started.
5. When is the next book scheduled for release? Any plans for other books?
I’m currently writing a sequel to Through Many Fires titled A Time to Endure. That novel will be released later this year, but I don’t yet have a release date. I’m planning a three or four book series. I don’t know what I’ll write after that, but I will be writing.
If you readers send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “A Time to Endure Release” as the subject I’ll add their email address to the list of those to be notified when the book is released, or they can sign up for the free monthly newsletter at http://www.kylepratt.me In the next few months I’m going to release draft chapters and the cover design for A Time to Endure in the newsletter.
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