The second book in the Brushfire Plague series, The Reckoning is out. A brief description from the author:
The Reckoning begins as the Brushfire Plague that has crippled the globe slowly loses its lethality, only to be replaced by the harsh reality of its origin and what this will mean for civilization.
Driven by his obligation to honesty at all costs, Cooper Adams has made himself a wanted man by exposing the truth he has learned about the plague. After being rejected by those who once viewed Cooper as a hero, he is forced to go on the run with his 11-year old son and his few remaining allies. As he tries to escape to the safety of his friend’s rural hideout, Cooper is faced with the challenge of doing what it takes to survive, while trying to preserve his son’s slowly disappearing childhood innocence.
The Oregon that Cooper witnesses along this journey only resembles fragments of the state he calls home. Death and despair are unavoidable and lawlessness is slowly taking over. When he reaches his final destination where he can go into hiding and protect his son while digging more deeply into the truth behind the Plague, Cooper finds himself in the middle of a town’s political and social battle for dominance. When his son is taken as a hostage by a power-hungry local, a guilt-ridden Cooper must use his increasing bravery and leadership skills to gain the trust and support of doubtful residents in order to save him.
I reviewed the first book, and had good things to say about it. This time I was fortunate to have the opportunity to interview the author, R.P. Ruggiero:
1. Most of our readers live in big cities, and it is a big concern that cities will become unsafe in a disaster especially a pandemic. What would you advice city dwellers on improving their chances to survive a large scale disaster?
Water. Store what you can, but invest in water filters. The gravity-fed ones by Sawyer are around a $100 but will filter thousands and thousands of gallons. Of course, the Berkey filters are the holy grail if you can afford them. But, get your water straight. Then, is food. Store at least one year if you have the room–but do whatever you can. For “less than full collapse” scenarios, even a month supply will put you ahead of most people in the city. Finally, you’ll need to secure your dwelling and/or have plans to do that. And, if you plan on having a gun on hand, which I recommend, get trained on how to use it and please keep it away from the kids!
2. What role does having a community play when a disaster happens?
To me, nothing is more important. Humans live in a society because there is safety in numbers. Now, a crisis or disaster scenario can flip that–but having a group you can trust will put you in a much better survival situation. For example, the ‘neighborhood defense’ scenario I set up in Brushfire Plague is actually what happens in real life. And, the neighborhoods that rally to their own defense are typically left alone by the bad guys! Beyond the added defensive capacity–you gain access to more resources, skills, and the support a group gives you will be beyond valuable when and if the SHTF.
3. Many preppers are surrounded by family and friends who do not prepare. What advice would you give them?
Honestly? Give them a copy of Brushfire Plague or other prepper or apocalyptic fiction. I’ll never forget when my wife finished reading Octavia Butler’s “Parable of the Sower” and literally looked up from the book and said, “I now know why you have all those guns.” The other way to go is to just get them talking about natural disasters and how we might all be ready for them….that’s one way to get others started on the road. I don’t think preaching or telling people they are wrong or stupid ever gets anyone to do anything!
4. Please tell us a bit about your background.
Think the strength of Chuck Norris with the street smarts of Ray Liotta and the wisdom of Buddha and you’ll have a pretty good picture of me. Nah, just kidding. Well, I grew up loving to read apocalyptic fiction so I guess I’ve always been thinking about how to be ready for “the end” since I was pretty young! And, in my adulthood, I work with groups that experience a high degree of stress and challenge to achieve their goals. So, that really helped me focus on group dynamics in the Brushfire Plague series.
5. When is the third book scheduled for release? Any plans for other books?
My plan is to release it by early 2015. I don’t believe in just churning books out as I want to maintain the high-quality writing I feel I have established. I take my relationship with my readers as a bit of a sacred trust, so this is important to me. And, then, I hope they return the favor and do reviews online and tell their friends! I will finish the Brushfire Plague’s core tale with the third book. But, I might continue in that world with some or all the characters. Or, I might launch into a new story. In any case, I will definitely keep writing! It’s a joy and the feedback has been extremely humbling and rewarding.
Our thanks to R.P. Ruggiero for the interview as well as the giveaway!
Have you considered what steps you would take in the event of a pandemic? What would you do?
The winner* will be chosen at a random “Pick a Giveaway Winner” drawing on Saturday, February 1st at 8 pm Central.*Winner will be notified via email. Winner must reply to email notification within 48 hours or another winner will be drawn.