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Like most Moms, A.R. Shaw worries about her kids. She never dreamed the worrying would lead her to write a post-apocalyptic series.
SHAW
“I began thinking along the lines of survival,” says Shaw. “If he needed to get home, how would he do that? What route would he take?”

This line of thought sparked her imagination. From that she createdGraham’s Resolution series featuring Graham Morgan.

Many post-apocalyptic books contain protagonists aware of forthcoming disaster. Shaw wanted something a little different.

“I wanted someone who was much more realistic,” she says of character Graham. “A clueless guy who wasn’t prepared and scoffed at the mere mention of preparedness.” She created Graham and then threw him to the wolves.

Shaw creates her characters from scratch, deciding on features as she goes. Not one to write bios or sketch out her characters, she “thinks about them until I can stand next to them and breathe the same air they’re pulling into their own lungs. Then I know I’ve got them.”

As a former Radio Operator in the United States Air Force Reserves, then a wife and mother of four children, Shaw doesn’t hesitate to throw herself into a task. She wrote The China Pandemic, Book 1 of Graham’s Resolution series in three months. As the kids had all left home, she had only her dog Oakley and the tick-tocking of the clock for companionship.

Solitude is a necessity for writing, but in Shaw’s opinion, the storytelling is equally important. “A story that’s unique and intriguing, [that’s] the most important aspect of writing a story.”

Shaw’s father was in the oil business. This afforded her opportunities to experience life in different countries. She remembers monkeys swinging from tree to tree while living in Venezuela. “It makes for an interesting upbringing and coping mechanisms.” As a result, Shaw read a lot as a child and draws from her personal experiences in her writing. “Growing up that way also makes for a heightened sense of humor.”

One of her childhood experiences helped set the tone for Graham’s Resolution series. During hurricane season in Texas, people were expected to prepare for the worst. “We prepared so that we didn’t starve waiting for someone to help us. We kept drinking water available and extra canned food before we needed it.”

During a panel discussion at the Long Beach Comic Expo, part of the discussion revolved around post-apocalyptic scenarios. Shaw’s comment, “I think if society falls you will see the worst of humanity and the best of humanity,” was well-received as well as poignant.

Like many writers, Shaw has a long list of writers she admires: Hemingway, Steinbeck, Stephen King and Ann Quindlen just to name a few.  Two authors she would most like to have a conversation with are Ray Bradbury and Ayn Rand. Bradbury had a “wicked way of foretelling the future. [Rand] was a master at description and I’d love to ask her many questions.”

Shaw has written and published two books thus far in Graham’s Resolution series: The China Pandemic and The CascadePreppers. The Last Infidels, the third installment, is due out soon. She is currently working on the fourth installment, as yet untitled. She also recently completed a novella for Stephen Konkoly’s Kindle World – Perseid Collapse series, Deception on Durham Road. Its release is slated for February 3rd.

To learn more about A.R. Shaw and her books visit

A.R. Shaw’s Amazon Page

Website

Follow her on Social Media:

Twitter: @arshawauthor

Facebook

Review of The China Pandemic 

Review of The Cascade Preppers

Pen has self-published 20 titles in print and e-book formats. Her latest endeavor, Nero’s Fiddle, is a fictitious account of an EMP attack on the United States with women heroes. Visit Nero’s Fiddle website, follow her on Twitter @penspen or visit her website at www.penspen.info 

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CHINA2Book II: The Cascade Preppers 

Paperback: 252 pages

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (June 8, 2014)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1500157244

Kindle: ASIN: B00KV27ZZA

The life of Graham and his newfound family (from The China Pandemic) continues. But life is anything but ordinary and mundane.

It is now winter in Graham’s camp, bringing bitter cold and snowy conditions. Without daily weather reports, snow falls unexpectedly. New skills have been acquired – such as ice fishing and tanning hides – along with new neighbors.

The Cascade Preppers just across the Skagit River escaped the onslaught of the pandemic by reaching their encampment before being exposed to the virus.

They are cautious neighbors. Just because they escaped the pandemic does not mean they are immune to it. Survivors of the pandemic are carriers of the virus.

Which means face-to-face contact with any of Graham’s camp is off-limits.

This does not preclude communication between the two camps. On the contrary, all are congenial when contact is restricted across the river or via radio.

When pandemonium breaks out with missing members of Graham’s camp – including Graham himself – as well as a fire at the Prepper camp, they realize they may need each other for survival.

Again, Shaw doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to the nasty side of survival in a world where even an old lady has gone mad. The kids in Graham’s camp are growing up more quickly than usual because they have to for their own survival.

Even the possibility of a pregnancy is a threat. Will the baby carry the virus? Will it survive full term? Would it reach adulthood? Should any pregnancy after the pandemic be aborted?

These questions were not issues before the pandemic but now must be posed in order to consider the survival of everyone.

It is especially gripping when everything begins happening at once: Disappearances, fires, potential threat of the virus entering the Prepper camp and a new arrival make for page-turning excitement.

The story itself could be a primer for survival: things necessary to stock up on, skills lost in this technological society that may come in handy should disaster strike, how to hunt wild game, all skills that may one day be re-established to ensure survival of man (and woman) kind.

Invest in this series. You may learn something that will one day keep you alive.

Another good read by A.R. Shaw.

Visit A.R. Shaw’s website 

Or purchase The Cascade Preppers here

Pen has self-published 20 titles in print and e-book formats. Her latest endeavor, Nero’s Fiddle, is a fictitious account of an EMP attack on the United States with women heroes. Visit Nero’s Fiddle website follow her on Twitter @penspen or visit her website at www.penspen.info 

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You’ve probably seen it in action. It was in the movies, The Matrix ansolar-flare-67532_640d Ocean’s Eleven. And because it was in those movies, you may have thought it was science fiction. It isn’t.

Both movies utilized something called an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP); one to offset the attack of machines, the other to wipe out electricity in Las Vegas. It has also been a major theme in several other movies as well as television shows.

An EMP is a surge of electromagnetic energy capable of rendering other electronics useless. A powerful EMP can destroy electronics indefinitely.

Google It

Do a Google search on the term and you will receive over 1 million results, including an article in the Wall Street Journal in August of 2014.

It is a growing threat, both from solar flares and potential terrorist attacks. There have been six recorded solar flare events since 1972 which produced Coronal Mass Ejections (CME) strong enough to disrupt electronics. There have probably been other events which went unrecorded in that time frame.

Some pooh-pooh the idea that we will ever encounter an EMP event, whether nature-made or manmade. But did we ever think the United States would be attacked on its own soil, as in the events of September 11, 2001?

Where Will You Be?

If you are in your home should an EMP event occur, consider yourself fortunate. You are sheltered and you have some food and water.

If you are in your car on the Interstate, life will be difficult. Your car won’t run if it’s 1980 or older due to all the electronics under the hood. Walking will be your only option. Don’t count on assistance from emergency personnel; your cell phone won’t work. Even if it did, transportation for emergency personnel won’t work, nor will any hospital be functioning.

If you’re at work, the story is similar. Elevators won’t work, nor will electronically closed and locked doors. You may be stuck there.

If you have loved ones in a monitored care facility such as hospice or nursing homes, those facilities will break down quickly. Staff at those locations will be desperate to get home to their families, leaving an overworked, tired and hungry skeleton staff to care for those who survive. GPS monitors will not work; any patients in those facilities may wander off and become lost.

There will be no functioning news reports via television, radio or the Internet.

It is a grim depiction of what life would be like with no electricity. It is frightening and a very real possibility.

Though I hope it will never occur, all that science fiction is catching up with us. Best to brace for it than be caught unaware.

Wall Street Journal article: http://on.wsj.com/1yumR5f

Pen is a self-published author with numerous titles. Her latest endeavor, Nero’s Fiddle, is a fictitious account of an EMP attack on the United States. It can be found here:

Amazon: http://bit.ly/1rsEQFX
Kindle: http://amzn.to/1z7sJpO
Smashwords: http://bitly.com/1FN1By3

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What would life be like without electricity? Without all the conveniences like cell phones, cars, computers, television and the Internet?power-line-433419_640

To say life would be different is probably the understatement of the decade if not the century.

Imagine: for entertainment, we’d have to read. Or go for long walks.

We’d actually have to talk to our kids. Play games with them. Games like Monopoly or checkers or chess: No more video games without electricity.

Think of how quiet it would be without planes zipping overhead. No traffic on the highway. No television or radio blasting 24/7. Wow, a person might actually be able to hear her- or himself think.

What would we think about? Well, without electricity, money is pretty much useless. How are you going to purchase something if you have no online access; if money cannot be transferred; if cash registers simply don’t register?

Why, there are all kinds of things to think about. Who you are and your purpose in this world. What your next meal will be and when (can’t keep groceries on the shelves without electricity). What you are going to do now without the convenience of electricity. Can’t get to your job; the car won’t run without working electrical components.

You’ll have time to think about – actually think about – your faith, belief system, spirituality and how you feel about it.

What to do, what to do?

You could learn to sew: May have to, now that you can’t purchase new clothes every other week. Of course, you’d have to use a needle and thread, sewing machines won’t work without electricity.

You may want to take up writing. Keeping a journal is fine way to while away the time.

Teach your children to love reading, to play hopscotch, to take joy in the simple act of chasing fireflies on a summer evening.

You’ll have to learn to wash clothes by hand and hang them up to dry.

You’ll also have to learn how to be satisfied with what you have. Consumerism would come to a complete halt without electricity.

Oh, and you’ll have to learn basic medicine. Hospitals won’t run without electricity. Nor will emergency vehicles and emergency personnel can’t be contacted by phone.

Give pause and give thought to all the things you would have to do without if there was no electricity, no communication, no transportation.

Where would you be? And what kind of life would you have?

It’s something to think about.

Nero’s Fiddle – a world without electricity – is coming 10/27/14

NEROFRONT

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