WWIV Book 1

FOUR WWIV Books are now available on Amazon.
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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

War of the Worlds: Part Two

Just before Christmas, I'll be releasing a prequel to my WWIV series. I wish I could tell you the title of this creation, but I haven't finalized that as of yet. The good news is it will be available for all types of e-readers for the holidays. The great news is that this prequel (primer) will be FREE!

So lake, tell us what happened - what caused WWIV

Sure, my pleasure.

Wait, no one really knows yet. Some say nuclear war, others vote EMPs. A few brave souls have gone with high intensity solar flares. But here's the point:

It doesn't matter what caused the event, it's how people deal with it

Really, trust me on this. I'll tell you exactly what happened to cause WWIV, but all in good time. Specifically, I'll lay out all the juicy details in Book Five, WWIV - The Truth. At least that's what I'm calling it right now.

However - spoiler alert - there will be hints in this prequel. But the prequel, much like my novels, will deal mostly with small bits of humanity; and how these tiny insignificant people try and exist.

You see, five weeks after our world (as we know it) ends, will anyone really care what caused it? Or will most people be busy trying to survive, trying to find fresh food and water, trying to find help for their medical maladies? You get the point.

Don't believe everything you see on TV

There is a popular show on one of the major networks portraying a similar situation as to what you find in my series. But here's the rub; these people on TV had it too easy. They had food and water (What a Miracle!) and only seemed to worry about getting the power back on. Hmmmm.

How much fresh water do you have at your house? Me - about a days worth. Food - I have plenty, but most of it requires cooking. And it's not very transportable. And here's a fun tidbit to add - the temp here this morning was 12 degrees. At least it was above zero.

So just who in the world, a world decimated by some unknown force/war, is going to have much extra time to go about trying to get the power back up and running? If it even will, people! Survival will become paramount. A few fights or stabbings over food, and we'll see what society looks like on the other side.

Enjoy Thanksgiving (here in America)! Eat too much, drink too much, and sleep too much. Who knows...this may be your last peaceful holiday. Until next time, read something to a child! They'll love you for it.


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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A short PA Tale (that's post-apocalyptic, in case you were wondering)

This week, I'm posting another cute little story I created in the past. I want to give you a taste of my writing flavor. Something you can read, free of charge; something that might interest you.

Enjoy...and remember, it's only fiction. I made it all up, really!


Just How Far Will You Go … To Survive

Put yourself in the shoes of any of the characters I’ve created for my WWIV series. Let’s start at the beginning.

Thirty days ago you awoke to nothing; a whole lot of nothing. The power was gone, none of your phones worked, your car wouldn’t even make a sound – nothing. You find yourself between grocery runs so your food is limited. The stuff in your fridge turned bad after a week; most of it at least. For some of it, you shrugged and told yourself, “I gotta eat.” Since then, you haven’t opened the door on that particular appliance; the foul odor is just too rotten to breathe. And worse, all the food in your freezer is dead to boot. Should have cooked some of that up on the propane grill earlier.

Fresh water is all but gone. You had some, but not what you’d call a lot. By the end of week three you took a sponge and mopped up whatever was left in the bottom of the tanks on the backs of your two toilets. Then you strained that tiny amount through a coffee filter, twice. And it still tasted iffy at best. No food is one thing. You're going to need water almost every day to survive.

So, are you ready to arm yourself and go find food and water by any means? No? Let me up the ante a bit then.

Your wife lies in your bed, ill. Something has invaded her body and she can hardly move without passing out. Maybe it’s something simple that antibiotics could clear up. But that darn pharmacy remains closed, tighter than Fort Knox itself. And maybe if you had enough food and water she could be on the mend. Proper nourishment helps. Ready to go rob the pharmacy yet? Wait, before you answer, let’s ratchet up the intensity a little more.

All you’ve had to eat, you and the wife, in the past three days is a handful of old stale Gold Fish crackers. But they weren’t from the pantry. No, these you found under the stove, petrified. You always wondered why the dog sniffed there so much. You would have eaten the last of the dry dog food, but that was for the kids. Oh, did I forget to mention your children? Two sons, 8 & 6, and a darling daughter, 4. Yeah, they shared the last of the dry dog food two days ago. And there wasn’t much left at that time.

The kids are lethargic; they stare at you dead eyed, begging because they’re so hungry and thirsty. When your daughter spilled the last cup of fresh water last night, your boys dove on the floor and licked it up, along with the dog.

Admit it; as a parent, a spouse, a human ­– you’re broken. You have to feed your family, yourself. Their lives, your life depends on you finding a new source of fresh water and food. Now are you ready to take up arms against your non-sharing, food-hoarding neighbor? I know my answer, I think. As for anyone else, I guess that’s a decision only you can make.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

WWIV - The Rational

Why would someone take the time to create a series about TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It)? Why not write juicy romance or steamy passion? Or perhaps historical fiction or even Westerns? Let me take a brief shot at explaining my motives to you today.

Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic Makes Great Fiction

Really, if you consider it carefully, this genre is one of the purest of all the fiction genres. Carefully the author plans out a world that has changed, but not completely. Humanity that has changed, but not beyond recognition. Landscapes that are similar to now, but different in so many ways.

When I watch Games of Thrones I marvel at George R.R. Martin's creation. I know it's been further fictionalized and exaggerated than in the books, but oh my...what a wonderful (and awful) world he made for our enjoyment.

Many things are the same: People communicate, they move about on foot or by horse, they have weapons (albeit primitive), and there is the constant struggle of good versus evil. Everything you could want in a dystopian tale.

That's the beauty of this genre; Everything is there for the taking, or - in some cases - creating.

Fiction vs Reality

How many times have you watched a movie and said, "it's okay, never happen, but kind of believable"? That's the point of fiction, right? To take us away from our predictable everyday world, and transport us elsewhere - a place where anything is possible.

That's the beauty I find in Dystopia. Remember, dystopia is simply the opposite of utopia. Utopia is where the world, or at least our immediate world, is perfect, wonderful...dreamy. Dystopia is anything but perfect and wonderful. Dystopian lands, and times, are full of mystery and fraught with danger. Danger from a lack of something in most cases. A lack of food; a lack of water; a lack of humanity.

If you want to know how bad the world can be, pick up a book on war. Whether it's about WWI or WWII you will find stories that seem almost impossible to believe. Some, because of their sheer brutality are truly beyond the scope of human comprehension.

War Is Hell

A few weeks ago I finished the book Unbroken. It's the story of American Olympian Louis Zamperini and his ordeal as a pilot in WWII. I don't want to spoil it for you; so all I'll say is that some of the Japanese were not nice to their captives during these terrible times. When examined closely, I found his POW ordeal more brutal than anything I've written thus far in my WWIV series.

Reality can be harsher than fiction at times.

I know a lot of authors like to use shock and awe in their creations. I have some, I must admit, but I use it sparingly. You see my novels aren't so much about the world gone bad, and all the awful things that will happen to people during dark times. I focus more on individual bits of humanity, bringing out the best I can find in people - even though the times are the worst.

I'll leave you today with one final thought on my dystopian creation. This statement summarizes how I view the genre; a genre I love to write about.

The WWIV series isn't so much about the end of the world, it's about how our humanity struggles at the end of the world.

Thanks for following. Take some time to give a child a great book during these upcoming holidays.


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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Why I love James Patterson

One of the easiest things to do in life is to give up. I know this for a fact; several times, I've done it - give up, that is. I won't relive these experiences here, but let me say something loud and clear: Never Give In or Give Up! You don't want to form a habit of doing something so self-defeating to yourself.

Now that I'm older, well - 55, I don't make a habit of giving up. Especially when it comes to my still nearly infant writing career. I admit, not giving up was made easier by selling a large number of my debut novel (WWIV - In The Beginning), but I still had two or three more manuscripts ready for editing before I released that book.

Book two of the WWIV series (Kids at War) is now available on Amazon Kindle and in paperback, also from Amazon. So I can't give up now, can I? Books three and four are in manuscript form with rewrites and edits beginning shortly. Sales are slow ten days in on this second book, but I have all the confidence in the world they will pick up sometime, perhaps even soon. I don't expect to sell as many of this book as I did with the first, and that's okay. I just hope people like it and it shows my continued growth as a writer.

It is said that the average self-published book will sell somewhere near 250 copies...in its life. Going in, we know - as writers - that the odds are stacked against our success. Thus, we need to measure success on a very personal level; using only our own expectations as a yard stick.

All I wanted to do with the first book was sell "some" copies. I still don't know how many I expected to sell, but as I close in on the 4,000 mark, I'm sure I have far exceeded any expectations I might have had.

But what if I had sold only 50 copies of the book. Would this have not also been a success given my lofty goal of wanting to sell "some"? Of course it would. Would I have thrown my hands in the air, proclaiming myself a failure if I was approaching the 55 mark in sales? NO! I had very low expectations for book one. AND, and this is important, I refuse to give up on this venture.

Why do I refuse to give up? Perhaps it's because I am about 80% stubborn Norwegian. Perhaps I'm too dumb to know any better. Or perhaps it's because I didn't enter this endeavor in life to become a huge overnight success. I wanted to write a few books, and - if lucky - sell "some" copies of each.

This is very cliche, but it bears repeating. Upon retirement, Harland Sanders realized his social security check wasn't enough to live on. So, he decided to sell the only thing he had of value; his grandmother's fried chicken recipe. After many, many "no thank you's" (by some accounts, well over a hundred), he finally decided to go it on his own and established his now infamous brand. That brand sold for $2 million later; thus, giving him a great retirement. And all of us "giver uppers" a grand story to live by.

You do realize that most of the Harland Sanders story is urban legend, right? Actually, the only part of the above that is accurate is the $2 million. And even that was only for some of the rights to his many franchises in the continental US. But it makes a great story. One that I've heard repeated so many times by motivational speakers that I've lost count of the number.

The point of this tale, though, is still valid - Never Give Up! I will rise again tomorrow and do more writing; whether my current novels sells "some", or not.

Until next week, don't give up on yourself. Read something positive and even motivational. But remember, everything published may not be 100% true. Take it all with a grain of salt.