Thursday, July 6, 2017


I’m a writer. I write about life, love, truth, and conflict. I can imagine just about any eventuality given enough time and quiet. It’s a problem. 

When one of my gang is late for a family meeting, dinner, or activity, I can have them stripped naked, bleeding from their temples, and thrown in a ditch before I’ve set the table. I can’t help it. It’s a job hazard. 

My imagination is an excellent asset, except when it’s not. 

When creating a story, an author is encouraged by the gods of writing to take her beloved characters, chase them up a tree, and then throw rocks at them. Sometimes those beloved characters get stuck up in that tree, and the author has to figure out how to get them out of there. If a rock hits them in the head, they fall out of that tree dead.

What? It happens. In my brain.

After writing my first book in the Strandline Story Series (Beyond the Strandline) I had an advanced copy reader email me and ask, "But you're such a nice lady, how can you write such terrible things--and about children?"

Because, when writing apocalyptic grid collapse scenarios there are a lot of people up trees, even children. If the lights should go out, electric quits flowing, and the pumps shut off the world will stop being quite so fast food convenient and friendly. It's said that the US is seventy-two hours away from anarchy because that's when the food runs out. It's a genre that lends itself to all the troubles necessary to write intense, realistic fiction. Food isn't automatic. Water is life and death. Enemies are endless. Sex is serious business--again. 

Prepper fiction is a target rich environment for an author.

Fiction creates an opportunity for readers to explore life events vicariously, to work through trouble and tragedy by looking through the window of a novel into the lives and troubles of characters who've been run up a tree. It is a safe way to prepare, to process, to contemplate possibilities. 

My family thinks I'm a doomsday diva, claiming that I've probably dug a secret bunker someplace, where I've stockpiled huge mounds of dehydrated broccoli. No. But if I had dug a secret bunker, I'd hide it under the foundation of the barn and use old freezers as waterproof storage units, but it would be hard because the water table is pretty high in Florida so I'd have to figure out how to keep my bunker dry . . . 

See? Up a tree, with people throwing rocks.

Don't think it could happen? Neither did the Venezuelans, the Syrians, the Bosnians, Europe after Hitler, the Ukraine after communism . . . 

Linda (Read More Books) Zern 

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