A short interview

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As part of THE AFTER WAR’S ongoing book tour, here is an interview I recently did for Straight from the Library blog. As you’ll learn, I really do hate dog-eared book pages. Here’s a link to their site, which also has links for a $20 Amazon gift card giveaway. Check it out: Straight from the Library

 

What is the favorite book you remember as a child?

Hatchet was the first book that I read myself and enjoyed. It’s a great book for a young boy, it’s full of action and adventure.

Tell us about your current book in 10 words.

Two years have passed since mankind faced extinction

What are you reading right now?

I’m reading a few. I’m re-reading The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks and Hot Water Music by Charles Bukowski. I’m also reading Swan Song by Robert R. McCammon for the first time.

E-Reader or print? and why?

They both serve a purpose. I like having a physical library in my house, where I can see and flip through my books on a whim. But I also think my e-reader is extremely useful. Having the world’s largest library on my nightstand, or backpack, or luggage during a trip, is amazing. It took me a while to get used to an e-reader, but now that I have, I like them equally.

One book at a time or multiples? Reading or writing?

The answer to both is multiples. However, I’m now going to try to be writing only one book at a time. Flipping back and forth between books, along with working a full time job, gets to be a bit much.

Dog-ear or bookmark? (don’t worry—Librarian Judith won’t hold it against you—much)

Bookmark. Or a scrap of paper, a Post-it, or anything really. Dog-ear is a big pet peeve of mine, seeing someone do it gives my anxiety for some reason.

Favorite book you’ve read this year?

The March by E.L. Doctorow

When do you do most of your reading?

Before bed. I used to be a big morning reader, and would like to one day get back into the habit, but ever since my daughter was born (about three years ago) I no longer have mornings free.

Do you loan your books?

Yes, all of the time. There a few that don’t leave the shelf, but if I think a friend would really like a book and I’m nervous of losing one of my more prized paperbacks, chances are I’ll buy them a copy.

Favorite book to recommend?

That depends on the person. The book that I’ve recommended the most is The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks. Now, I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone, it’s a very disturbing book. But when I find the right person, I typically buy them a used copy from Amazon. I think I’ve given away about ten copies of that book.

Character Interview with General Karl Metzger

 

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As part of my ongoing blog tour, the following character interview was conducted with one of my favorites from THE AFTER WAR: General Karl Metzger. To read the blog post from its original source, click the link below.

Book tour & giveaway – The After War by Brandon Zenner

*****

Character interview

Interview with Karl Metzger

The following interview was conducted under circumstances that I was fooled into believing were for the good of fellow survivors. General Karl Metzger is the leader of a well-equipped band of mercenaries, calling themselves The Red Hands.

***

I waited for Karl in a small room, ruined by war. I had been escorted through the town of Odyssey under escort, and the smell wafting from the guards was horrific. One of Karl’s men stood by the door, an assault rifle strapped over his chest, and a thick, red handprint plastered over his chest, which is a symbol of their order. After a half hour the door opened, and in walks a towering man wearing crisp army fatigues with a sidearm strapped to his belt. The man shone a brilliant smile of straight white teeth, and shook my hand with ferocity. He introduced himself in a bellowing voice, and we sat.

***

Interviewer: Hello. My name is Brandon Zenner. It’s a pleasure to meet you.

Karl: Likewise. I do hope you will find Odyssey to your liking, and your accommodations pleasurable. Would you care for a cigar?

Interviewer: I generally don’t smoke … but I suppose I can make an exception. Thank you. About the accommodations, I will be leaving shortly after the interview.

Karl: My home is your home. Stay a while and have a drink with my men—the finest assortment of fighting men you will find, this I assure you. I hear you’re a writer, a journalist. Not long ago, I would have thought your job to be an extinct practice. But I now see the errors of my ways. You have purpose to me.

Interviewer: Well … I see. Shall we begin?

Karl: Yes, of course. Ask away. (Karl leans back, putting his feet on the table, and for a moment the creaking of the chair suggests the wood might break under the man’s strong frame)

Interviewer: Fellow survivors speculate about your past, and some people believe that you might not even exist, and the tales of your exploits are only meant to intimidate your enemies.

Karl: Ha! Well, you see me before you, do you not?

Interviewer: Of course. But for the people out there, can you give me something from before the war and disease to prove your existence? Rumors have it that you were once an inmate in Hunterdon—

Karl: (Takes his feet off the table) Let me ask you this: would like to have your every fantasy played out? Would you like to live like a king?

Interviewer: Is this leading to an answer to my question?

Karl: Outside, there are three women, picked from the plunders of war, their beauty unparalleled in this existence or the next. They are yours, Sir Zenner.

Interviewer: I’m not sure how this pertains to my question.

Karl: It pertains to my question: a job offer, with a rank among the brotherhood befitting a man of your stature. My own minister of propaganda. Your words can have an advantage for me.

Interviewer: I … I’m not sure this is how an interview is conducted. I still have a number of quest—

Karl: I know (he leans across the table, the smoke from his cigar escaping with each word) how an interview is conducted. This interview is for you, not myself. Your words are mine to use and own.

Interviewer: I think—

Karl: Guard. (The man in the corner snaps to attention) Lead Sir Zenner to his accommodations. And please, make him feel welcome.

Guard: Yes, sir.

Interviewer: What the hell is going on?

Karl: (Stands and walks to the door) I will have an assortment of delicacies brought to your room; preserved meats and fruits, and the finest alcohol ever made. If you fancy something harder, we have a plunder of cocaine, heroin, pills. You will grow to see things our way.

Interviewer: I have people waiting for me. They’ll know if I’m missing!

Karl: That’s of not consequence.

***

It’s been a week, and I have not been let out of my room. But I do have a window with a swift stream flowing under, and not to sound like some hopeless romantic, because that is hardly the case, I do hope that someone finds my message in a bottle. These men, I fear that if I don’t do as they say, they will kill me. I’m in the town of Odyssey, follow the stream, and please, by God, help me …

*****

The After War

Top Ten Survival Items

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In participation with Fabulous and Brunette Blogspot, I put together a top ten list as a guest post on her site. I’d like to share with you what I came up with. 

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Top Ten Survival Items

If a doomsday event was imminent, whether by war or disease, the end result would be the same: the majority of the population would be wiped out, whole nations eradicated, and depending on the type of apocalyptic scenario, rivers, oceans, and large landmasses may be intolerable to life. So, on that happy note, if you were survive the apocalypse, what are the top-ten items that you would bring to keep you alive? Below, I compiled a list, making a few items a bit broader to encompass categories rather than specific components.

10) A large, weatherproof backpack
Even if you escape the apocalypse by car, and are fortunate enough that the roadways are clear to drive over, eventually you’ll have to traverse the land by foot. Gasoline will spoil in time. Even with stabilizers, fuel will go bad in anywhere from a couple of months to a year or two, when stored correctly. So, make sure you have a backpack large enough to hold all of your supplies when the time comes—because you’ll need it.

9) A compass
Let’s face it, we’re all now accustomed to hearing a pleasant sounding robot voice direct us to our destination, right from our cell phones. We even get updates when a bit of traffic will delay our commute by five minutes. But do you think our electronics will warn us when a roving pack of cannibals are causing a delay around the next bend? Certainly not. In a doomsday scenario, learning how to use a compass correctly will get you to that lake on the map rather than the mountainous edge of a cliff.

8) Spare clothing
Not only will your shoes wear thin much faster than you’d anticipate from the countless days of walking, your shirts and sweaters will get contaminated over time by a mixture of dripped food and body fluids. And don’t get me started on those nasty septic socks you’ve been wearing for days. Have spare clothing, and keep what you’re not wearing as clean as possible. Hygiene will be tough to keep up with, but an infection from a cut, or even a slight cold, can turn deadly fast.

7) Tools
An axe and a shovel are the most important. Not only will they help protect you when all else fails, and the zombies are overrunning your ability to reload your gun, they will be used for chopping wood, digging fire pits, and breaking down locked doors to storerooms full of supplies. You need good, heavy-duty tools.

6) Medical supplies
Remember when I said a slight cold could turn deadly? Well, here’s your solution. Get bandages, burn creams, ointments, and pills. If you can, stock antibiotics, IV drips, hypodermic needles, and painkillers. Get everything and everything that you can, because you don’t want to run out of Imodium AD when a case of explosive diarrhea comes about. The microscopic world of bacteria is far more deadly than the burnt shell of the earth you’re traversing.

5) Protection
What do you do when a violent, infected man turns his sights on you? When he comes running, mouth foaming, dark eyes bursting with disease—what are you going to do? Simply shoot him in the head and go about your business. This item can easily be moved higher up the list, especially with the case of having a good knife. Something big and strong, like a Ka-Bar or a fixed-blade Buck knife. But you’re going to want guns too, if you can get your hands on them, and plenty of ammo. A hunting rifle, a shotgun, and a pistol would be a good combo. But if you can get an assault rifle, preferably one that can support a scope and be used for long range hunting, that’s all the better.

4) Shelter
A quick, lightweight pop-up tent can be a lifesaver when the nights dip below freezing, and the winds come a-howling. But let’s face it, eventually the skin on a tent will rip, wear down, and let in the elements. As will a tarp. So when that time comes, and you’re all alone in the heart of the woods with the bogyman stumbling about, you’re going to want to be in a shelter. That’s why I want to broaden this category to learning how to make fast and easy shelters in the wild. A quick lean-to, a leaf hut, or an igloo will save your life. Google them now, before the cyber storm shuts off your computer permanently.

3) Fire
Another category that can easily be moved to number one. Fire. It will be needed for warmth, boiling water, sharpening spears, and keeping away the wolves and the undead. Bring lighters, weatherproof matches, and a good flint or magnesium fire starter. And just to be safe, pack a magnifying glass.

2) Food
Again, I want to broaden this category beyond the MRE’s, dehydrated meals, and the simple high calorie survival bars, that look and taste like wood. You need to eat; it’s as simple as that. Before you die of starvation, your brain will get cloudy and your body will be lethargic, making it all the more easy for that grizzly bear to finish you off. Learning a few basics about hunting can turn your rehydrated slop dinner into a lovely roasted venison loin. And even more important—learn how to forage. There are plants everywhere that can keep you fed. Seriously, they are all around. How do you think those expensive bags of greens wind up at the supermarket? Heck, I have those same plants growing in my backyard. If you don’t have time to learn from a professional survivalist how to identify plants, get a few books on the subject and pack them along. I recommend Tom Brown Jr.. His knowledge of wild plants is extensive, and he explains how to turn them into medicines and remedies.

1) Water
Are you surprised this in number one? Probably not. You will die if you don’t drink water, faster than it takes for the zombie virus to turn you undead. You have to drink. But carrying water is not enough. Pack a filter, iodine tablets, and a pot to boil the water in. Also, bring a length of plastic sheeting to make a solar still; it’s easy to do, and you can extract the water from any ground—even dessert sand. To make it, dig a hole and place a cup in the bottom. Cover with the plastic sheeting, use rocks to secure the edges, and then place another light rock on the center, above the cup. Moisture will form on the tarp through condensation, collect and drip into the cup. This can also be used to purify tainted water, even urine. Delicious, right? And if you want to be fancy, bring a length of plastic tubing to be used as a straw, so you won’t have to dismantle the still to get at the water.

***

That about sums it up. There are countless items you may want to add to your doomsday bag, but you will never know what they are if you don’t learn and prepare. When it’s time to hit the road and fend off the cannibal hoards, I hope you’ll be ready.

Bon Voyage!

-Brandon Zenner

 

Welcome to Brandon Zenner w/ #Dystopian #book ‘The After War’ @SlapstickII @GoddessFish

Casey's Corner

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Today we have author Brandon Zenner visiting. Welcome!

What would you like to tell readers about yourself?
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* Brandon Zenner is an American fiction writer and an Amazon best selling author. His short fiction has been published in both print and online publications, the first being submitted when he was 19 years old. THE EXPERIMENT OF DREAMS, his debut eBook thriller, has reached Amazon’s best seller list many times. His second novel, WHISKEY DEVILS, was released in early 2016. THE AFTER WAR, a dystopian thriller, is available now as a pre-order, at 80% off the final sale price. You can follow the author on his Amazon page, or through his email list on his website. All email subscribers will receive his futuristic short story, HELIX ILLUMINATED, for free as a thank you. His genres of choice are thrillers, crime, dystopian, and science fiction.

Today Brandon Zenner will be talking about…

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Book Release and Blog Posts Galore.

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Today is the day—THE AFTER WAR has been released! It’s been a crazy few months getting early editorial reviews, and trying my hardest to promote the novel while it was on pre-release. I’m happy to say that all of the early editorial reviews have been positive, and the first part, TO ALICE, has made it to the quarter finals in the BookLife Prize in Fiction, run by Publishers Weekly.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be featured on various blogs and websites, featuring interviews, top ten lists, guest posts, and in one instance, a post I made conducting an interview with one of my characters in THE AFTER WAR. That one was a blast to write. I will be re-posting some of the various posts here as they are published. For now, check out this list of sites that are featuring THE AFTER WAR today, right now, during its launch. I will be stopping into each site multiple times during the day to answer any questions and talk to anyone  who may want to chat.

1: Fabulous and Brunette
2: T’s Stuff
3: Book Giveaways
4: Kit ‘N Kabookle
5: The Avid Reader
6: Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin’
7: Sharing Links and Wisdom – review
8: Blog of author Jacey Holbrand
9: The Silver Dagger Scriptorium
10: Liz Gavin’s Blog
11: Randy Ellefson’s Fantasy Blog
12: BooksChatter
13: Welcome to My World of Dreams
14: It’s Raining Books
15: Wake Up Your Wild Side
16: Mixed Book Bag
17: The Silver Dagger Scriptorium
18: Houston Havens
19: Dina Rae’s Write Stuff
20: Hope. Dreams. Life… Love
21: Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer
22: Author Deborah A Bailey
23: Books,Dreams,Life
24: Queen of All She Reads
25: The Blackwood Blog
26. Harlie Williams, Writer
27. Ms. J Mentions…
28. Harlie’s Books
29. Readeropolis

Last but not least, here is the link for the book: THE AFTER WAR