Friday, 10 April 2015

07:52 – I got a couple dozen chemistry and forensic kits built yesterday, just in time to fill overnight orders. I’m working on more biology kits today.

This week was consumed by taxes and kit stuff, so I didn’t get much done in terms of prepping. Here’s what I did to prep this week:

I almost gave up on it early, which would have been a mistake. Here’s an email I sent to the author yesterday (which includes minor spoilers):

Hi, Steven

As a prepper for more than 40 years, I downloaded your Jakarta Pandemic a few days ago when Amazon had it for free. (I’m giving away my age group when I tell you that my first reaction to the title was that you’d misspelled Djakarta…)

I really wasn’t expecting much. I’ve seen so many post-apocalyptic and prepping novels by self-published wannabe authors that I’ve come to expect them to be mediocre at best and usually just about unreadable. I was surprised to see that you’re actually a pretty talented writer.

I’ll admit that my first reaction to many of the points that “Gunny” raised in an early one-star review of the book was complete agreement. I liked Charlie Thornton as soon as you introduced the character and your initial representation of him as loony-toons nearly turned me off reading the rest of the book. I’m glad I continued. Gunny’s other points about Alex breaking his own quarantine rules and so on seemed valid until I realized that most people think they know what they’d do in a given situation but when faced with that situation may in fact take completely different actions. People are nothing if not unpredictable.

Same deal when Alex faces down Manson and his goblins. I agreed with Gunny that Alex would have to be nucking futs to go into that situation voluntarily with an empty shotgun. I’d go into it with my shotgun in Condition One. Hell, Condition Zero.

But as I read and thought about what you wrote I realized that you had in fact thought all of this through and were writing Alex as a nuanced character, as subject to doubt and inconsistencies as any real human. That’s when I realized that you were a real writer, so I immediately bought the first book in the Perseid Collapse series, just to make sure it was queued up and waiting when I finished the first book.

After reading the Perseid Collapse, I went over to your website and downloaded book two in that series and then turned around and bought book three. Now I feel guilty because I have four of your books and got two of those for free.

Incidentally, if I have one criticism of Jakarta, it’s that I found a lot of stuff that the proofer should have caught, from simple typos to sentence fragments. This was particularly evident in the last half of that book.

As someone who’s been writing professionally for 20 years, I can’t imagine not using a “kitchen cabinet” to catch stuff like that. I’ve used volunteer proofers/editors for every book I’ve written, and they’re very good at catching stuff before the publisher’s copy editor sees the manuscript. And not just typos and barbarisms, either. I’m currently writing a non-fiction prepping book, which I’ll self-publish in print with Amazon CreateSpace, and I have quite a few volunteers who make substantive comments on the content itself. They’ve made me rethink in several cases.

At any rate, congratulations on your prepping novels. Any more in the works?

Best regards.

Bob

So, what precisely did you do to prepare this week? Tell me about it in the comments.