Tuesday, March 21, 2017

On Hiatus...

Just a quick update for those who follow this blog...

The Chowmageddon articles and interviews will be returning, as well as some other stuff I had planned for April's A to Z Challenge, I've just been a little pre-occupied of late...

February ended in a bang, or rather, a snip, when an AT&T contractor cut my line while installing at the neighbor's house. That killed my internet, phone, and TV for a weekend, and involved much yelling at AT&T.

March started with our dog sick... when I came home to check on her on my lunch hour one day, I found a big contractor dumpster in our driveway. It was delivered to the wrong house, but getting that squared away, and getting it moved, took half a day.

Throw in my eldest's theater season, with daily rehearsals after school, and my youngest's tennis season starting up (with practices after school) and it's been hectic.

Then my wife had a car wreck.

Some idiot pulled out in front of her from a stop sign. That disabled our new car we got back in October. Well, I say new. It was a 2011 Subaru Forester with 31,000 miles on it that apparently spent most of it's life in a garage. It looked brand new, with nary a scratch or ding anywhere on it. Fabulous car, that we were lucky to find.

So now, on top of everything else, I have to take the wife to doctor's appointments, make calls to try and get insurance to pay for everything, make arrangements to get another car, etc. etc.

And since not enough of your friends are buying my books, I still plug away at a day job as well.

Time has been a commodity I am in very short supply of.

Hopefully, things are settling down and I can return to my regular weekend and evenings writing schedule, and get this thing going again.

Until then, thanks for checking in every now and then...

Thursday, March 02, 2017

CHOWMAGEDDON: Post-Apocalyptic Author Lawrence Herbert Tide

As part of the ongoing Chowmageddon series, I talked to Post Apocalyptic Author Lawrence Herbert Tide about eating after the End of the World...

1. How long have you been writing post-apocalyptic fiction or non-fiction?

I’ve been writing about nine months, the time I’ve needed to write this ebook which is my very first Novel; until then, I only had written a few short stories and Novella, some of them only in French at first, before writing also in English (using the service of Editors-Proofreaders to improve the quality of the texts).

2. What kind of apocalyptic event do you find most interesting?

In the case of this Novel, I wanted to have fun by writing my first Zombie Horror story, having usually been more attracted by Science Fiction. Of course, I could’ve written a SF Novel concerning the survival in an Alien invaded world, with human beings fighting to survive (what happens to Tom Cruise and his character’s family in the movie War of the Worlds is really interesting, by the way). 

3. What kind of apocalyptic event do you fear the most?

I have difficulties to choose between two events, more realistic than a virus transforming human beings into cannabalistic monsters: 

- The collision of a giant meteor.
- The eruption of a super volcano of the Caldera type.

In both cases, survivors will have to cope with the coming of the equivalent of an Atomic Winter, which would stop the arrival sun’s rays on the surface of the Earth, meaning the disappearance of agriculture, and famine for billions of people.

4. Are you a prepper? At what level do you consider yourself?

I’ll classify myself as a beginner by saying that I’m interested by the survival subject, and if ever world havoc arrives, at least I’ll have had thoughts about it. 

And I can only hope that if ever hell on Earth arrives, these reflexions will enable me to save my family and myself.

5. Where do you think the ideal place to live is prior to an apocalyptic event?

A farm would be the ideal place to live, for me, in the case of an apocalyptic event. But not an ordinary farm : a farm surrounded by walls, a citadel.

Because it would enable one to protect oneself and one’s precious food products from other humans, whether they would be normal human beings or zombies.

6. Shelter-in-place, or bug out?

Shelter-in-place will be the preferred option for me, and that’s why in my story, survivors of the zombie apocalypse take shelter in a huge fortress-like structure called the Community. Because with such harsh conditions for survival, I think that the financial system would disappear, replaced by a more communal way of life.

7. What do plan to eat in the apocalypse?

Mainly products of hydroponics or aquaponics, but also insects, larvae and… maggots.

8. What foods do you regularly stock in your home that would be adaptable to a post-apocalyptic situation?

Notably rice, pasta, even if I must admit that, for the moment, I haven’t stockpiled.

9. What is your preferred preservation method for post-apocalyptic foods?

Canned and vacuum-packed food are and would be my favorites.

10. What's the primary factor for you in deciding on a survival food? Taste? Weight? Nutritional Value? Ease of preparation?

Being a French gourmet because of my culture, my natural tendency would be to be attracted by tasty food. Now, I’m a realist person, and I would at least chose nutritional and easy to prepare food.

11. What's the worst "survival food" you've ever tasted?

I’ve never eaten what I would classify as « survival food » : insects, maggots, and… human flesh.

Perhaps, well prepared, are they delicious, LOL ?

Like many men of my generation, I had to serve as a military, in the French Navy. I ate once a food ration, during a long walk.

I found it rather tasty, while others hated it, one of them telling to our superior authority that he wouldn’t ever give such a food to his dog. Perhaps this means that I would be a good prepper, if I’m able to eat many things ?

12. What's the best?

I love potatoes, like the character in the novel The Martian. 

I’ve heard that human flesh has the taste of pork, something that I love to eat.

But I wish that I’ll never be forced to eat such a thing. For me, human beings are too precious to be undermined as food.

13. Any special survival recipes you have up your camouflaged sleeves?

I love to eat great cooking by my wife and restaurants, but I’m a very bad amateur cook myself.

So, I don’t have any survival recipe that I could use…

But I think that, when one’s forced by events, one can find great resources in oneself, so I think that I would be able to adapt. 

14. What's the best survival food tip you've ever heard?

When motivated by hunger, I think that anyone would find solutions enabling to open tin cans or any other food package. Concrete surface, rocks, sticks.

Frankly ? I think that learning how to use firearms or arrows and bows efficiently, for hunting, would be the ultimate solution for survival.

You can learn more abut Herbert and his upcoming Zombie Trilogy at his blog, http://lawrenceherberttid.wixsite.com/tidesworlds