Both LIFE AS WE KNEW IT and THE DEAD AND THE GONE balance a grim envisioning of what the future would hold in the wake of a natural disaster. Yet underlying both books is an undercurrent of hope. Can you discuss your thoughts on the importance of hope in the wake of a global catastrophe?
I am by nature a very optimistic person. I always think things will work out okay. Sometimes I'm wrong, and I can see how being optimistic can blind you to reality. But optimism is just as much a part of me as nearsighted green eyes.
I'm also a very self-pitying person, so if I were stuck in a global catastrophe, I'd be cranky and hopeful simultaneously. In other words, no sane person would want to be anywhere near me.
In any disaster or end of the world themed book, religious issues naturally are going to come into play. The treatment of religion in THE DEAD AND THE GONE and LIFE AS WE KNEW IT differs greatly. Can you give us your thought process on this topic and why you chose to have characters within the dead & the gone turn to religion more so than in the first book?
In this series, there are so many questions unanswered and things left unsaid, especially with minor characters like Chris Flynn or people like Miranda’s father and stepmother. Do you have a clear idea of where you’d like to see this series taking you in the future and how it will all end?
It turned out a lot of kids wanted to know what had become of Dad and Lisa. I was surprised at how much interest there was in their fate. I knew when I wrote the third book (This World We Live In) that I could only bring back one or two characters from Miranda's life, so I chose to have them return.
Reading LIFE AS WE KNEW IT leaves the reader desperately wanting to stockpile canned goods and prepare for emergency situations. How do you think you’d fare in the wake of a disaster – did writing this book inspire you to put together some survivalist type plans of your own?
What do you think would be the hardest thing about trying to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of a global disaster?
If there was one messages you’d like readers to walk away from after reading this series, do you know what that would be?
THIS WORLD WE LIVE IN a sequel to both LIFE AS WE KNEW IT and THE DEAD AND THE GONE will be published on April 1st 2010. For fans of this series, can you share with us a teaser from the book or give us some inside scoop as to what we can look forward to?
What other upcoming projects are you currently working on that you can share with us?
Maybe I'll even find the time to buy a flashlight!
It's been over a month since Miranda Evans has written in her diary, a month of relative calm for her and her family. It's springtime, and with warmer weather comes rain, and the melting of the winter's snow. The shad are running in a nearby river, and Miranda's brothers Matt and Jon leave home for a few days to see if they can catch some to supplement their food supply.
When they return, Matt brings with him a girl named Syl, who he introduces as his bride. But that's not the only shock Miranda and her family have to deal with. A few weeks later, Miranda's father, stepmother, and baby brother show up at her door. Accompanying them are three strangers, a man named Charlie Rutherford, and two teenagers, Alex and Julie Morales. These five people have crossed America together, becoming, in their own way, a family.
Miranda's complicated feelings about Alex, curiosity, resentment, longing, and passion turn into love. Alex's feelings are equally complex. His plans to escort Julie to a convent where she can be taken care of, so that he will be free to enter a monastery, are destined for failure. He wants desperately to live up to his moral code, but his desire for Miranda is too strong. He proposes to Miranda that they take Julie and go to a safe town.
But before Miranda and Alex can go off together, a devastating tornado hits the town of Howell, and in its aftermath, Miranda makes a decision that will change forever her life and Alex's, and the world that they live in will never be the same.
NOTE: THIS CONTEST HAS NOW CLOSED
If you are a fan of the series or are eager to start reading them, here is your chance to get a sneak peak look at this much anticipated novel.
All you have to do is leave a comment for Susan with your email address.
Bonus entries for everywhere you link/post about the contest too!
Open to all US residents
Contest Ends 1/1/2010