Here's the New Southern Fugitives August 8, 2018 newsletter announcement of my contest win and book contract.
Grandma prepped for apocalypse, but when a solar pulse destroys modern life, traumatized teens may be her undoing.
Bea Crenshaw has seen disaster coming for years. She’s amassed secret stockpiles of food and gear and dug a hidden cistern that holds enough water to carry her large family through a long Texas summer. She thinks she’s ready for the worst, and it comes with a poison-spewing train wreck beside her Austin subdivision. While ash is still clearing from the air, the sun strikes Earth with a massive electromagnetic burst.
Left alone with four grandkids, Bea struggles to protect them from toxic surroundings, encroaching marauders, deadly disease, and countless other threats — all without power, cars, phones, or running water. Worse still, she has no idea if her husband and adult kids will ever return. Her one source of news is a radio ham who tells her the entire U.S. grid has been fried.
Bea shares her stockpiles with starving neighbors but insists they farm and collect rain in exchange for rations. But desperate hookups among teenagers lead to a series of disasters. If she can’t get her crops, her unstable heart, and her failing memory to behave, what remains of Bea’s family will end in the Texas dust.
My Southern literary speculative novel, IF DARKNESS TAKES US, is a more hopeful take on Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, an updated version of Pat Frank's classic Alas, Babylon. The story takes place in my own Austin, Texas neighborhood (slightly modified), where I’ve lived for 23 years in a solar-powered home, frighteningly close to the train tracks.