Monday, August 25, 2014

Why are Dystopian and Post-Apocalyptic Stories So Popular?

Over vacation this year, I read The Giver, by Lois Lowry. It was an outstanding dystopian novel, penned back when dystopian literature hadn't yet hit the level of Hunger Games or Divergent popularity. So what has spawned the rage of these modern stories? Post-apocalyptic literature and dystopian tales are more popular than ever before. Perhaps it's the fact that, as the world becomes increasingly modern and interconnected through technology, people see mirrors of their own societies in books. Maybe it's the fear that at some point, life as we know it will change, and we will be forced into a new way of living. 

Post-apocalyptic survival stories play, in part, on people's fears. We live in a world that is so incredibly futuristic by 20th century standards (cellphones, electric cars, touch screen technology, social media, electric cookware, etc.), that we can't help but wonder what would happen if it were all gone. This premise, of course, is why I wrote State of Emergency and began writing survivalist/post-apocalyptic novels. Everyone wonders what would happen. Books show us how it might play out. 

So, perhaps we see dystopian in our own futures, or even a total collapse. Post-apocalyptic ties into dystopian, because a dystopian story always comes after an apocalyptic collapse of some sort. I'm not saying that there's going to BE a collapse - I'm just saying that the idea those scenarios are very realistic...and that is one major reason books like In The After by Dimetria Lunetta are so popular. It makes it real. 

What do YOU think?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Summer Lane Projected Series Timeline

As you know, I'm pretty busy. I'm working on four projects at the moment, and I took the time a couple of weeks ago to answer the most frequently asked questions about The Collapse Series and Day Zero. Now that we're more than halfway through the year and things have evened out a bit, I have decided to release a basic timeline for all of my upcoming releases - including the ones you don't even know about...yet! *wink* 

October 2014: Day Zero 

January 2015: Book Five (yet untitled) of The Collapse Series 

April 2015: Day One (Book 2 of Zero Trilogy) 

June 2015: Brand New Book and Series Release. I can't wait to share this one with you! 

Please realize that as the dates get closer, I will reveal more information about each project - I just can't quite yet! The book slated to release in June 2015 is currently underway, and will be the beginning of a new series. I'm very excited. By next year, I will have three series available, as well as a curriculum program with different grade levels. As soon as I return from vacation in the mountains (these glorious hills!), the rest of 2014 and ALL of 2015 promises to be busier than any other year so far. Here's to writing! *cheers*

Monday, August 18, 2014

Back to School - Back to Writing

Let's just take a moment to appreciate the fact that we all learned how to read in school. Reading is the best gift ever (well, one of them!), and it allows us to jump into amazing stories. All we have to do is sit down and go for it. With the school year kicking into high gear, I got to thinking about all of the past semesters in which I juggled tons of homework with tons of writing projects. How is it possible to maintain consistent writing habits when you're in high school, college, or even just working a full-time job outside of writing? Here are some tips that came in handy for me when I was a student: 

  • Treat it like homework. Let me put it this way: if you really want to be a successful writer, despite the fact that you're taking two thousand units (or something like that), you've got to make time to write. So, treat it like a very important homework assignment. It's just something else that you're doing to further your skill-set and education. Plus, making yourself write every day will do something else; it will enforce something that is rarely (if ever) practiced in high school and college: SELF-DISCIPLINE. Really. You'll be a better person for it. 
  • Stay inspired. All work and no play makes Jack (or Jill) a dull boy (or girl). Give yourself the creative freedom and space to want to write. Don't write during the last five minutes before bedtime - writing three sentences between brushing your teeth and gargling with salt water doesn't count. Set aside quiet time. Relaxed time.  Writing shouldn't be a stressor. It should make your life better. 
  • Keep Reading (And Watching). This is a great excuse to browse the bookstores and watch the newest movies at the theater! Keep up with the latest trends in literature, explore new genres and always remember to have fun! 
  • Don't make excuses. Don't let someone talk you into doing something other than writing during your designated writing time. DON'T DO IT. Once you start, you can't undo the bad habit. Writing time is only for writing time, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise (unless it's an absolute emergency, but you see my point, right?). 

Monday, August 11, 2014

What I'm Reading on Vacation This Year

Vacation. It's the magic word that makes it all better, right? At least temporarily, anyway. This year, I've got a stack of books - both e-books and paperbacks - that I plan to read while on vacation. Of course, I'll be writing a lot while I'm backtracking in the wild frontier of the Sierra Nevada Mountains (read: I'll be sitting on the cabin steps, watching the squirrels chase each other in circles), but reading in the midst of the pines and the cedars is a favorite past time of mine. Here are the books that I'm bringing with me this year. I hope I'll get to read most of them! 

The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
This murder mystery by the brilliant author of the Harry Potter Series is something I've been wanting to read for a long time. Looks like I'm finally getting my chance!

Finding Emma by Steena Holmes 
A little girl goes missing. Was she kidnapped? We can assume so. Her mother goes haywire trying to find her, and all is not what it seems in the quiet neighborhood in which the mother lives. I found it on Kindle for just 1.99, and it looks like a good dramatic tale. 

Goddess by Anthony Summers 
This one is non-fiction. It's a biographical account of Marilyn Monroe, and anybody who knows me knows that I love old-Hollywood biographies. I've only read one on Monroe so far (when I was a newly minted graduate from High School), and I'm eager to learn more!

900 Miles by S. Johnathan Davis 
A zombie adventure that I've heard has a lot more heart than it does splattered brains. Hopefully. I got it for just 2.99 on Kindle, and you can do the same! 

Insurgent by Veronica Roth 
Yes, I know! Insurgent came out a LONG time ago, but it's been a busy year and I've finally got time to read it. I loved the first installment so I'm looking forward to this one. 

Outpost by Ann Aguirre 
The sequel to Ann's first post-apocalyptic novel, Enclave. I loved the first - I checked it out at the library - and I can't wait for this chapter of the story!

The Sentinel by Jeremy Bishop 
This was mailed to me at some point last year (or was it this year...?) and I don't know much about the storyline, other than the fact that it's supposed to be pretty scary. *hides*

In the After by Demitria Lunetta 
I cheated on this one - I've already started reading it! It's GREAT so far. One girl versus an alien takeover. The good kind of survival story. I'm loving the main character, Amy. She begins as a spoiled brat and evolves into a totally macho survivor of an extraterrestrial apocalypse. Girl power. 

The Giver by Louis Lowry
This dystopian book was written some time ago, and it's just now being made into a feature film that I'm very excited to see. But first, I'm going to read the book. Because I CANNOT watch a movie before reading the book. I just can't, people! 

Home by Frank Peretti  
Because I apparently haven't read any Frank Peretti books since I was a kid (I blame the children's section of books at the campground gift shop where I vacationed as a child), and I'm game to try one before I turn 21 in less than a month. We'll see. 

Friday, August 1, 2014


Title: Day Zero 
Author: Summer Lane 
Series: Zero Trilogy 
Publisher: WB Publishing 
Release Date: October 2014 
Cover Artist: Arkadiusz Ostrycharz 


Elle is a survivor.

Since the collapse of modern society, she’s been living in the ruins of downtown Hollywood, California, foraging for food and fighting for her life.

And then everything changes.
After Elle is forced out of her home, she heads north. What she finds are the remains of a juvenile delinquent camp, a group of unlikely comrades and the hope of a safe haven. Together, they journey toward the remains of civilization, facing starvation, imprisonment and death.
They are alone, but they are ready.
The end begins today. On Day Zero.

Day Zero is a Young Adult post-apocalyptic survival/adventure novel. 

Add Day Zero to your to-read shelf on GoodReads