The end of the world is now. G. Allen Mercer is the author Worst Case Scenario: The Series, the story of one family's fight to survive in a world that's gone insane after the apocalypse hits. As a lover (and writer) of post-apocalyptic and survivalist fiction myself, I was very interested in Mr. Mercer's story. Check out this interview with the author, and below that, my review of the first installment of the three-part series.
Tell us about Worst Cast Scenario.
Worst Case Scenario is a series of Ebooks that follow the Burrows family after America has been attacked with nuclear, biological and electromagnetic pulse weapons.
The ‘back jacket’ reads:
If disaster ever struck, everyone in the Burrows family knew the plan. They had prepped for disasters or terrorists situations for years by quietly training, stockpiling food, and educating themselves about the enemies of America. It was a day that they hoped would never arrive.
But, hope was not enough.
When a nuclear bomb detonates in Atlanta and the rest of the United States is paralyzed by an EMP attack, Ian, Leah and Grace realize something very important; planning and reality are two different things.
Faced with being separated on the day of the attack this family of preppers will need to find ways to get to each other in order to survive. But in order to make that happen each one will have to endure the societal fabric of the country ripping apart at the seams. They will have to evade the freakers, the rogue gangs that have taken the law into their own hands. But most importantly they will have to escape an invasion force intent on choking out those that resist.
Being prepared is only the beginning. Having to fight for survival is entirely something else.
Are you prepared…prepared to fight for your life? Are you prepared for the Worst Case Scenario?
Why do you write post-ap and survival fiction? How did you get started?
I have been writing my entire life. As a kid, I actually owned a mechanical typewriter, and wrote some of my first stories using a bottle of White-Out instead of a delete button.
I wrote for the newspaper while at the University of Georgia and then copy for the largest advertising agency in the South.
I published my first book, Justin Flowers and the Orb of Time in 2003 and then took some time off to start a company that was outside of publishing.
A few years ago, I had an awakening of sorts and have rekindled my passion to write. In 2014, I published Underlying Grace, which is a fiction book about man’s relationship with God. The sequel, Mighty To Save is due out this summer.
But, to answer the question about post-apocalyptic writing: To me, writing post-ap allows me to write action adventure in a world that is not too removed from current reality. My readers don’t really have to take too large of a leap to land in the WCS world…it could really happen at any time.
I also have to credit one of my friends for reengaging me into the genre. I wrote sci-fi and post-ap during college, but never published the works. Now that I’m back, I love it!
What is your favorite part about post-apocalyptic stories? Do you think there are any lessons to be learned in survivalist fiction?
Some of the reviews of my work that gives me the greatest smiles are the ones where people say that they learned something. I especially enjoy when I hear that something that I wrote made someone actually consider the ‘what if’ in life.
In the post-ap genre, there is a glorification of the breakdown of society and the very virtue of being human. In my books, I try to maintain the semblance of normalcy…even though the world is spinning out of control. Some people have said that kind of writing makes my stories ‘smaller,’ but I really see them as more focused on how people really feel and act.
At the end of the day, why should someone in my story give up their ethics just because the world has changed…it changes every day, yet, we try to maintain who we are. If we didn’t do that, we might have to shut the door on humanity.
What is your favorite post-apocalyptic movie or television show? What kinds of books inspire you?
As far as modern writers go: One of my favorite, and formative writers was Tom Clancy. The Hunt For Red October almost made me join the CIA! I am also a fan of the super rich writing of George R.R. Martin. I picked up Game of Thrones in the Atlanta airport, when it first came out in paperback, and did not say a word to anyone on the plane ride to L.A. J.K. Rowling rounds out my ‘modern’ writers.
As far as classical goes, H.G. Wells, The Time Machine and Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities might be my favorites. Finally, I’d have to say, Robert Louis Stevenson and Treasure Island.
As far as television shows and movies go, it is all over the range, with a heavy dose of Sci-fi over post-apocalyptic: Star Trek (Next Gen & Voyager), Star Wars, Terminator series, Battlestar Galactica. Early Post-Ap movies would be Escape from New York, The Road Warrior (Mad Max), and Blade Runner. World War Z is my only token zombie anything. I don’t do zombie.
What is your advice to aspiring writers in this genre?
My son is one of those aspiring young writers, and my advice seems to vary with each new book that I publish or with each new review, blog, tweet, you name it. But, I do have a few, very clear and stable pieces of advice about writing in general and then one big one about writing in this genre:
1. Do not try to BS the reader. They are smarter than you think and someone is going to call you out on it.
2. Write what you know. If you don’t know something, learn about it.
3. Make it fun and entertaining.
4. Don’t assume that readers know what is in your head and how you got there…tell them.
5. Be VERY passionate about writing. When the creativity juices are flowing, don’t stop…when the juices have dried up, keep writing…that’s why we edit!
About writing in post-ap or dystopian: Humanity does not die just because a bomb dropped, or the grid is dead, or Facebook doesn’t work anymore. Make your characters human; make your characters real and make them with emotion. It is those types of qualities that will pull us all out of our Worst Case Scenario!
Any new projects coming up?
Worst Case Scenario: Conclusion is book # 4 in the WCS series. Due out in July.
Mighty To Save: part of the Underlying Grace series is also expected out in mid-summer.
I release a blog about every 2-3 weeks discussing how crazy society is…usually with an underlying tone of humanity or Godly grace.
Finally, I am working on a cross over project with my son, Justin A. Mercer. He is a senior at Auburn University working on his second book. We are collaborating on a series where his story line will intersect the story line of Worst Case Scenario…it’s cool stuff to work with your kid!
Connect with the Author
Worst Case Scenario: Book One
Worst Case Scenario: Book Two Bug-Out: Book Two
Worst Case Scenario: Book Three Invasion: Book Three
Worst Case Scenario: Book Four Conclusion: Coming July 2015
Underlying Grace: Kindle
Mighty To Save: Underlying Grace Series: Coming July 2015
Justin Flowers and the Orb of Time (Re-release, Winter 2015)
Summer's Review of Book One
This is the story of one family versus an EMP. Because I write post-apocalyptic fiction, I appreciate the time and thought that the author obviously put into creating the story. The Burrows is a family that has put some major planning into their survival blueprint in the event of an earthquake, fire or....hey, the END OF THE WORLD!
I liked how the characters were bound by something more than mere survival; they were bound by a love for each other, which is always so refreshing to come across in survivalist fiction. It really gives the characters a stronger motivation than merely just "staying alive." I enjoyed this little adventure from beginning to end - there's really no wasted time at all!! Fun for anyone!