Courtney Konstantin - A Different Type of Doomsday Book
Living outside of Portland, Courtney Konstantin loves the green and beauty Oregon offers. When she's not matching wits with her children, her crazy Siberian Husky or her bi-polar cats, she enjoys binge reading, hikes and touring wineries. She's especially fond of life, laughter and sarcasm - and she's excited to share all of that and more with her readers. As our Author of the Day, Konstantin tells us all about her book, Prepared
Please give us a short introduction to what Prepared is about.
Book one of the Sundown Series, Prepared, is the story of Alex Duncan - a mother, sister and daughter of a prepper. Over the years, Alex had let some of her prepping upbringing go, but then society falls to a zombie plague causing her to reach deep inside for all of her father's lessons. Her goals are simple. Survive, protect her children and get to her family compound in Montana. She quickly finds that help is not on the way and the living human race needs to rely on each other to survive through the apocalypse.
What inspired you to write about a doomsday prepper's worst dream come true?
The idea was really cooked up by a friend and I. We live on opposite coasts and we always talk about what would we do if an event happened that caused the fall of the known world. Where would we go? How would we stay in touch? That was when the idea was born for this series. And I added in zombies, because who doesn't like zombies!
Tell us more about Alex Duncan. What makes her tick?
Alex is often in her own head. Her father raised her alone and her childhood was far from normal. As she raised her own children it was important to her to raise them in a normal life, have normal things, go to normal schools. But when everything begins to fall apart, Alex finds herself grasping at her father's lessons to take care of her kids. Their safety is her number one priority. She can also not turn her back on other people and at times she wishes she could.
Prepared is your debut work. What has the experience been like so far?
Writing Prepared and actually FINISHING it was a dream come true. I have wanted to be a writer all my life, and yet I just never got there. It was a huge accomplishment for me when I hit publish. Things just continued to move from there. I wrote two additional books for the series. The series was picked up by an audio publisher and is also available on Audible. I never expected to have the reviews and followers that I have now. It's all very surreal.
How likely, would you say, is your Doomsday scenario? What did you do to make it feel realistic to your readers?
I realize that zombies are probably a scientific impossibility (though there are some strange things going on out there). But I believe in any sort of apocalyptic scenario, humans are going to behave generally the same. I try to lock onto how I wish I could act on my own. I think about some of the worst people that are out in the world today and write about how they won't get any better when there are no constraints on their behaviors. I write about how people would be desperate and do things completely out of character, all in the name of survival. I think this is what relates to my readers the most.
Alex sometimes allows her emotions to influence her decisions. How dangerous is that in a survival situation?
Alex is ran often by her heart, instead of her head. That is not a typical doomsday prepper type of behavior. There are times when she wants to help people, or trust people that end up being to her detriment. She chooses human life over retribution and I know that has struck a few readers wrong. Alex doesn't believe in killing unless her life is directly in danger. So when she can find another way out of a situation, she takes that. I believe Alex would be the type of leader needed to help build something new after everything we knew fell to ruins.
In which way is Prepared different from other post-apocalyptic books?
When I wrote Prepared I wanted it to be about a strong female, a mother, someone that could handle her own. It's rare to see a woman, let alone a mother with children in tow, save the day in the zombie apocalypse. Though there are male characters in the story, Alex could manage everything on her own as necessary.
What are you working on right now?
I am working on book 4 for the Sundown Series now! I never anticipated the series to go on four books, let alone two. Book 4 will be back to Alex, focusing on her a few months into the apocalypse. She's going to be plagued with doubt and anxiety around the responsibilities she has been faced with. And nothing ever is safe when the world is no longer ran by law and order. The threat from the third book will continue and the Duncan family will need to keep looking over their shoulder!