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What will we do when suddenly our power, our phones, and our cars don't work? What will we do when we realize our government is missing and we have no protection; no police, no national guard? What will we do when our food runs out or spoils, and fresh water becomes scarce? What will we do when we realize we are completely and undeniably on our own? What could possibly happen next?
What happens when IT happens?
Follow an ordinary man, Bill Carlson, through the first 30 days of the ensuing uncertainty. From his once quiet, now violent, St. Paul suburb; to the empty, and yet deadly, county roads of west central Wisconsin.
With limited knowledge of prepping, Bill must rely on neighbors for help. Why did he never pay attention to his “crazy doomsday” neighbor Scott? Now that the world, at least his world, is dark, Bill has so many questions. How can he possibly survive in this dark dystopian world?
Bill goes in search of his family, and finds so much more. Friendly people in small towns, other villages that allow no strangers, people searching for help, and people looking to take anything you might have – via any means.
Will Bill find his family, some 300 miles away? Will the power come back on after mysteriously going out? Will he be able to help others in times of need, much less himself?
WWIV has begun, and we’re only In The Beginning.
Interview With Author E.A. Lake
Can you talk a little about what the book is about?
WWIV – In The Beginning deals with what happens to our society, through the eyes of one man, when we lose things we hold so dear. Gone is all power and electricity, all electronic forms of communication, cars don’t run, and food and water quickly dry up.
Where did you get the idea for the book?
Actually it’s part of a dream, really a series of dreams, which I had seven or eight years ago. From that one set of dream I got the idea for this series and another series that is yet to be released, The Smith Chronicles. They were vivid movie length dreams; full of am entire cast of characters and a real good premise.
What message do you want readers to get from reading the book?
There is no message per se. I want people to read my books and enjoy literature. This novel is delivered in a causal story-telling method that you might hear around a campfire. The important message I have is simple. I want people to read more; engage their minds with various genres of fiction and non-fiction.
How long did it take to write the book?
I began writing this book on July 14, 2013. I finished the last sentence, of the first draft on September 4, 2013. That’s 52 days of creation. After that, of course, came rewrites, edits, more rewrites, beta-reading and one final round of clean up work. It was finally published on March 28, 2014. So from first word to published novel was close to eight and a half months.
Who is your favorite character, or what character was the most fun to write?
My favorite character actually comes along for only a few chapters, mid-novel. Jake Bellsing is an 18-year-old high school senior from nearby Balsam Lake, Wisconsin (called just Balsam by the locals). Jake is your typical late teen young man. His cares lie in football and what position he’ll play this coming season. He’s not too worried about the dark world closing in from all directions.
Jake has a real devil-may-care attitude towards life. When he runs into Bill, the story’s protagonist, he’s spent the last four days pedaling from Ankeny, Iowa, where he was visiting a young lady friend. When the lights went out, Jake figured it was as good a time as any to make his escape from his clingy female friend. Now he’s concerned about getting home to his mom and dad, and younger siblings. He figures no one has bothered to mow the lawn in the last four weeks.
Jake’s character came easy for me. I suppose because I too was 18 once upon a time. And like Jake, my life revolved around the current sporting season. When you come across him in this novel, I guarantee a smile will appear on your face.
Can you talk about how you wrote it? Did you do any outlining? Did it take you in any unexpected directions?
The first step to every manuscript I create is to throw down a general outline. It’s nothing formal or complicated. This outline serves as a guide as I move into the actual writing process. Next, I create each character in detail. Name, height, weight, hair color, eye color, personality, birthdate, parent’s names, hometown, education, etc…
I refer to my outline as I write to be sure I get all the major scenes covered. And I try to highlight (in the outline) two or three main ideas I want to get across in each chapter. But it’s my characters that run the show. They take me to some of the wildest places I could ever imagine. I find it funny how they take over the novel and it seems like I’m just along for the ride.
If you could go back and change anything in the novel, what would it be?
Not very much to be honest. The first couple of run-throughs I was having a problem with one particular character. On the road, Bill befriends a teen named Brit. She’s 14, from a dysfunctional broken family, moody, quiet – the whole thing for some teens of that age. I had trouble writing in her voice. A lot of trouble actually. My daughter gave me several well-written young female lead novels to read so I could attempt to make Brit a stronger character.
In the end, she ended up pretty good. But if I were to change on thing in the novel I might go back and make her slightly older. Maybe 17 or 18. But that’s really about it for changes.
How did you come up with the cover?
I worked on it with Laura La Roche at LLPix Design. I had a general idea of what I wanted; simple block letters to grab the reader’s attention, an ambiguous title, and muted standing corn in the background. Corn becomes a big part of the novel.
It took Laura and I several rounds to fine-tune things, but with the help of my family, and a lot of patience from Laura, we were finally able to get it just perfect.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
(I chuckle slightly as I begin). I always had an idea somewhere in the back of my mind I wanted to write a novel. I even put it on my bucket list when I turned 50. But it wasn’t until several years later that I finally decided to do it. And it was only going to be a one and done. However, after I completed the first one, a second poured out, then a third, and then more. It’s so much fun being a writer. Even if no one but my family ever reads what I create, it’s just a blast.
Short answer though, I knew I wanted to be a serious writer just over a year ago.
What was the first story that you ever wrote?
Back in high school, many years ago, I wrote a short story about an elk hunt. And I wrote it from the point of view of the elk, not the hunter. I remember creating the story as clear as day. My instructor, LB Rowe, hated the ending. Everything was great, he claimed, right up to the last paragraph. And then somehow the story failed.
I don’t remember much about the tale; that was a long time ago. All I remember, or at least what I have focused on since then, is making my stories have complete, sound endings.
What are you favorite books and authors?
Orwell’s 1984, anything by James Patterson, anything by Vince Flynn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. Classics and a little bit of high action spy CIA stuff.
What are you working on next?
Finishing the rewrites on Book One of my second Series, The Smith Chronicles. Books one and two are written, but they’re in rough shape. They were the first two manuscripts I wrote. So they’re sort of unreadable in their current forms.
What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Start writing. Do it now! Quit reading this and start typing. You’ve got something in your head dying to be released. So do it! Begin now.
I had no experience just over a year ago. Since then I’ve written five manuscripts. One of those manuscripts has become a novel. If I can do this, any one with a strong desire to tell a story can. Just be sure you have a good original tale to tell.
How do you juggle writing with family time?
I’m fortunate because my wife and I are empty nesters. So I have no real time constraints when it comes to writing. If I want to hide away all weekend and work on a manuscript or editing, I am able to. There are times when I’d rather be creating, but family calls. Realizing I have more time than most at my disposal, I can set my writing aside and come back to it later. Some days I write 8,000 words. Some days, 500 words are all I can manage. Take the good and the bad, and things seem to average out in the end.