This Week’s Prophet of Doom: Terry Tyler!

Author Terry Tyler

Our Prophet of Doom this week is the author of post-apocalyptic, dystopian and dark psychological fiction, all available on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited. Terry likes sunshine, history, trees, TV binges and long, long walks, is a reviewer for Rosie Amber’s Book Review Team, and is currently struggling with a sudoku addiction problem. She lives with her husband in North East England. Here’s a link to Terry’s various projects!

Copper: What was it that drew you towards dystopian/apocalyptic fiction?

Terry: I love The Walking Dead and other post-apocalyptic TV series and films, as well as books of the genre—survival in exceptionally adverse circumstances pulls me in every time, especially when those circumstances mean the collapse of society as we know it.
I’d wanted to write my own post-apocalyptic novel or series for a while before I felt confident to do so, then in 2016 I had an idea about a virus manufactured for the purpose of targeted depopulation, in which the UK is used as a pilot for the rest of the world, with each citizen’s chance of survival dependent on certain behavioural factors.
This became Tipping Point.

My books are always character-driven; what interests me most about post-apocalyptic scenarios is how the survivors adapt. Some flounder and rely on others, some accept and make the best of their new circumstances, others flourish as natural leaders—and then there are those whose dark side comes to the fore.

I wrote my dystopian series after reading about Agenda 21, now known as the Great Reset—a fictional take on how it might play out.

I think my interest in the genre also derives from a slight obsession with clearing the slate and starting again; an escape from the limitations of ‘civilised’ society.

Copper: Fictional social media platforms play a big role in your books. Which social media platform seems the most likely to bring about a dystopian future?

Terry: Hard for me to say, as Twitter is the only one I use! I write the fictional social media platforms in my books simply for realism, because the real life ones feature so prominently in many lives, and are used to influence the thoughts of the public in a much more developed way than many people realise, with thousands of fake profiles employed to push agendas. Maybe Facebook is the answer to your question, as it’s a bit ‘lowest common denominator’, but I’m not sufficiently up on the ins and outs of TikTok and Instagram to be able to comment. Then again, I do see some TikTok posts on Twitter which make me fear for the generation growing into adulthood now.

Copper: What post-apocalyptic stories (movies or books) have influenced you most?

Terry: The Walking Dead (TV rather than comics)

A little known novel called The Turning of the World by John Privilege – it’s about a pandemic, set in Ireland. Stunning book, I’ve read it a few times; it made me think, I want to write my own.

A zombie apocalypse book called Great Bitten: Outbreak by Dawn Peers, which was my first foray into the genre. The author sent me a short story that would become the novel – I didn’t think I’d like it but it was something of a ‘Eureka!’ moment.

Some people have asked if Tipping Point was influenced by The Stand; a chapter in the latter about how Patient Zero spreads the virus is not dissimilar to the scenario I produced in my own book, but I didn’t read The Stand until a couple of years later. It’s now one of my favourite books.

Copper: What one song would you hope survives the apocalypse for the sake of helping you maintain your sanity?

Terry: Oh, these one song, one film or one book questions! So hard to answer. I recently did a five part series on my blog of my 100 favourite songs, and named Black Water by The Doobies as possibly my favorite song ever. It’s so smooth and chilled out, and makes me nostalgic for a time and place I’ve never visited.

Then again, there’s One Way Street by Aerosmith. Or Gimme Shelter. No, sorry, it’s impossible!

Check out Terry’s Tipping Point, the first in her Project Renova series!

(Links in descriptions may be affiliate links. I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you.)

This Week’s Prophet of Doom: Franklin Horton!

Author Franklin Horton

Author Franklin Horton has exactly the background and storytelling skill needed to deliver high-octane post-apocalyptic thrillers. As you’ll see in this interview and in his books, he’s seen humanity at its darkest but doesn’t fall victim to pessimism. His books are gritty, but in the end, they are tales of survival, not defeat. (Links in description may be affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you).

Copper: What was your favorite book as a child?

Franklin: Farley Mowat’s Lost in the Barrens. Written in the 1950s, it was the story of two kids surviving a winter in the arctic. I read it over a dozen times.

Copper: Prior to becoming a full-time author, you’ve held a diverse range of jobs such as radio announcer, substance abuse educator, retail store owner and carpenter. Which of those jobs was best as far as providing you with material to use in your books?
 
Franklin: Definitely being a substance abuse educator. Besides teaching me a lot about human behavior and motivations, it showed me that substance abusers are a good example of apocalyptic behavior because they’re already living in their own personal apocalypse. Their desperate search for drugs mirrors how people might lose sight of their own morality in the post-apocalyptic search for food.

Copper: When it comes to apocalyptic societal collapse, are you more afraid of man-made catastrophes or natural catastrophes?

Franklin: I think natural catastrophes are far more likely to impact most people. I always tell people that I don’t prep because I’m afraid of EMPs. I prep because I know that all of us will at some point be impacted by flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, ice storms, blizzards, or something along that line. Everyone should have the ability to filter water, heat their home, and cook without relying on grid power. As far as man-made disasters, I don’t fear a sudden event as much as I fear the slow erosion of freedom, our rights, our financial security, and personal prosperity.

Copper: What one song would you hope survives the apocalypse for the sake of helping you maintain your sanity?

Franklin: Probably a good strong blues song like Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Pride and Joy. Nothing like the blues to remind a person that they can find joy even in the face of despair. That’s a recurrent theme in my books. If you can’t find happiness in the apocalypse, is there a reason to keep going on?

Here’s Franklin’s latest book, The Death Dealer’s Manual: Book Seven of the Mad Mick Series!

Post-apocalyptic Non-fiction?

As we lurch further and further into a future of danger, chaos and growing uncertainty, has the idea of post-apocalyptic fiction began to feel less and less fictional? And not just because of the continued threat of COVID, but also the panic and cultural upheaval that has accompanied it. 

It doesn’t help matters that talk of an upcoming vaccine, far from quelling the political storm, has simply nudged the storm in a different direction, spurring on the rhetoric of anti-vaxxers, conspiracy theorists and — surprise! — political opportunists

Allow me to move the topic to a selfish place: What does all this mean to fiction writers?

If Amazon’s book charts are any indication, the pandemic’s deadly spread has been a boon to writers of viral apocalypse novels. Apparently, people like reading deadly fictional tales that mirror the real-file horror of our daily lives. Does this make sense?

It’s not usually the case that people like fiction that close to home. I’ve known a few war veterans in my life and none seemed eager to immerse themselves in the fictional accounts of violent conflict. Nor do most abuse survivors relish tales of violence and torture. 

Maybe it’s different when the apocalypse is happening generally to the world, but not to you and your family or circle of friends. 

It seems to me that people like fiction that hits close to home — but not too close. 

What do you think?

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