Friday, 25 July 2014

BLOG TOUR - CALLER 107 BY MATTHEW COX

Title: Caller 107
Author: Matthew Cox
Publisher: Curiosity Quill Press
Release Date: 22nd July 2014

BLURB supplied by Curiosity Quills Press
When thirteen-year-old Natalie Rausch said she would die to meet DJ Crazy Todd, she did not mean to be literal.

Two years is a long time to be stuck between two people who want nothing more than to destroy each other. A tween crush on the larger-than-life jock from a local radio station is the only trace of a once-happy life ruined by warring parents.

Whenever WROK 107 ran a contest, she would dive for the phone, getting busy signals and dead air every time. She never expected to get through, but at least with her best friend at her side, it used to be fun.

Before her parents ruined that too.

Her last desperate attempt to get their attention, falling in with a dangerous group of older teens, goes as wrong as possible. With no one left to blame for her mess of a life but herself, karma comes full circle and gives her just a few hours to make up for two years worth of mistakes–or be forever lost.


BUY LINKS
Amazon US
Amazon UK
[Buy links coming soon]


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.

Hobbies and Interests:

Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- deliberate), and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it.

He is also fond of cats.

AUTHOR LINKS

***GIVEAWAY***
The Prize?
A signed paperback copy of 
Caller 107
&
$25 Amazon Gift Card

a Rafflecopter giveaway


***Goodreads Giveaway***
Enter HERE





BLOG TOUR - CALLER 107 BY MATTHEW COX

Title: Caller 107
Author:  Matthew Cox
Genre: young-adult, contemporary paranormal
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Cover Artist: Polina Sapershteyn (http://www.polinas-portfolio.com/)

Date of Publication: July 22nd, 2014

BLURB supplied by Curiosity Quills Press
When thirteen-year-old Natalie Rausch said she would die to meet DJ Crazy Todd, she did not mean to be literal.

Two years is a long time to be stuck between two people that want nothing more than to destroy each other. A tween crush on the larger-than-life jock from a local radio station is the only trace of a once-happy life ruined by warring parents.

Whenever WROK 107 ran a contest, she would dive for the phone, getting busy signals and dead air every time. She never expected to get through, but at least with her best friend at her side, it used to be fun.

Before her parents ruined that too.

Her last desperate attempt to get their attention, falling in with a dangerous group of older teens, goes as wrong as possible. With no one left to blame for her mess of a life but herself, karma comes full circle and gives her just a few hours to make up for two years’ worth of mistakes–or be forever lost.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey. 
Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- deliberate), and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it.




AUTHOR INTERVIEW

What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
I’d hope my name is somewhere at the top of this article, feels a bit awkward to repeat it. I was born in South Amboy, NJ, and living not too far away from it now in Parlin.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
I’d always been prone to creating stories and alternate worlds in my head, though I didn’t start off wanting to write. To be honest, in my school-age years, I was rather turned off on the whole thought of reading because it was mandatory. “Summer reading lists” annoyed me, being told what I had to read made me not want to read at all. I suppose that’s fairly typical for a kid, wanting to do the opposite of what you’re told. For me though, it left a lasting mark. Most of my creativity went into designing worlds and characters (and later systems) for roleplaying games. Writing started for me about twenty years (give or take) ago, in small bits and pieces and usually in support of building on the games I was making. As for what I wanted to be – I couldn’t decide. I dabbled in graphic design, technology, IT, even thought of getting into computer programming, but it never quite happened.

When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
At some point after people told me they liked what I’d written. I quipped the other day that “there is no art without doubt” and I am speaking from experience. I find the greatest reward in hearing someone connected with a story I wrote, and having been fortunate enough to be told that – I imagine I can be called a writer. It’s a difficult thing to pin down though, and subject to a lot of opinion.

Did it take a long time to get your first book published?
As these things go, so I am told, it was pretty fast. From deciding to get serious about writing to first draft to first published was a little less than two years. If you factor in the battle of laziness vs. desire that led up to that, closer to ten.

Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
Yes. But if there’s an agent out there interested in changing that for me, I’m open to suggestions.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
Caller 107. A young girl in a bad situation gets a few hours to clean her karma or be forever lost.

Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
My publisher is Curiosity Quills Press. (www.curiosityquills.com)

Do you have a "lucky charm" or "lucky routine" you follow when waiting for your book to be accepted by a publisher?
Not really. This is such a subjective business. While I may be a superstitious sort in some ways, I queried agents with little success until someone suggested sending one to CQ directly. They loved it (Division Zero) and signed me. Thus far, everything else I’ve written, I’ve sent to them.

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
This varies a bit, though I have been told I’m fast. Virtual Immortality took about three months to draft, and about six to edit. Division Zero took about two weeks to draft and a month or two to edit. Prophet of the Badlands, I drafted in fourteen days, not counting a week of outlining first. (That story wanted out). I guess on average about two to three months.

Which of your books were easier/harder to write than the others?
Prophet was the easiest. Grey Ronin took the longest so far, as I was wound up and distracted by the excitement of Division Zero being released and had some focus issues around that time… Caller 107 started as a thing that was too long to be a short story and too short to be a novella. CQ suggested building on it and making it a novel. I’d say that was the most “difficult” thing I’ve done so far, since I didn’t have an outline for it and I didn’t want to add “filler.” I think starting from scratch with a concept is easier than taking a nugget or proto-story and massaging it out to a full length book while keeping the tone of the original intent.

What can we expect from you in the future?  ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I’m working on more of the Awakened series now, which takes place in the same world as Division Zero and Virtual Immortality. Also, an anthology of short stories that are a mix of Sci Fi, horror, and one fantasy. I’m excited about a MG fantasy currently on submission to CQ. Going forward from there I have ideas for some post apoc stuff, maybe a full-length fantasy, and possibly some contemporary paranormals.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
Caller 107 is standalone, the events depicted within are not the sort of thing that recurs. I do have plans for new books. Perhaps more ideas than I’ll have time to write.

What genre would you place your books into?
Science Fiction, Cyberpunk with a trace of paranormal for the most part. Caller 107 is contemporary paranormal, while Emma & The Banderwigh is MG fantasy.

What made you decide to write that genre of book?
It’s the story I had. I didn’t much think of “genre” while writing it.

Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written? If so why is it your favourite?
So far, I’d have to say Prophet of the Badlands by a narrow margin. I’m quite fond of the main character as well as the setting. (Most of it takes place in a post-apocalyptic area.)

Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
It’s a close call between Althea, from Prophet and Kirsten from Division Zero. Both are innocents caught in a cruel world that are mostly concerned with helping others rather than looking out for their own interests. Althea is more innocent and took a long time to get the nerve to stand up for herself. Kirsten is resilient, confident, and despite a horrible past, has not given up.

If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be? and why?
This feels like a repeat of the last question, but I’d have to say Althea. If only because she has the ability to heal others.

How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
On and off for about twenty years. As far as inspiration to write goes, I’d have to say William Gibson for the most part, as well as various animes, movies, and other games with a sci fi element. My love of post-apoc came from Wasteland (old computer game).

Where do you get your book plot ideas from?What/Who is your inspiration?
I can’t really pin an exact answer on this one. They just come out of nowhere. Sometimes I’ll see something in the news or catch a snippet of conversation and days or weeks later it bubbles back to the surface in the form of an idea. More often than not, I’ll come up with a character concept, stick them in a world, and work outward from a short idea.

Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
While I’m drafting, I can’t listen to music with lyrics. I find it distracting. When I’m editing, I don’t mind music. I sit in a certain chair because I only have one computer chair, but it’s not any kind of ritualistic voodoo or anything.

Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them?ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
I’ve a circle of friends, co-workers, and people I’ve met online that read stuff before I send it over to CQ.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
Yep.

Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
So far, yes.

What was the toughest/best review you have ever had?
The best review I’ve had wasn’t one that was posted. A woman I know read Virtual Immortality and had a personal connection with an issue facing the main character. Having the same issue (though for a vastly different reason) it resonated with her. As far as bad/critical reviews… Division Zero has received some, one from a religious person that objected to Kirsten’s atheism (though she does soften up as the series goes on) and another from someone who seemed annoyed that there wasn’t more detailed explanation of everything that happened. I don’t like info-dumpy books and tried to strike a balance between giving too much information and leaving enough room for the reader to think a bit.

Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. The only thing that would tempt me to contact a reviewer and ask them to change it is a spoiler reveal. Granted, the type of person who posts spoilers in reviews is also likely to react poorly to any attempt to contact them at all. It’s often best not to bite on troll bait and just let other reviews counteract them organically.

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books?
I think of suggestions and send them to CQ. Alexandria Thompson designed the cover for Division Zero, Dean from Conzpiracy Digital Arts did the cover for Virtual Immortality, and Polina Sapershteyn did Caller 107. Other titles have yet to get their covers.

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
Usually I’ll have a title first. Virtual Immortality was the exception – I had the plot first and started writing it. The file was called “Book” for quite awhile. With titles, I’ll either get one I love immediately, or I’ll slap one on and then hate it and stew for days, weeks, or months trying to change it. My original title for Caller 107 was “Natalie” but CQ asked me to change it for search reasons. (Type “Natalie” in a web search and you’ll get anything and everything but a book.) Caller 107 hit me in seconds of being asked for a new title, and they liked it.

How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
Sometimes a name will hit me at random, like Natalie from Caller 107. That story came to me as a vivid dream, and the girl was named Natalie in the dream. Althea (Prophet of the Badlands) I found on a baby name site and chose it because it meant healer. Nina from Virtual Immortality, I named because I liked the sound of it. Sometimes I’ll look for a name with a cryptic or hidden meaning… In Division Zero, the main character is Kirsten Wren, and her last name plays on the name of the primary antagonist. (So far only a few people have gotten that.)
Place names… I usually just stare at my ceiling until something hits me. In Archon’s Queen, the area where the MC lives in the beginning (Coventry Tower) is named for the British saying “sent to Coventry” as a euphemism for being put somewhere far away with the rest of the undesirables.

Are character names and place names decided after their creation? or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
Character names I always have beforehand. Sometimes place names will happen during the writing, or change.

Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
For primary characters, I have their personality and quirks planned ahead of time. Sometimes minor characters (one scene background characters) will pick up an unexpected quirk while writing.

Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
I outline. I’m not following any kind of structured thing like the “three act story” or whatnot. I lay out important scenes and events, mix in some of the clues and minor things that need to happen, put them in the order I want them, and then start writing.

How do you market/promote your books?
Since the homing-goats thing was an abject disaster, I’ve fallen back on facebook/twitter/G+ and blog tours.

What do you think makes a book a really good/bestseller ?
I think those things are not necessarily connected. A really good book can languish in obscurity, and a bestseller isn’t always a good book. What makes a book good? Believable characters that the reader identifies/empathizes with and a plot that pulls the reader in and makes them forget that they’re reading a book and puts them right into the story. A bestseller is one part marketing, one part luck, and one part who you know.

Have you ever suffered from a "writer's block"? What did you do to get past the "block"?
So far, I have been fortunate enough not to experience this. However, I do sometimes take awhile to get the first sentence started.

What do you do to unwind and relax? Do you have a hobby?
Yes, writing. Aside from that – still do some tabletop gaming and some computer games, though nowhere near as much as I used to.

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?
Sometimes. Captain Eze (from Division Zero) is based on a supervisor I used to work with. I’ve based some minor characters on co-workers (at their request). The antagonist in Archon’s Queen is also loosely based on someone I worked with. Virtual Immortality started off as a plot for a tabletop game I was running for friends. (Though the book is pretty different than the way that campaign went.)

Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
If there are, it’s largely unintentional. I suppose one could think of Caller 107 as a story of good karma coming full circle.

Is there a certain Author that influenced you in writing?
Feels like I answered this already, but William Gibson.

Which format of book do you prefer, ebook,hardback, or paperback?
Hardcovers are cool. Paperbacks are good too. Ebooks are handy. Depends on what I’m doing. If I’m going out with it, ebook. To have for posterity, hardcover.

What is your favourite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?
This is a hard choice between Neuromancer (technically the Sprawl trilogy) and Lord of the Rings. Given most of my writing is closer to Neuromancer, I’d have to give it there.

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favourite/worst  book to movie transfer?
Depends on the book and the time/effects. Some things they are doing now wouldn’t have been possible years ago. My favorite book > movie transfer is probably Blade Runner, even though it changed a bit from the book. So far I haven’t seen a movie that I disliked for deviating from the book – I just look at it as a different thing entirely.

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?(ebook, hardback or paperback)
The Law of the Wolf by Sam Hunt. Ebook.

Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
Perhaps when we run out of trees.

Do you think children at schools these days are encouraged enough to read? and/or do Imaginative writing?
Hard to say. I don’t have kids and it’s been awhile since I’ve been in school. I do remember the forced summer reading lists having the inverse effect on me and making me resent reading. I don’t know what they’re doing now.

Did you read a lot at school and write lots of stories or is being a writer something newer in your life?
As I said last question, I didn’t read much in school because of the whole required reading thing. When it became something I “had to do for school” rather than a fun/relaxing activity, the urge to do it went into the toilet. Serious writing is something fairly recent in my life, but the seeds have always been there. (I wish I realized that twenty years ago.)

Did you have a favourite author as a child?
Either Ray Bradbury or Tom Clancy. Fahrenheit 451 was one of those required reads that I didn’t hate.

Do you have a treasured book from your childhood? If yes, what is it?
I don’t. All the books I had as a kid got lost somewhere among several moves.

Do you have a favourite genre of book?
Cyberpunk/Sci Fi or Fantasy.

Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn't finish?
If there is, I haven’t found it yet… though some have been painful, I’ve always finished.

Are there any New Authors you are interested in for us to watch out for? and Why should we watch out for them?
I still consider myself a new author, and aren’t sure I’m in much of a position to comment here. However, based on what I’ve seen, keep an eye out for (in no particular order) Krystal Wade, Wilbert Stanton, Richard Roberts, Jason King (no relation to Stephen), Andrew Buckley, and James Wymore – depending on your tastes. I also read a compelling historical fantasy by Gail Strickland that was quite good (Night of Pan)

Is there anything in your book/books you would change now if you could and what would it be?
I’ve seen some bad habits in my earlier writing that I’ve since gotten over (echoes, and some overused words) that I’d perhaps tweak

What do you think about book trailers?
No idea. I’m not sure if they help at all, or where to get one.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
There will be doubt. If you don’t doubt yourself, you’re doing something wrong. Push through it. Keep writing. Also, buy a copy of “The Elements of Style” by Strunk & White, as well as “Self Editing for Fiction Writers” by Browne & King. On Writing by Stephen King is also high up on the list.

Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
I haven’t. I’m not sure I would.

If you could invite three favourite writers to dinner, who would you invite and enjoy chatting with?

While it’s more likely to rub elbows with my CQ associates, I assume you’re asking for the pipe dream choices… So: William Gibson, Chuck Wendig, or Cory Doctorow.

AUTHOR LINKS




Thursday, 24 July 2014

PROMOTION & REVIEW - THE PRACTICAL PREPPER: A COMMON SENSE GUIDE TO PREPARING FOR EMERGENCIES BY KYLENE & JONATHAN JONES

CEDAR FORT PRESS RELEASE


SPRINGVILLE, Utah--July 8, 2014--Authors, educators and preparedness experts Kylene and Jonathan Jones have created a comprehensive, common-sense guide addressing a myriad emergency scenarios with a wide range of sensible, no-fuss solutions. There's no need to flip out and panic when you have "The Practical Prepper: A Common Sense Guide to Preparing for Emergencies" as your go-to reference for facing any emergency situation. Simple, step-by-step, illustrated instructions are included in chapters covering communication, water storage, water disinfection and purification, sanitation, designer food storage plans, emergency lighting, heating, and coordinating preparedness efforts in our communities--and that's just a sample. "The Practical Prepper" covers every emergency situation imaginable.

The refreshing "keep calm" approach to emergency preparedness conveyed in "The Practical Prepper" is a far cry from the fear-inducing tone of many other preparedness books. Kylene Jones explains, "We wrote this common-sense guide to help real people prepare for challenging times and events. As champions of self-reliance, provident living, and preparedness, we approach prepping in a unique way. There is no feeling of gloom and doom, but rather a sense of confidence and empowerment. Readers learn how to take care of their own needs during a crisis, which enables them to be in a better position to reach out and help others."


MY REVIEW

Title: The Practical Prepper
Author: Kylene & Jonathan Jones
Publisher: Cedar Fort
Release Date: 8th July 2014

BLURB from Goodreads
Earthquakes, hurricanes, civil unrest, economic challenges - no one knows when disaster may strike. Will you be ready? The Practical Prepper is a common-sense guide to emergency preparedness and survival written for real people with real lives. This must-have reference book walks the reader through each step of emergency preparedness covering everything from cooking in a crisis, to home security and protection, to emergency water disinfection. You can be prepared for the challenges the future holds. The Practical Prepper will show you how.


INITIAL THOUGHTS
I totally admit to being really curious about this book. Will it read like a dystopic/apocalyptic fictional story, or will it have real survival techniques? I also remember reading an Interview with author Mike Mullin of the Ashfall Series who states he actually used this type of book to make his post-apocalyptic series more realistic and accurate. The tragedy that triggers off the post apocalyptic scenario in his book was the Yellowstone Volcano erupting.

MY REVIEW
I received an e-copy of this book directly from the publishers Cedar Fort in exchange for my Promotional Spotlight and Review.
The cover image depicts a small house being "protected" by a strong looking pair of hands.
Three "incidents" are represented on the top right side of the cover in small circles, they are Hurricane, Fire and Flooding. There is also a sub title of "A Common Sense Guide To Prepardeness".
I totally admit to being fascinated in the dystopian and post apocalyptic genres in fiction as many people seem to be these days. There is also the constant threats of terror attacks and such that people worry about too.  So I think it's inevitable that you would raise questions such as What if  something awful happened that stopped transport & communication etc. I think this way of preparedness is all the more prevalent in America than here in the UK. In the UK we all seem to wander around with a "it'll never happen over here" attitude.
The book is one that I'd say should be on everyone's book shelf as a reference book, along with a medical reference book too.
As I have said this book is probably deemed to be more relevant to the US and the natural disasters that occur there but who knows what could happen? In the UK we seem to be having more and more crazy weather conditions.
The book suggests many scenarios and provides actions to the scenarios as well as things you can do in "preparedness" to prevent such a scenarios from impacting you and your family so much.
Some of the idea's can be implemented into your regular way if life, such as growing your own fruit and vegetable's. Hey! we could all save money by growing our own. It's just finding the time and space to do so. 
The book also suggests keeping animals, such as chicken for their eggs and meet and maybe pigs and goats. Of course that only works if you have space and you're allowed to keep animals at your property.
Another use of the things you grown mentioned in the book is a bartering system. If money becomes a useless item than things you don't have and need could be bartered for with your own home grown food items.
The laws would most likely change to what is called "Marshall Law" where the "Army" could take the pace of the police. If items become scarce there could be looting and violence. The book suggests arming yourself (a gun or bow and arrows) or and learning to shoot to both kill animals for food (using bow and arrow) and using a bow and arrow or gun for self defense.
The book covers how to find drinkable water or how to purify the water you can find to be able to drink it. 
There's sections on medicines, both keeping a supply of those you need and or substituting with naturally grown items that can be used for common ailments.
There are also lists of things you perhaps would think of, like pet food or food for any livestock you may have.
I found the book a fascinating, informative read. Yet at the same time a little scary thinking of all the things that can go wrong in the world and the realisation of how many things we take for granted on a daily basis. Life would certainly be a lot harder for example without water on tap, or central heating in the winter, or cooking without electricity or gas.
Having said that Kylene And Jonathan have done this "preparedness" and could live fairly well and survive most disasters.
Kylene and Jonathan also suggest getting together with some like minded people so that you could exist in your own small community, and share the work that needs to be done as well as having a perhaps wider skill range. More people = Less Work. More People = More Skills.
So did I enjoy the book? Yes I did   Would I recommend the book? Yes, it's a book that you would want to keep and could dip in and out of for "normal" living too.  Would I read another book by Kylene & Jonathan? Yes I think I would, even though this one is super comprehensive.  Would I read another Prepper book?  I'd certainly check others out too. It would be interesting to read a Prepper book wrote with tips etc for scenario's in a UK setting too.         


BUY LINKS


ABOUT THE AUTHORS


Jonathan is a licensed civil engineer and an avid enthusiast of alternative energy sources; especially solar and wind power. He has served on the advisory board and on the board of directors as vice president for The American Civil Defense Association (TACDA), as secretary/treasurer for a local chapter of Civil Defense Volunteers, as an emergency preparedness and communications specialist, and as a city councilperson, has been tasked with developing the city emergency plan in his own community. He has co-authored numerous articles published in The Journal of Civil Defense on emergency preparedness topics with his wife. He is the co-owner of Your Family Ark, LLC, an educational and consulting business designed to assist individuals and families in preparing for an uncertain future (www.yourfamilyark.orgwww.theprovidentprepper.org). 

Kylene has an educational background in business management as well as in family studies. She has also served on the advisory board and on the board of directors for TACDA and is currently the editor for The Journal of Civil Defense. She has a passion for researching and experimenting, adding a sense of real life to their writing and teaching. A firm believer in hands-on learning, she involves her family in emergency training for everything from fire drills, to living off food storage and garden produce, to turning off the power in the dead of winter just to see if they can survive it. Many powerful lessons are learned from these experiences, the best lesson being that we are tougher than any challenge. We will not only survive, but we will emerge better, stronger people as a result of the adventure.

Jonathan and Kylene make a dynamic combination. Together they have presented in a wide variety forums including; community education courses, educational seminars, preparedness fairs, employee education programs, and community classes. With Jonathan’s extensive knowledge and Kylene’s high energy personality, they have a unique talent for taking a relatively boring topic and turning it into an exciting quest, motivating audiences to join the ranks of the provident preppers.

GUEST POST


Are You Ready?

Extreme weather conditions can cause significant damage and interrupt public utilities, leaving you without power, water and sewer for an extended period of time. In 2013, The St. Jude Storm created 100 mph winds and torrential rain which left 600,000 homes without power. What would you do if your power went out for several days? How about several weeks? Are you ready?

Prepper is a fairly new term coined for individuals who prepare for future unforeseen events. Like everything else, there are a wide variety of preppers. The media likes to portray preppers as knife-in-your-teeth, rat-eating, survive-at-all-costs survivalists who use very little common-sense and are waiting for the complete collapse of society. The preppers on the other end of the continuum are real people who love their families and take practical steps to increase their chances of surviving both natural and man-made disasters.

The first step in prepping is to evaluate your risk. Risk factors vary depending on location and personal circumstances. Some of the more common risks include; house fires, extreme weather, flooding, earthquakes, economic challenges, war-related events, civil unrest, etc. Once you evaluate your greatest risks you can get to work to take steps to reduce the risk. The Practical Prepper guides you through your personal risk evaluation and explores each step to preparing for emergencies.

We will focus this post on one of the most critical resources during any disaster: clean drinking water. The best way to ensure you have clean drinking water is to store some water in your home. We recommend storing at least 2 gallons per person per day for a minimum of 2 weeks. Water is heavy and takes up a lot of space so you may need to get creative.

It is important to understand how to create clean drinking water if the situation outlasts your water storage. Let us briefly review a few basic water purification and disinfection techniques and principles. 

Always clarify water (remove particles) before disinfecting. Microscopic critters can hide in the particles and avoid deactivation. Water can be clarified by pouring it through a clean cloth, coffee filter, paper towels, etc.

Boiling is the safest method of disinfecting water. Viruses, bacteria and parasites cannot survive a temperature of 100 degrees Celsius or 212 degrees Fahrenheit.




Chlorine disinfection is an effective way to disinfect water. However, some protozoa (giardia and cryptosporidium) are resistant to chlorine and may not be deactivated. A good filter should be used in conjunction with chlorine disinfection. Household chlorine bleach has a shelf life of only 6 months for effective water disinfection. Consider using calcium hypochlorite to create a homemade chlorine stock solution. Granulated calcium hypochlorite has a 10 year shelf life. See http://theprovidentprepper.org/disinfecting-water-using-calcium-hypochlorite/ for details. 

Solar Water Disinfection (SODIS) is a great way to deactivate all pathogens using a clear plastic or glass bottle and the sun. Clarified water is placed in the bottle and exposed to the sun for 4-6 hours. This is an inexpensive way to kill all the microscopic critters in the water. See www.sodis.ch for details.    

Note that none of these techniques will remove chemicals contaminants from water. If chemical contamination is a possibility, use a quality filter designed to remove them. We discuss water filters in detail in our book.

You can survive less than 3 days without water. Drinking contaminated water can result in severe illness and even death. It makes sense to prepare ahead of time to ensure your family has safe drinking water during an emergency. Are you ready?

Kylene and Jonathan Jones
Authors of The Practical Prepper – A Common-Sense Guide to Preparing for Emergencies