Wednesday, February 24, 2016

My bug-out bag

A bug-out bag, if you didn’t know, is “a portable kit that normally contains the items one would require to survive for seventy-two hours, when evacuating from a disaster.” (Wikipedia)

I keep my bug-out bag in the trunk of my car at all times. It takes up about a third of the space. Even though I live in one of the lowest-risk areas in the US for natural disasters, there’s an outside chance of a nuclear disaster upwind. It’s better to be prepared than not. Also, I can easily decide on the spur of the moment to go camping and not have to run home to gear up. There are things in the list I didn't fit in the photo:

Sleeping bag (a cheap one from my childhood, but it still works for most weather)
Hiking boots
Bike helmet--nearly as good as a safety helmet for earthquakes
Backpack containing all the rest
Mylar blankets--two, with one for use as ground cover
First aid supplies, including a few aspirin, Benadryl, and Imodium I replace twice a year
Water (more than shown!)
Water filtration device
Metal cup with handle (can serve as one-person saucepan)
Swiss Army Knife
Paracord (more than shown)
Magnesium fire-starter with whistle
Candles and matches
Duct tape
Survival fishing kit in film can: lead weights, hooks, safety pin, and coiled monofilament
Pad and pencil. Emergency phone numbers and addresses are written on the inside cover
Bandannas. (My readers will know my characters always have them! So do I.)
Brightly colored plastic bags--for trash and to help rescuers see me more easily.
Entertainments. When the SHTF, or any other time, I'm always up for a poker game

The items in bold/italic, I recommend. You can purchase them at Amazon, and I’ve included those links here.

As you can see, I didn’t run out and spend thousands of dollars on this gear. Some is old, some people gave me when I mentioned I was putting this together. The water filtration device, using technology developed in the Haiti earthquake, is new.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Storm is for sale!

A tornado bears down on a small Ohio town. It snaps giant trees in half as if they were toothpicks. It drives house beams through cars at 200 mph.

It kills.

Greg Duncan stands in the path of the twister. As a first responder, his obligation is to serve his community. As a single dad, his heart tells him to protect his little girl.

The tornado is moving fast. He has almost no time to choose.

Available exclusively at Amazon. Click on image (BUY ON AMAZON) or HERE to buy.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Who is Lou?

Increasingly, readers ask for more about me, the person behind the books.

But here's the thing. I'm a private--even shy--person.  I want you to read my (or our--maybe I'm a consortium of six people living in different countries) books, not think about me personally. I don't want to talk about my age, sex, ethnicity, sex life, or to share a picture of my kids, give you my home phone number, or describe my political views. Perhaps I'm only a cleverly designed computer program for writing books. (I think I am not...but if the program were very cleverly designed, of course it would think that!)

I value my readers tremendously, please do understand. We may live in a culture of over-share nowadays, but I don't. I've never been on FB as an individual (nor have any of my immediate family members, of which I have somewhere between 0 and 40.) I have never once given my real birth date or phone number to a social media or mail site. I even disable all my computer cameras. I love my privacy that much.

Many writers who feel as I do buy a stock photo, do some Photoshop on it, and call it their picture. So if you thought you were seeing all other writers' real faces or sexes, you were mistaken.

Here are a few things I am willing to share:

Not surprisingly, I watch documentaries on disasters, geology and astronomy. (For instance, I really liked PBS's Australia: The First 4 Billion Years.)

I also like comedy programs, but I only watch them on DVD or Prime streaming. I have a nearly complete collection of Mystery Science Theater 3000 episodes. Archer is great, too. Arrested Development. Odd, edgy, or irreverent comedy appeals to me most.

I play a few musical instruments. I’m an amateur astronomer. I've volunteer-taught stargazing, and I've volunteered in a natural history museum. I've participated in volunteer citizen science at Zooniverse. I've also volunteered at literacy programs and animal shelters.

That's a little slice of me, for people who care. Now it's back to writing more books. 

Sunday, February 7, 2016


By this morning, paperback versions of the Gray series should be for sale. Within a few days, Quake and Erupt paperbacks will be available, too. I went through CreateSpace only, so people and libraries can get them through Amazon.

I apologize to my Australian readers for the near-impossibility of getting indie paperbacks there. It isn't just me frustrating you, as you probably know. It's the system, and it's unlikely to change soon. (I wish Amazon would get KU to Australia, too!)

For future books, I'll release the paperback version  a month or two after the e-book release. And I'll be working on starting on audiobooks  in May, so that will be happening this year, as well.

Gray I
Gray II
Gray III

Thanks for reading!