Monday, December 16, 2013

Prepper's Workbook Update

I just posted this update on my main website, and I'm reposting here for Bug Out Survival readers who may not see it on that site.  I know many of you have been waiting on this book for a long time, and I apologize for the delay in updating here, but I wanted to wait until I knew for sure when this would be available.  Scott Finazzo and I have been working closely with our Ulysses Press editor to develop this project into the most useful book it could be.  Changes midstream have delayed finalizing it, but now it is all done and is off to production with a new cover design to go with all the new content.

The updated cover design for The Prepper's Workbook:

Along with the new cover shown above, the final revisions and most of the interior design work is now complete on the new and updated version of the The Prepper's Workbook, co-authored with Scott Finazzo.  It is now in the production stage and though the new release date listed on Amazon is March 18, my editor says that it should be available to ship by mid-February.  I know that a lot of readers have pre-ordered the book since it was first listed on various online sites last year, and I know it is frustrating to wait so long, but the final version of this book will be much more useful than what I had originally envisioned.  Rather than a book of mostly checklists, The Prepper's Workbook is a complete interactive planning tool to help you prepare your home and family for any disaster, whether of natural causes or manmade.  You don't have to have any background in preparedness to use this book, and the focus is on the ordinary family who wants stay safe and be self-sufficient in a short or long-term disaster.  In other words, you don't have to be expecting the collapse of civilization to benefit from this book.

A lot of the focus is on accessing what you currently have and do not have that you might need in the aftermath of a disaster, and the worksheets and activities will help you acquire, organize and store these items.  You will learn how to prepare your home for sheltering in place and how to plan an evacuation, as well as how to determine whether it is best to stay or go.  There are sections on specific types of disasters and how to plan for them, as well as sections on first aid, home and personal defense, and the most important survival skills you need to acquire and master.   Along with all the information we provide in the book, there are just as many fill-in-the-blank pages and worksheets that will require you to put the "work" in the workbook.  When you are finished with these tasks, you will have a unique and perfectly-tailored reference book with all your critical preparedness information compiled in one readily-accesible and handy location. This, we hope, is what will make this book so uniquely useful among a flood of books covering the topics of disaster survival and preparedness.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Book Giveaway Winners and Top Ten Skills

Thanks to all who participated in this latest book giveaway for a chance to win a free copy of The Darkness After.  

I received some excellent submissions from those who participated by sending in their personal list of what they consider the Top Ten Essential Skills that any prepper/survivalist should possess or attempt to master.

As you would expect, there was a lot of overlap in these lists, as most of us can agree on at least five of the top ten essential skills, especially: finding and purifying water, fire making, shelter making, navigation and food gathering (including foraging, fishing and hunting).  Other commonly mentioned skills included the use of firearms for hunting and personal defense, knowledge of first aid, use of camouflage and stealth and hand to hand combat skills.

One of the lists submitted had an interesting and probably overlooked skill set that most people should pay more attention to: mechanical skill to maintain gear, firearms and mode of travel.  People who like to work on things as a hobby or have jobs that require mechanical skills may be all set in this department, but in today's society, fewer people do their own repairs or use their hands at work.  If you are among them, you can begin by doing small, routine maintenance jobs on your home, vehicle and other items.  As you gain proficiency in this, your confidence in your ability to keep everything you need going after the SHTF will be much greater.

As stated in the last post announcing the book giveaway, the five winners were chosen at random by a drawing, not based on the quality or content of their Top Ten List.  To those who didn't win, I still appreciate your participation and contribution.  As Scott Finazzo and I put the finishing touches on The Prepper's Workbook, these lists will be taken into consideration as we complete the final section of the book, and you may see one of your ideas published there.

So, here are the five winners of a copy of The Darkness After:

J.  Miller of Chesapeake, VA
J.  Guerra, of McAllen, TX
H. Coulter, of Prentiss, MS
T.  Cleveland, of Savanna, GA
D. Baldwin, of Ft. Collins, CO

The winners have also been notified by email and the books will be sent out today.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Two Book Giveaways: The Darkness After

My latest novel, The Darkness After is now available and shipping in both the print and Kindle versions on Amazon, and most everywhere else books are sold.  I've been getting some great feedback from those who have read it, and I think if you enjoyed The Pulse, you will like this one too.  The action is a little more fast-paced, and it is also a somewhat shorter story and therefore a pretty quick read.  Another difference is that most of the action takes place on the road or in the woods, and there is no sailing or international travel involved in this one - just two young people with different but very strong motives to get to their destinations.

If you'd like a chance to win a free copy so you can check it out, I want to announce two book giveaways: one here on Bug Out Survival and the other on the Goodreads website.

My coauthor, Scott Finazzo, and I are putting the finishing touches on The Prepper's Workbook, and the book giveaway I'm doing here relates to that project.  In the final section of the workbook, we discuss The Top Ten Survival Skills Every Person Should Know.  

What do you think are the top ten most important survival skills and why?  Post your answers in the comments section below or send them to me directly by email to, making sure to include your mailing address, to enter the drawing on August 15 for five (5) signed copies of The Darkness After.  Who knows, maybe you'll submit something we haven't thought of and see your suggestion printed in The Prepper's Workbook when it is published in September.  I'll announce the winners no later than Friday, August 16 right here on Bug Out Survival.

The other book giveaway for The Darkness After is hosted on Goodreads and all you have to do is sign up below for a chance to win one of ten (10) copies.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Darkness After by Scott B. Williams

The Darkness After

by Scott B. Williams

Giveaway ends August 31, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Darkness After and Prepper's Workbook Updates

My lack of updates regarding the release of my next two books: The Darkness After and The Prepper's Workbook has been due to the fact that firm release dates have not been set and I've been waiting on the final word from my publisher.

Some changes have been made to the format of The Prepper's Workbook and it will hopefully still be ready for release in September after a final reorganization of the material.  The improved format of this book that my coauthor and I have been working on will make it a much more useful addition to any prepper's library and hopefully it will be worth the wait for those of you who have already preordered.

The Darkness After was completed early in May and all final revisions and proofreading done a few weeks ago.  I'm still awaiting word as to when it will be sent to the printer, and have heard that it should be any day now.  The publisher did change the publication date on Amazon from mid-June to early August, but I've been assured that it will likely be available before then, probably in early July.  I will post an update here as soon as I know for sure.

Meanwhile, here's a little more about the book.  Some readers may recall that I have said I'm working on a sequel to The Pulse, and there will certainly be a sequel.  The Darkness After is not that sequel, however, but rather a parallel story with different characters facing the consequences of the same event.

The action takes place in the same general region as the final part of The Pulse, specifically New Orleans and south Mississippi.  As I've mentioned before, part of what inspired the idea for The Pulse is what I witnessed personally in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in this region.  With the grid down for just a few weeks in the New Orleans area and much of south Mississippi and south Louisiana, the chaos was bad enough.  These books explore the possibilities of how bad it might get if the power was off for months, or even longer.

The two main characters in this story are a bit younger than even the college students, Casey and Jessica, in The Pulse.  But despite this, 16-year-old Mitch Henley and 18-year-old April Gibbs both have unique backgrounds and strong motivations to get where they're going that give them the edge in a lawless world of anarchy and violence.

The son of a Mississippi game warden in one of the most heavily-wooded counties of the state, Mitch is a natural-born hunter and woodsman and a master of the longbow, his favorite hunting weapon.  And on her own since the age of 17, April has unexpected skills learned from her own father that will serve her well in her desperate quest to reach the one person who matters most in her life.  Here's the official book description from the Amazon listing:

The thrilling story of teenagers struggling for survival as the modern world collapses around them

Massive solar flares bombard the Earth. An intense electromagnetic pulse undermines America’s power grid, wreaking havoc. Panic and chaos ensue in cities like New Orleans, where 16-year-old Mitch Henley was stranded after driving his parents to the airport. The son of a game warden in a rural Mississippi county, Mitch is an expert hunter and woodsman and knows he can survive back on his family’s remote 600 acres. 

With no way to know if his parents’ plane landed safely or crashed because of the pulse, Mitch sets out alone to walk home. But what Mitch hadn’t counted on was meeting April: a determined young woman who has an even more compelling reason to make it to her destination. Thrust into adulthood at an early age, April is a fighter who won’t back down, and when the two of them pair up to face the dangers ahead, they endure and overcome one setback and disappointment after another.

Set in the same anarchy-and-desperation-reigned world of the author’s dystopian thriller: THE PULSE, THE DARKNESS AFTER is a frightening look at how fragile our technologically dependent lifestyle really is. 

So that's the latest and as much as I know regarding the release dates.   As soon as I get copies in hand of each new book, I will post a book giveaway here so reader's will have a chance to get a free, signed copy.  

Friday, March 15, 2013

Bug Out Bikes

I did an interview over the phone today about the many considerations of using a bicycle as a primary or  back-up bug-out vehicle and the discussion ranged from the whys and whens of using a bike vs. various motor vehicles to the specifics of how to choose the right bike for the job and how to equip it.  This interview will be available as a series of articles soon and I'll post links to them when they are up.

Those of you who have read my Bug Out Vehicles and Shelters know that I have a chapter devoted to bicycles in the book.  As a long-time cyclist who enjoys riding for fitness and exploring backroads and trails by bike, I am interested in many different types of bicycles, but if I could have only one, it would invariably be a touring-specific bike.  When asked in the interview today why I would choose such a bike when mountain bikes are usually the first kind that come to mind as bug out bikes, I explained that it is because bike touring has been constantly evolving and developing as adventurous riders take these machines literally to the ends of the earth.  Such bikes are designed to withstand abuse, carry heavy loads, negotiate rough roads and even some off road conditions and perhaps most importantly, be comfortable so that you can cover serious miles day after day.

The difference in these touring-specific bikes begins with the frame, usually built of rugged and forgiving Chrome-moly steel rather than aluminum or carbon used on more performance-oriented bikes.  The wheels are also stronger, built to carry heavy loads and to fit wider tires when conditions require them.  Touring bikes have a wide range of gears to handle long climbs while carrying heavy loads, and the frames are fitted with brazed-on eyelets for mounting sturdy racks to carry panniers and additional gear lashed on top.

While some touring bikes look much like road racing machines to the casual observer, these differences are apparent upon closer inspection.  Because of the popularity of long off-road trips, such as the Adventure Cycling Association's Great Divide Route, many bicycle manufacturers are building truly capable touring machines that have most of the desirable attributes of mountain bikes combined with the long-distance capability of road bikes.  It has been interesting to see what they have come up with.  For example, the Surly Long Haul Trucker is a proven road touring bike I mentioned in the book, but the newer Surly Troll has a lot to offer as a bug-out machine to those inclined towards mountain bikes but needing real traveling ability:

The orange paint job might not be the best choice for this service, but you can see that this is a bike that could do the job.  To give you an idea of it's potential, check out this site: While Out Riding.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Two New Books for 2013

I've been holding off on posting the details of my forthcoming books due to some changes in the order of publication and the publication dates.  Before The Pulse was published last summer, I had worked out a contract with my publisher to do another non-fiction project under the title: The Prepper's Workbook.  I was also eager to get started on the sequel to The Pulse, as that novel was written with a larger story in mind and plans for at least one sequel from the beginning. 

Instead of giving me the go-ahead immediately on the sequel, however, my publisher suggested an entirely different novel set in the scenario of The Pulse - the same grid- collapse event caused by a solar flare - but with a different storyline and different characters.  Most of the characters in the new novel (which will also likely be followed with one or more sequels) are young adults or teenagers, so the book is targeted to both young adult and adult readers.  The Darkness After will be an action-filled adventure story with a somewhat faster pace than The Pulse.  Here is the cover image:

 I am still in the middle of writing this one now, but have also worked out a contract with my publisher to do the sequel to The Pulse later this year, after the June publication of The Darkness After.  In addition, I will be completing The Prepper's Workbook later this spring, and the new publication date for it is set for sometime in September.  The other change regarding that book is that I will now be working on it with my friend and fellow-adventurer, Scott Finazzo.  The cover for the book should be updated soon to show both of us as coauthors.

Though I have not posted anything about the forthcoming Prepper's Workbook, I'm sure many of my readers have found the listing on Amazon, which still incorrectly shows the publication date as tomorrow, January 15.  I apologize for the confusion that may have caused, but I was expecting my publisher to change the book details to reflect the new publication date before now.  At any rate, if you have pre-ordered the book as many people do on Amazon, it will still be shipped as soon as it is released.  I will post more details on both of the projects soon:


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