Billions are dead. The federal government has disappeared. The world you know has ended, yet you remain. If you lost everything, would you have the courage to let yourself care about anything?
That’s the central question of my new novel, After the Fall, which will be released on July 19.
I’ve always been a fan of the end of the world. Not that I’m particularly interested in it arriving anytime soon. But if there’s an asteroid hurtling toward the Earth, an
earthquake devouring entire continents, a tidal wave towering over skyscrapers,
or if the Earth’s core comes to a screeching halt, sending the magnetic field
into a planet-sized hissy fit, I’m totally there.
Like any red-blooded American moviegoer, I love the explosions and the “Run for
your lives!” and melodramatic power ballads that accompany the hero when
he or she (mostly he) is about to save the world from its impending doom. But
my fascination with all things apocalyptic extends to books as well. From Alas, Babylon to The Road, reading about the end of the world is just as interesting
to me as watching it on the big screen.
Whether on the page or at the movies, all these stories have some universal truths in common. They are about hope, or the lack thereof. They are about choices, both good and bad. And they are, at their most fundamental level, about the best and worst of
After the Fall is about these truths, told through the eyes of Taylor Stone. She has spent months struggling to get home, trying to keep a promise made over a broken phone call to the father and family she knows are most likely dead. She survived the end of the world and the horrors that came after by keeping to three simple rules. Keep moving. Keep to yourself. Don’t get involved. The plague took a particular joy in killing the women of the world, making it that much harder for the ones who survived.
When Taylor stumbles across a place called Burninghead Farm, she finds a group of people who offer her more than just another day of survival. There is Buck, a man who reminds her of her father in all the ways that matter. There is Duncan, a boy struggling to become the kind of man his parents would want him to be. Most of all, there is Kate, a woman who makes Taylor realize love is still alive and dream of things she no longer thought possible.
But in order to claim her future, Taylor will have to overcome her past. In a present steeped in despair, when some would rather rule than rebuild, can Taylor find the courage to let herself fight for something better? To care for someone? To