I first learned about the book 299 Days on The Survival Podcast. I was intrigued by the big story (10 books) and Glen Tate’s approach to what a collapse might look like. I’m looking forward to reading the book series, but until then, I was able to ask Glen a few questions. Also, I have added the link to his interviews with Jack Spirko on The Survival Podcast.
• Why the title 299 days?
The period of time from the event triggering the collapse to the symbolic day that things are getting better (the inaugural ball of the governor of the new state). The relatively short period of time (just 299 days) is hopeful; it’s not like humanity is plunged into generations of darkness after the collapse.
• Your story is told in 10 books, please summarize the focus of the whole story and the two released books.
Book One describes the main characters and the build up to the collapse. Book Two covers the collapse and how the characters begin to deal with it. Book Three and Book Four describe how the community forms at the cabin where the main character has bugged out. The remaining books describe how the community develops, how the collapse continues to unfold, and how the Patriots begin to take back their state.
• Your book is based on an economic collapse, do you believe this is really the path we are headed on or is this pure fiction? Why?
I firmly believe in the collapse scenario I write about. It is literally a mathematical impossibility for America to pay off its debts. When government programs are cut and taxes raised, the political discontent will grow until the government cannot do anything. The American people, in general, are totally dependent on gas being at gas stations, food being at grocery stores, and the police responding to 911 calls—none of which will happen in a collapse.
• Your character prepares in secret. What advice can you give to those who have to do the same?
Just do it. It’s more important to prep than to make people happy. Don’t go into debt to prep; use cash. Having a hiding place for your stored items is important.
• What other “real world” advice can preppers gain from reading your book?
I cover food storage and security in the books. I think the best “real world” advice, by far, in the books is the right mental attitude to weather a collapse. You can have all the food and guns in the world, but if you can’t mentally accept that life will be far different during a collapse, you won’t get far. The necessity of community is another “real world” topic covered in the books. I show how to assemble a community for mutual support.
• There is so much advice out there on preparedness blogs, what advice have you come across that should not be heeded?
Being too focused on one part of prepping. Some advice focuses too much on gardening—but not security for protecting your food. Other advice focuses on herbal medicine, wilderness skills, and guns. All are good things to know, but keep your eye on the big picture, which is how all these skills interconnect. I don’t see much advice on blogs about the need for community; this is an often overlooked survival skill.
• What can readers expect from the other books in this series?
More action and more story development. Book One and Book Two were good, but they were the necessary foundation for Book Three onward, which is when things start moving along.
• Is there anything else you would like to share with readers?
Almost everything in the books is real. (At least in the present tense; I’m not claiming my vision of the future is “real” although I think it’s very likely.) The characters are real people. The places are real. People tell me the story seems so real—because it is.
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