Announcing the Transformation Project   Leave a comment

I started drafting the Transformation Project during the 2008 Presidential election. Originally, it was a political thriller with Shane (arguably the main character of an ensemble cast) protecting the female vice president after a terrorist attack seemingly wipes out most of the government.

The genesis came from my husband who insisted that if Obama lost, the liberals would start blowing things up to express their displeasure. You’d have to be familiar with Brad’s histrionic talents to understand just how entertaining that was. Most of the story was them trying to get west to his hometown where he could keep her safe. My mom’s hometown in North Dakota would host a plane that would take her home to Alaska.

It would have been a cool story to actually write, but after the 2008 election turned out the way that it did, it felt too much like fantasy, so I didn’t write it. But Shane wouldn’t go away. I’m a character-driven writer and he had a story he wanted to tell. It was an intriguing story of being a non-Christian in a Christian family, the black sheep, a mercenary with lethal skills in a town that has never needed that before … I quickly realized that I was much more interested in the story of a small town trying to survive when the nation’s infrastructure is in disarray than in writing a thriller.

From that was born an apocalyptic series of at least four books – The Transformation Project — of which Life As We Knew It is the first. A friend called it a “cozy” apocalyptic. There is a larger story of a terrorist attack, but that’s just backdrop for the story of a community dealing with a crisis.

I moved the location south because Mom’s hometown is not on any major transportation routes (which worked for a thriller) and seemed very remote from the big cities I wanted to attack. I couldn’t imagine a lot of traffic through North Dakota, but I could imagine Kansas being a crossroads for the sort of mass migration that apocalyptic events would inspire. The existence of a nearby interstate would serve as a reminder of bygone times as well. All I had to do was look at a Google map and see issues of resources that I wanted to explore.

Yes, I’m drawing on many of the subjects I’ve touched on in my blog … including anarchy. You won’t see much of that discussion in the first book, but in future volumes — well, you’ll have to stick around to find out.

Look for Life As We Knew It, Book 1 of the Transportation Project this spring – April or May. The countdown starts NOW.

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