Before I get started with today’s post, which is a fun interview with a good friend, I have a quick announcement for you, and also a thank you:
–I am speaking THIS WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 3rd, at 7:00 p.m. in Gainesville, Georgia, in the Pearce Auditorium at Brenau University. The event is free and open to the public, with a signing to follow, and I would LOVE to see you there.
–The #allychat on twitter was unbelievable! We were the top trending topic for a while–nationwide! Thank you so much for your great questions and for participating. It was amazing!
Today is the release date of many wonderful books (among them SUMMER AND BIRD, by Katherine Catmull, which is absolutely beautiful and bittersweet) and FEEDBACK by Robison Wells, a fantastic follow-up to his novel VARIANT. Rob and I had a great time interviewing each other last year, and so we decided we’d try it again, this time focusing on survival situations and how/if we would make it through…
Ally: We both like to throw our characters into survival-type situations. Let’s say that YOU had to work through a survival situation. Since you’re not a book character, you get to have some choice. Which would you choose–Creepy Isolated Forest (the scenario from VARIANT), Isolated Desert Canyon (the scenario from CROSSED), Arctic Tundra, or the ever-popular Desert Island? And why?
Rob: I would totally go for the isolated forest, because it seems the least severe of the options. Desert Canyons, Islands and Tundra all sound too hot/cold/dangerous. In a forest you have cover from storms, wood to build fires, and (hopefully) animals or plants to eat.
Ally: We were very kind in that we did give our characters other people to be with. If you could pick two people to bring with you, who would they be? Why?
Rob: I lived in New Mexico (very near the mountains where I set VARIANT and FEEDBACK) back when the Y2K scare was going on. I had a friend there who ran a dude ranch and was convinced that on New Years Eve the world would fall apart and we’d all be fending off hordes of anarchists. I took a survival class from him, which included instructions on how to hide from the government. He may be a little nuts, but I’d take him in a survival situation any day of the week.
I’d also take MacGyver. Because, come on.
Ally: Are you a hunter or a forager? Which food would you miss most?
Rob: I’m a hunter, but that’s just because I don’t have the patience to be a forager. (Admittedly, the only time I ever killed an animal and ate it was fishing, but that still counts, right?)
As for foods I’d miss: I’d go into caffeine withdrawals immediately and spend my first week of survival lying on the ground with massive headaches.
Ally: Let’s say you DID get to choose one book…what did you bring?
Rob: I once found a paratrooper survival manual at an army surplus store. It had all sorts of survival tips, like how to start a fire with a grenade, and how to dig a nuclear fallout shelter. I’d totally take that book.
Ally: Hiking rules/protocol say that you’re supposed to take care of your own…additions…to the environment. Do you follow procedure or say to heck with it, we’re dying anyway?
Rob: Oh my gosh. I went backpacking in the Grand Gulch in Southern Utah (seven days in the wilderness) and they had rules where you could bury your waste but you had to pack out your used toilet paper. By day five, it was getting PRETTY DISGUSTING.
Ally: So now that we’ve talked about how you would survive in your less-than-optimal environment, where is your absolute favorite place in the world? Why?
Rob: Actually, my absolute favorite place in the world is remote forest! It’s the San Juan Islands of Puget Sound, the waterway between Seattle and Vancouver. I’d still be isolated and lost, but at least I could dig for oysters.
If you want more Rob (and who doesn’t?) you can find his website here. Happy release day Rob! And congratulations!