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Thanks for visiting ~ Bella x

Monday, 28 April 2014

The Monday Muse featuring ~ WWIV In The Beginning by E A Lake



 Welcome to

The Monday Muse



In The Beginning 


E A Lake

Publish date:  3/27/14      Publisher:  e a lake

Book Genre – Dystopian Fiction


Book Summary – WWIV Book One

What will we do when suddenly our power, our phones, and our cars don't work? What will we do when we realize our government is missing and we have no protection; no police, no national guard? What will we do when our food runs out or spoils, and fresh water becomes scarce? What will we do when we realize we are completely and undeniably on our own? What could possibly happen next?

What happens when IT happens?

Follow an ordinary man, Bill Carlson, through the first 30 days of the ensuing uncertainty. From his once quiet, now violent, St. Paul suburb; to the empty, and yet deadly, county roads of west central Wisconsin.

With limited knowledge of prepping, Bill must rely on neighbors for help. Why did he never pay attention to his “crazy doomsday” neighbor Scott? Now that the world, at least his world, is dark, Bill has so many questions. How can he possibly survive in this dark dystopian world?

Bill goes in search of his family, and finds so much more. Friendly people in small towns, other villages that allow no strangers, people searching for help, and people looking to take anything you might have – via any means.

Will Bill find his family, some 300 miles away? Will the power come back on after mysteriously going out? Will he be able to help others in times of need, much less himself?

WWIV has begun and we’re only In The Beginning.

Book Buy Links:


Author Bio

I write dystopian. It's dark, yet fun to play with.

WWIV - In The Beginning is my debut novel.

Trying to get this junk in my head, down on pages. Those pages become chapters. The chapters become a manuscript. The manuscript becomes a novel. Sounds easy enough.

I am an author and my pen name is e a lake. The ‘e’ and the ‘a’ mean nothing. So please just call me lake.

Not everything in dystopian writing has to be dark and dreary. I try to create post-apocalyptic situations that will challenge the reader to really believe that the events in my novels could happen. 

The best part of my genre? Who needs antagonists when the landscape surrounding my protagonist is so bad. You just have to love this stuff.

My favorites are the usual list of suspects. Orwell, Bradbury, Stephen King, Vince Flynn, and James Patterson.

I'm not all that scary. Father to three, grandfather to three, and married for 30+ years (yes, to the same woman). Just a regular guy.

Be sure to check out my website: http://www.ealake.com

Social Media:

Twitter (handle) - @ealake5

Google+ - Search for ‘e a lake’

Website – www.ealake.com

Most recent Book Trailer - http://youtu.be/6ou-F5TgSdg


Book Trailer:


Book Excerpt – WWIV – In The Beginning

Buddy (my dog) was okay by himself, so I rode up to City Hall to look for new postings. The only change on their door was the fact they took down the old sign. Nothing new, nothing at all, was on the door.
A nice older woman stared at me staring at the blank door. She looked at me for answers. “I suppose this means they’ve given up?”
“I don’t know what it means. At least we know someone has been here in the past 24 hours. Maybe that’s a good sign.” I tried to give her a nice smile, but she frowned and looked again at the door, only down this time. There, lying on the ground was the paper someone posted a week ago. The tape must have let loose. I shook my head.
“I wonder what we’re supposed to do? What we should be doing? What we might need to prepare for?” The nice woman with snow-white hair sighed deeply when she finished.
I wished I had words of encouragement for her. “I’ll be honest, I’m starting to worry a little bit, ma’am.” I looked down at her. I’m almost six feet tall. She was a good nine inches shorter than me, and rail thin. “Most of the police are up by the bank and grocery store. I’m afraid if they weren’t there, those places would get looted. That doesn’t leave much for the rest of us.” She slowly nodded as I spoke. “I suppose our city officials are home taking care of what’s theirs. Just like the rest of us. I don’t know why we’d expect them to be any different. Especially if they weren’t sure about what’s happened.” My usual optimism dwindled. I wasn’t feeling so confident any more, how could I convince anyone else to be positive?
The older woman left quietly. She didn’t have anything to add. Unlike before, there were very few people coming to City Hall for information any more. I felt most had given up on their government. How long could I hold out? As I rode home, I thought more of my food supply. I still had enough, but for how long? I had a month of food, maybe two, but certainly not much longer. I needed a food source for the future, one that could last a long time. I suppose I needed a garden but at this time of year? It was too late to plant anything. I wasn’t even sure I could find seeds anywhere. And what would I do for meat after that?
Once back home, I grabbed a warm beer and plopped down on the back porch to think. Buddy nuzzled nearby, and I felt a little better. Man’s best friend was still around, that helped. We were in trouble here. It was as plain as the nose on Buddy’s black face. Food couldn’t last forever, who knew how much clean water was around, sanitation was a joke, and it was obvious now that we were alone and on our own. Surrounded by what was once everything we could ever need, we now saw just how little we all possessed.

Author Interview:

Hi Lake and welcome to my blog

Firstly can you tell us about yourself?

            I love to start with the easy questions, Bella. I’m just a regular guy. I have a regular family (3 grown children and 3 young grandchildren), I have a regular everyday job (CFO for a small creative company), regular pets (two dogs, one cat), and a normal average life. I’ve been married to the same woman 34 years this July.
            I love spending time outdoors. Walks in the spring, fishing and relaxing at the cottage (on a lake) during the summer, and spending time in the fall outdoors at some property my family owns about 200 miles south of where I live.
            I watch a lot of (American) football in the fall (when I’m not sitting in a tree watching deer), my wife and I have several shows we enjoy together (The Walking Dead, When Calls the Heart, Under The Dome), we’re both avid readers digesting five to six books a month. And of course, we love spending time with our family – all nine of them.

How long have you been writing?

            I wrote a lot back in high school, but that was many years ago. I actually began this journey on January 23, 2013. That’s the day that I finally tossed aside my self-doubt and said, “I am going to do this.” So, I guess that means I’ve been writing seriously for about 15 months.
            In the past 15 months, I have written well over 500,000 words. Currently, I have one published novel, WWIV – In The Beginning, and four completed manuscripts in various forms of editing and rewriting. I thought this journey would be a one and done. I wanted to write a novel, but I never had plans on writing anything further. Once I completed the first manuscript, another began flowing through my mind. And then another, and another. It’s a lot more fun than I ever thought it could be.

What inspired you to start writing novels for your chosen genre?

            In high school, I read Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago. That was the first time I had ever read something dark. His life is the Soviet prison camp really opened my eyes to the idea of Big Brother, and what dystopia meant. After that, I read George Orwell’s classic 1984. I was hooked.
            For the past thirty years, I always told myself that after the age of 50, I was going to construct a novel. And if I was going to dedicate as much time as I knew it would take, I wanted to write in my favourite genre.
            The idea of creating an alternate world, using the one we live in, is just so appealing. I mean, there’s nothing to constrain your imagination. You can have an evil government  (1984) or no government (Lord of the Flies). As long as you research what could happen, you’ll come up with an interesting tale of what will happen.
Are you working on anything new right now and can you tell us more?

            Currently, I am focusing on two projects. First, I am wrapping up the second book in the WWIV series. Its entitled Kids at War. Now, please don’t fret. I’m not taking a bunch of children and turning them into soldiers. What I’ve done in book two, is take a group of young teens and place them in an almost unimaginable situation (and that was fun). It’s almost six years after whatever happened, happened. The manuscript is complete and about ready to go to my editor for his input.
            The second project on my plate is wrapping up a rewrite of the very first manuscript I ever created (the one that began this journey for me) – Golden 5. That novel will be part of a four books series called The Smith Chronicles. It’s almost twice as long as anything in my WWIV series, so it’s quite a monster. I hope to have that book ready for publication sometime this fall (2014). Further information, on this book and series, can be found at my website.
Can you offer any advice to the fledgling authors, just starting out?

            Sure, I love giving advice. Once you finish reading this interview, put everything else away and start writing. You already have some idea in your head as to what you want to write about. So start writing. Write until your fingers cramp up. Write until you think you can’t write another word, and then write a little more. Use your creative time wisely. Don’t worry about what anyone else may think of your endeavour. Write!
            Now, when you finish it will most likely be pretty rough. But that’s okay. That’s why they call the first draft a rough draft after all. Heck, I call mine rough drafts through versions 2, 3, and 4. But here’s what I want you to do with that rough draft. Give it to someone to read. Your wife, your husband, your bother or sister, your roommate, even your mother. Let them read it and DO NOT apologize for it up front. I can tell you from experience, you will most likely be pleased with what they have to say.

If you could Time Travel -  what year would you visit and why?

            Easy. The early 1860s in the eastern United States. Right about the start of our Civil War. There’s so much history to learn about this time period. I would just love to be there with all the greats of history, as well as just your average everyday citizen. I can only imagine the varied opinions I would discover from all the different people I would meet.
            This travel would also allow me the chance to meet some of the great minds of that time. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Ambrose Bierce, just to name a few. What a thrill and honour it would be, sitting and chatting with them. Picking their minds on everything from government, to religion, and war. I just think it would be thrilling.

How do you come up with the Titles for your novels?

            Whoa, wait a second. Why did I choose this question? Sheez, let me think. I chose WWIV as a series for two main reasons. 1) I have always been drawn to Einstein’s famous quote about World War 4. It’s in the beginning of my book or you can look it up on line. 2) When I research WWIV as a book title I found nothing. I really wanted something unique, thus I chose that. Now the sub-titles were easy. In the Beginning is obvious. That book deals with what goes on, well, in the beginning. Kids at War just came to me one day as I was dreaming up the plot in my mind. I think it’s a real natural fit.
            Funny side note: the first manuscript I wrote was untitled until the day I finished the first draft. At the time, I quickly gave it the title Village for 5. But that turned out to be to bland and non-descript. I mean who’d ever buy a book with that title. It took some thought and a lot of bouncing ideas off a whole lot of people. But I finally settled on Golden 5 several weeks into the first rewrite.
What is your preferred method of writing:-  The plot pre-planned from day one, or just go with the flow and see what happens next?

            The first step to every manuscript I create is to throw down a general outline. It’s nothing formal or complicated. This outline serves as a guide as I move into the actual writing process. Next, I create each character in detail. Name, height, weight, hair color, eye color, personality, birthdate, parent’s names, hometown, education, etc…
            I refer to my outline as I write to be sure I get all the major scenes covered. And I try to highlight (in the outline) two or three main ideas I want to get across in each chapter. But it’s my characters that run the show. They take me to some of the wildest places I could ever imagine. I find it funny how they take over the novel and it seems like I’m just along for the ride.

Do you have any weird writing rituals? (Such as, you can only start writing after you’ve scoffed all the choc-chip cookies and drank 3 cups of full-caff coffee?  Or only after you’ve listened to a certain song or playlist? etc… do share)

            Short answer – no. I can write anywhere at any time. I don’t need any props or special tools. Just my computer and maybe a good Internet connection. Once in a while I’ll listen to some “pump me up” music just before beginning. Something like It’s My Life by Bon Jovi. But that’s more the exception than the rule. I’m not superstitious and I don’t believe in luck or circumstance. I just try to confidently move my way through the writing process, with the ultimate goal being to give the reader a decent novel that they will appreciate and enjoy.
Do you have any input in the Cover design of your novel?

I usually have a pretty good idea for my covers. Something that comes to me during the writing process. I rough it out and get opinions from my family before deciding the exact direction I want to head.
I worked on the cover for WWIV – In The Beginning with Laura La Roche at LLPix Design. I supplied her with the general idea of what I wanted; simple block letters to grab the reader’s attention, an ambiguous title, and muted standing corn in the background. Corn becomes a big part of the novel.
It took Laura and I several rounds to fine-tune things, but with the input of my family, and a lot of patience from Laura, we were finally able to get it just perfect.

How many novels/books do you typically read in a month?

            Thus far in 2014, I have read 21 books. That’s about seven a month I suppose. Some are long like Ender’s Game. Some are shorter like A Murder, A Mystery, and A Marriage.  Typically about half of what I read is in the dystopian genre. And I cover the whole range there. Ayn Rand, George Orwell, Ray Bradbury, and self-published independent authors to boot.
            When not in that genre I moved around as much as I can. Thrillers, action and adventure, suspense, even a few romance and what are considered chick lit. I like to see what others are creating and how they do it. That’s the only way I know how to learn in this business. The grammar and structure can be found almost anywhere; the hard and fast rules or writing that is. But other authors demonstrate, through their writings, how they get their point across. How they move action ort conflict along. How to pace a serious conversation. That’s what being well read helps me with.

How long does it typically take for you to write a novel?

            I began writing this book on July 14, 2013. I finished the last sentence, of the first draft on September 4, 2013. That’s 52 days of creation. Fifty-two days to create a 72,500 word fiction novel. After that, of course, came rewrites, edits, more rewrites, beta-reading and one final round of clean up work. It was finally published on March 27, 2014. So from first word to published novel was close to eight and a half months.
            I have also written two large manuscripts. The first was about 125,000 words and the second was 152,000. These took slightly longer. Eight or nine weeks if I recall correctly. But that’s still fairly quick because I play the story through my head hundreds of times before I ever write the first word. That makes the rough draft fly.
            I should note that I just finished a 60,000+ manuscript for a later book in the WWIV series during February. That one only took me 24 days to write. And let me tell you, it redefines what is meant when we say “rough draft”.

Tell us one thing that no-one else knows about you – your darkest secret if you dare!

            Okay. But you have to promise not to share this with anyone. It’s a secret after all. Deep inside my dark soul lies a hopeless romantic. There, I’ve said it. Now please, wipe it from your memory. I have an image to maintain.  
            In all seriousness though, I really am soft-hearted person. And romance gets me every time. I swear I tear up every episode when watching When Comes The Heart. It’s a series based on Janette Oke’s same titled novel.  Every time something dramatic happens between Mountie Jack and Elizabeth, I get choked up. I have no idea why. It just happens. I’m going to have to start watching that series alone, instead of with my wife (although she’s nice enough not to make fun of me).

Can you tell us why you think we’d love to read your novel?

            We’re dealing with humanity here, our humanity. Someone asked me the other day if this wasn’t just another “end of the world, doomsday” novel. I smiled for a quick second and told him no. There’s no end of the world here, the world will be just fine. It’s our humanity we need to be concerned about.
            I have been painstakingly meticulous to detail in this novel. I don’t ever want the reader to have to disengage their belief system at any time in any of my books. It has to be believable to be good. One beta reader, a total stranger to me, said this: “I didn’t think I would like your book, but once I got past chapter 5, I couldn’t put it down. I really enjoyed it.” 
            Let me close with a quote from my 81-year-old mother. She had this to say about the tale which I tell: “I finished reading the book that you sent me, couldn't stop when I got toward the end.  Was a late night for me.  It made me anxious and concerned.  I couldn't go to sleep, I had to get up and have some cocoa and a graham crackers!” And that woman reads Mary Higgins Clark novels.
            I promise you this ­– even if you don’t think you like dystopian tales, you won’t be able to put this book down. There’s something inside for almost every reader (though I wouldn’t recommend it for younger children).


Very many thanks to Lake for joining us today with his fabulous dystopian novel and for the awesome interview! Be sure to add his novel to your TBR @Goodreads, I am.

Join me again on Thursday when I'm back with a Release Day Blitz

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