Tag Archives: survival

Survival

As the day approaches for the release of my third book, Survival, I find the tension building. In this sequel to Extinction, the Roberts family still strives to survive and to find other survivors, but are they winning? Every effort brings victory…and defeat.

The jagged knife wound across Nicole’s right palm left her in no shape for fighting. She needed a chance to heal before trying to fight again. She could move all her fingers. She was lucky. Eventually the gash would heal. In the meantime, it hurt badly. She could live with it. What other choice did she have? A few aspirin were the strongest painkillers in the shelter’s first aid kit. She would ration them and hope the cut did not become infected. She chuckled at the irony. She was stuck inside one of the best hospitals in the country, and could not access any of the drugs located just on the other side of the double doors.

Nicole lay on her cot, thinking about the events of the last several days. The thought of the second Link scream that she had heard the day she yelled into the duct preyed on her mind. The only explanation was that someone uninfected yelled back to her. Other survivors could be nearby, but they would have to survive on their own for a while longer. Her hand had to heal.

Two days before, she and Danny had secured the hallway outside the fallout shelter, a significant step forward. They could have lived safely inside the medical center shelter; however, as days turned to weeks, the confinement of the windowless space took a toll on their nerves and dispositions. Laura cried most of the time. Danny became despondent and withdrawn. She realized they must do something.

With makeshift spears and a few rounds from her pistol, they attacked the Links in the hallway. The deadly gamble paid off. The claustrophobic atmosphere of the institutional green walls faded away. Gone was the trapped feeling of being in a windowless box. Sunlight flooded through the windows in the security doors at the end of the hallway. More importantly, she could see outside.

After the fight, she and Danny had escorted Laura into the hall and showed her the bodies of the dead Links before dragging them off the loading dock. They dared not try to move the bodies further.

Danny had mopped the pools of drying blood. At least her wounded hand exempted her from cleaning the bloody mess covering the floor. They had discussed the fight with Laura, explaining what had happened and how dangerous it had been, in hopes it would help her understand the seriousness of the situation. If it gave her nightmares, then that was a regrettable but a necessary price for her realizing just how dangerous her world had become.

H.V. Purvis
Author of Extinction and Death in a Small Town

http://www.hvpurvis.com, @hvpurvis, FB page H.V. Purvis

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Words

Few films have been able to capture my heart as completely as The Book Thief, based on the 2005 prize winning novel by Markus Zusak. This is the story of an illiterate girl sent to live with a foster family that is hiding a Jew from the Nazis.

Max, the young Jewish man, tells young Liesel that his people believe that words create the life of a thing. They are truly alive when there are words for them. I couldn’t agree more.

To see the main character discover words and the power they brought to the human spirit stirred long dormant feelings. I had escaped into words from the time I could understand them. Books were the one thing I was never denied. Reading someone else’s words strung together like lights on a Christmas tree, twisted onto its branches, and reflecting off sparkling ornaments transported me from my troubled existence to a places of dreams and delight. They created stories that didn’t necessarily have to sound pretty or set scenes of beauty and happiness, but took me on a journey, discovering people embroiled in situations far more fantastic or difficult than any I would encounter.

I’ve often wondered about people who didn’t love to read the way I did. I’ve even felt sad that they missed out on amazing knowledge because they never opened the door that is the cover of a book – or in the 21st century, the screen of a digital device. I remember being taught the proper care of a book — how to make a homemade jacket out of a paper grocery bag to keep the cover pristine; how to open the cover for the first time without damaging the binding; and how to handle the crisp pages as if each were one of a kind and carried an ancient secret.

Leisel read far deeper works than I did at her age. As a child I identified with animal stories. Animals, like children, have no choices. I remember falling in love with Elsa, the lioness, in Born Free and seeing a larger Africa than I’d seen on Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom on Sunday night television. Black Beauty and National Velvet took me to England and showed me another side of humanity. Books were my greatest treasure. Still are. Although I’m not the hoarder I used to be. I find more satisfaction in sharing them.

Words gave me a life I wouldn’t have known without reading. Stories freed my mind to travel far beyond my home. Leisel lived during the most atrocious time in our history and words gave her power to survive the unimaginable.

Words give life to our language, our emotions, our history, and our daily lives. Burning them, as they did in Leisel’s time, was nothing short of murder. When she plucked a smoldering title from the ashes, hiding it in her coat, she was saving the lives of the author, his characters, and herself.

Sheila Englehart is the author of Warning Signs, published by Second Wind Publishing, as well blogging on all things paranormal at http://www.sheilaenglehart.wordpress.com

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Interview with H.V. Purvis, author of Extinction.

Q – What is your book, Extinction, about?

A – In one word, survival.  Imagine a future where an unknown virus infects almost all your family and friends. Due to its highly contagious nature, this virus spreads throughout the world before doctors and scientists even realize it exists.  Infected people begin to mutate becoming much stronger and more agile.  They cease to speak, grow fur, develop claws.  They lose their ability to reason and become murderously hostile toward anyone not infected.  Now imagine this rage being so consuming that the mutants attack until they kill you or you kill them.

The main characters are part of a single family and genetically immune to the virus.  Extinction follows them and chronicles their efforts not only to survive but also to find and rescue others.

Q – How much did you develop the story before you began to write?

A – The idea for Extinction developed from an earlier story, which takes place twelve years after the setting for the novel.  The earlier story is set in a primitive world where only small pockets of humans still exist.  These creatures, mutated humans, are little more than wild dogs and they attack on sight any people they happen to see.  I had finished the main storyline and needed two or three chapters of back-story to explain the world situation and these creatures.  The back-story took on a life of its own and by the time I finished the “back-story” there were four books.

The Extinction storyline simply unfolded as I started to write.  There was no outline, just a few images of events along the way.  The list of events grew as the survivors found themselves in more and more different situations.

Q – You say the idea “unfolded” as you wrote.  Do your characters ever take on a life of their own?

A – Very much so.  For example, a situation occurs in another story where the main characters are talking and the female character makes a statement which ends with the phrase, “And you know I’m right.”  And she is.  It changes the whole direction of the remainder of the story.

My stories are character driven.  I don’t use pages of notes or long detailed outlines.  Other than some particular waypoints I want to include in the story, I follow my characters around and try to write down what I see and hear.  I basically think of my characters as real people.  I think my theater background helps me to develop a multi-dimensional character.  They have their faults and quirks like everyone does and sometimes even the heroes do things that are not heroic.

Q – How has your background influenced your writing?

A – As I would assume of most writers, I grew up in a family where reading was encouraged.  My mother in particular, was always reading.  After the children left home and my dad died, she bought a bookstand to hold her book so she could read while she ate.

Another aspect is my choice in settings.  I was raised in a rural/small town area and that is the type of location I have chosen for most of my stories.  As a native of North Carolina, I am well versed in the way country people express themselves and the way they look at life.

Q – This is a two-part question.   What genre do you most often read, and what are you reading right now?

A – I read more science fiction and mysteries.  I particularly like it when they come together.  Right now, I am reading book five of George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones series, A Dance with Dragons.

Q – Where can we go to learn more about you and your stories”

A—From my publisher at http://www.secondwindpublishing.com/product_info.php?manufacturers_id=84&products_id=194

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