From the product description:

“In New York, Walt Lawson is about to lose his girlfriend Vanessa. In Los Angeles, Raymond and Mia James are about to lose their house. Within days, none of it will matter.

When Vanessa dies of the flu, Walt is devastated. But she isn’t the last. The virus quickly kills billions, reducing New York to an open grave and LA to a chaotic wilderness of violence and fires. As Raymond and Mia hole up in an abandoned mansion, where they learn to function without electricity, running water, or neighbors, Walt begins an existential walk to LA, where Vanessa had planned to move when she left him. He expects to die along the way.

Months later, a massive vessel appears above Santa Monica Bay. Walt is attacked by a crablike monstrosity in a mountain stream. The virus that ended humanity wasn’t created by humans. It was inflicted from outside. The colonists who sent it are ready to finish the job–and Earth’s survivors may be too few and too weak to resist.”

Breakers is available for $2.99.

What’s it about?

Well, read the description you apparently just skimmed! It is about the end of the world. Via plague. I love apocalyptic virus stories. This is a new one. It’s about the end of the world, how two different people from two different places react to it, and how they respond when they discover they may be able to do something about it.

Where’s it available?

I’m beginning to suspect you are just messing with me, as that information is also in the title. It’s out for Kindle. Why Kindle-exclusive? Well, it probably won’t always be that way. But because of the various benefits involved, I wanted to make it a Select title, meaning that, for either 3 or 6 months, it’ll be Amazon-only. After that, I expect to release it through Barnes & Noble, Apple, Sony, etc.

If you are an interested reviewer, however, or anyone else who really, really, really, can’t wait, email me (edwrobertson AT gmail) and we’ll work something out.

Who did the cover art?

Foldout Creative, a Los Angeles-area book cover boutique. I don’t think their website has launched just yet–think it’ll be up any day now, though–but they’re great guys, easy to work with, happy to take requests, and very thoughtful about making the right cover to represent what’s inside. Oh, and did I mention generous? I won my cover through a contest they put on to meet a few authors and help support the local indie author scene. I give them a thumbs up. No wait, I have two hands. Make that two thumbs up.

What inspired the book?

This could be a pretty long list. To be honest, I doubt I would have written this if I hadn’t read Stephen King’s The Stand. And then reread the first third, where Captain Trips wipes out the world, like three or four times, because man, that grabbed my imagination. I haven’t read it in over a decade, but I can still remember the descriptions of dead men behind the wheels of their cars, their plagued-out necks so swollen they looked like the tires on the vehicles they’d died in.

I had a different idea about where the virus came from, though. And while the scope is similar–the fate of the world–I think the approach is pretty different, too. I hope Breakers can be a part of the subgenre The Stand helped define while being something of its own.

Structurally, I was actually inspired by George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. This may come as a surprise, considering I’ve written and commented at length about how I think the series sucks, but it’s a little more complicated than that inflammatory headline. I could rant about this for thousands of words, but in short, I both love and hate Martin’s ongoing cliffhangers. While I found them so compelling I kept reading the series a full book and a half beyond the point at which I started to hate it, I also wound up feeling so manipulated by them–and rewarded with so few payoffs when the plot finally returned to whichever character was last in peril–that I’m still bitter to this day.

Still, there’s no denying they’re kind of great writing. I wanted to see what would happen if I tried to slash out the negatives from those techniques, making the plot (ideally!) very hard to set aside while quickly and regularly rewarding whatever cliffhanger I’d left out there a few pages earlier. That was my intent, anyway. I would be overjoyed to someday read a blog post from an angry un-fan tearing into me the same way I did Martin. It would mean the work got out there.

Also, I’m pretty sure every single book I’ve written has been from a single perspective. I’ve been trying to practice different structures recently, so I wanted to tell this story from two different characters’ points of view.

The major settings were an easy choice. I lived in New York during college and moved to the Los Angeles area a couple years ago. Little-known fact: they’re both huge. Also interesting. Full of very unique neighborhoods, styles, and people. I really like it here in LA, and I really, really liked it in New York. That makes them pretty easy to write about.

The characters come out of questions I’ve been interested in for a long time: what happens when you lose everything? What should you do to hang onto it? Is there any limit?

Also, I didn’t realize this until a few days ago, but there must have been some subconscious influence from Breaking Bad, because the book is called Breakers (for the breaking of the world, mostly) and one of the main characters is named Walt. Then again, everything should be influenced by Breaking Bad, because it is awesome.

There’s probably some other influences at work here, too, dating all the way back to my earliest reading days. The Tripod books, definitely. Maybe a bit of The Hitchhiker’s Guide and the two Red Dwarf books, which I loved loved loved and are probably the main reason I expect every book to be at least a little bit funny. A little bit of John Gardner, as always (which he would probably find weird and possibly offensive, but what can you do). Other stuff I’m definitely forgetting. I always find it disingenuous when an author or artist tries to claim their work came out of nowhere–that much like ODB, there is no father to its style. There were dozens of works that influenced Breakers, and not just books. A lot of movies and TV shows, too.

That was really long. Could you shut up now?

Yeah. In exchange, please check out the book.

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I am a Science Fiction and Fantasy author, based in LA. Read More.
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