Title: State of Allegiance
Author: Summer Lane
Series: Collapse #9
Genre: Dystopia, New Adult
Release Date: February 24, 2017Summary:
Be brave. Be vigilant. But above all, be loyal.
In the wake of a dangerous but successful mission to Yukon City in Alaska, Cassidy Hart now finds herself back in California, at the naval air station in San Diego. Together, she and Chris now face their most terrifying threat yet: nuclear destruction.
Surviving in a world gone nuclear is easier said than done. Faced with the prospect of being wiped off the face of the earth by Omega’s nuclear arsenal, Cassidy, Chris and their fellow rebel friends stage an incredible, daring journey into the Pacific Rim with the hope that they will be able to seize a weapon that could turn the tide of the war in the militia’s favor.
The clock of the apocalypse is counting down.
Choices must be made. Relationships will be strained. True love will be put to the ultimate test.
It’s militias versus Omega. Hope versus destruction.
Where does your allegiance lie?
Cassidy Hart is still alive! After 9 installments in the Collapse Series, she still manages to evade death, and to outsmart her enemies. Some people might say that she is “too lucky,” but let’s face it: who wants to read about a character that’s going to die? In fact, the entire premise of the Collapse Series is a group of extraordinarily driven people who will do anything and everything to survive. That’s what makes their story worth telling.
The concept of living off the grid is one that utterly fascinates me. I have an inner “wild woman,” so to speak. I feed her by reading books about the wilderness, survival and military adventures. I think that the apocalypse is the perfect setting for my characters because it throws them into an environment that makes everything harder, crazier and more dangerous.
As a post-apocalyptic author, I definitely believe that it’s important to be prepared for any emergency or disaster! I have jugs and jugs of pure water stored away in my closet, along with cans of food, matches, blankets, boots and more. You never know when something is going to shift in your world and force you to take major evasive action. And to answer a question that is frequently asked of me: yes, I have become much more prepared for an emergency over the course of writing this series, and all of the stories contained within its universe (16 books so far!).
Staying alive, at least in Collapse, is entirely dependent on three elements, adaptation, skill and luck. Cassidy’s ability to adapt to the new world was the first thing that helped her to survive. Second, not only did she adapt, but she forged new, strong skills that put her at the top of the food chain. Lastly, she’s had a good amount of luck – all good heroes do! Yet her luck is primarily made herself, and by her friends. What’s the lesson here? When in doubt, make your own luck!
So what do I think are the main things that we can do, here in our everyday life, to stay alive? Here’s my advice:
- Always be prepared for the worst, but hope for the best.
- Never underestimate the power of scared people to do stupid things (and avoid those people!).
- Keep food, water, medicine, clothing and any weapons (your rubber-band gun counts, right? *wink*) easily accessible at all times. You never know when disaster may strike!
- Never assume that you are safe. Like Cassidy Hart, be aware that every moment is dangerous, and be on your guard!
- Consider acquiring an animal companion, like a dog. They are great guardians and faithful friends.
Remember, the apocalypse will show you no mercy…be ready to fight back!
How does it feel to publish the 9th installment of the Collapse Series – and your 16th overall?
It feels unreal! When I was a kid, I always pictured myself as an author, sharing my stories with readers, but I admit I didn’t really think that would materialize until I was much older than I am right now. I’ve been really blessed – and I’ve worked really hard!
What’s a typical day in your life like?
I do manage a business, so while I do a lot more than simply write manuscripts, writing certainly is the base of everything that I engage in. I just got a German Shepherd puppy named Kona, and she gets me up early in the morning (earlier than usual, haha!), and I’ll start work then. If I have a good day, I’ll be done with work around 2:30 or 3. If it’s a long day, I’ll be working until 6.
What is State of Hope going to be like – and is it the last book in the series?
State of Hope is going to be long, intense and flushed with adrenaline. There are so many secrets to be revealed, so many character plots to be tied up neatly, and most importantly: Cassidy’s conclusion in this apocalyptic war. While Hope is indeed the final installment in the Collapse Series, it is not the last book in the Collapse universe. I certainly do have some plans for Cassidy in the future – they may not be as huge as Collapse, but trust me: I have plans.
How do you stay motivated and healthy in your career as a writer?
I stay motivated by keeping my eye on the prize: I remove negativity from my life, because nobody needs that. I try to surround myself with people who really care about me and support what I do. Staying healthy, for me, at least, is actually really difficult. My profession requires a lot of sitting, so I have to make an extra effort to get up, walk and move. It’s also tempting to snack on junk food working in an office (am I right?). I try hard to indulge only with healthy snacks: I have celery sticks and apples in the fridge, I like cheese, and any gluten-free cracker in combination. I also just discovered baked parmesan crisps. Oh, my heart!
Advice to aspiring authors?
Don’t let anybody bring you down. Never take no as a final answer. Work hard, and it will pay off, one way or another.
Summer Lane is the #1 bestselling author of the Collapse Series, Zero Trilogy, Bravo Saga, Collapse: The Illustrated Guide and the adventure thriller, Unbreakable SEAL.
Summer owns WB Publishing. She is an accomplished journalist and creative writing teacher. She also owns an online magazine, Writing Belle, where she has interviewed and worked with countless authors from around the globe.
Summer lives in the Central Valley of California with her husband, where she enjoys reading, collecting tea, visiting the beach and the mountains, and counting down the days until she has her very own puppy (if you’ve read Bravo: Apocalypse Mission, you’ll understand).
State of Allegiance #9