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Blades of Grass: What it will be about, and When…

Blades of Grass: What it will be about, and When…

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Modern American urban lore attributes a quote that can’t be proven to Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto as to why they did not continue-on and invade mainland America after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

“To invade the United States would prove most difficult because behind every blade of grass is an American with a rifle.”

Notice that the quote can’t be disproven, either. The source most likely to contain it is a Yamamoto letter in a large collection of volumes built by General Douglas MacArthur’s personal historian, Gordon Prange. It is alleged that he spoke this quote socially on several occasions himself. True or not, the facts are… Japan would’ve run into the world’s largest armed populace had they invaded, something they had not encountered as they swept through Asia and the southwest Pacific territories.

I believe there is one thing keeping China from invading the mainland United States at this very moment. It is NOT the threat of nuclear retaliation, especially when the decision lies in the hands of the nefarious handlers behind someone who needs to live out his days peacefully watching Jeopardy reruns and eating tapioca pudding. It is simply that they can’t transport the number of people they would need here to wage that war all at once. So, is it the “blades of grass” concept? Not by itself, per se, but it is a major factor.

When I first started writing Cascadia Fallen, I had it in mind it would be a trilogy in the “prepper genre” that is largely lumped (not always accurately) as “post-apocalypse/dystopian.” As I continued to write Tahoma’s Hammer, it became apparent to me just how much the world would change if Washington State suddenly stopped selling power to California. On top of that, what if the corporate headquarters and largest labs for Amazon and Microsoft suddenly went away? I know that in real life, they have been strategically moving portions of their businesses out of Washington State. That has more to do with the fact that deep in their liberal-billionaire cores, they’re still just run by capitalists who hate the Washington taxes and grid-lock mismanagement.

But the question stands (and add Boeing to it while you’re asking it): how would the loss of those companies affect the internet, the world economy, and transportation? In short, it would be the catalyst for the world change that both China and Russia seek. As I said in the narrative in Spiritus Americae, both of those countries think “they’re due” for their shot. This is the core of why I set all those narrative sections in motion in the trilogy. It’s also why I finally introduced a Libertarian POTUS at the very end of the trilogy. He’ll be a key player in the evolving world dynamic of the Cascadia Fallen universe. And as they say, Truth is stranger than Fiction. I wanted the U.S. to have a fightin’ chance—something we wouldn’t have today with the current feckless “leadership.”

Many of you like my writing style, though reviews have told me that I strayed a bit from the comfort zone and expected tropes of many PA/Dystopian readers. Many of the other authors’ book series—probably most—have one or two core protagonists that 90+% of the story revolves around. I write more like Clancy, in which the main protag gets half or less space (initially) in order to build several sub-plots and up to six or eight other POV characters. Some of this intermix with the main protag throughout, some may never, but they all connect at strategic “Ah-Ha!” moments.

I was having a difficult time finding the central glue to this next series. As I was going back through and removing typos (and making some subtle improvements) for the e-boxset of the trilogy, I knew I did NOT want the main protag to be the POTUS, Jeremiah Allen. This book series will need to remain at least half post-apoc as it crosses genres with its category kissin’-cousin, military-thriller. I also knew I wanted to go back in time, telling the story of the rest of America and the world as the Cascadia destruction impacts her. But how to tell the stories upon stories of “an American with a rifle behind every blade of grass” without driving the readers crazy with plot hopping?! I couldn’t figure out how to keep one of those plots primary in a way that connects them all (eventually.) Then it hit me—the president, or more likely his military advisors, will need some “boots on the ground” direct reporting to back up what they’re unit commanders are telling them via the Chain-of-Command. Hence was born Air Force Colonel Freeman Louis “Lou” Caldwell, the personal assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

The good colonel will have a compelling back-story that makes him relatable to both readers, and the unit commanders in the field that he is visiting. As the cartel situation in America continues to worsen, he feels compelled to get farther off base with each city he visits, trying to get the true finger-on-the-pulse of Americans as they slip closer to a scarily unpredictable future. This will give me the opportunity to link several great characters and plots I have in mind to describe these American patriots of all races and sub-cultures as they come out from behind the blades of grass and fight for their families.

The first book will foretell the story behind the super-satisfying epilogue at the end of Spiritus Americae (which I won’t spoil if you haven’t read, yet.) And it won’t be a retelling of that particular operation, but rather the entire Operation Venom Spear that was happening throughout the mid-west and western states at the same moment. And finally, a minor percentage, probably about twenty to thirty, will be dedicated to continuing to setup the coming war (and characters) involving both Russia and China. Hang onto your hat, folks. You’re in for a very bumpy ride.

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