The authors of Post Grid, Tony and Nancy Martineau, met while in college, working on an ambulance in the Phoenix Metro area. They have been married almost 30 years.
Tony is a former Deputy U.S. Marshal and Flight Paramedic who continues to work in law enforcement and as a wildfire line medic.
Nancy is a nurse specializing in emergency and pre-hospital medicine.
The couple has been active in search and rescue with the Civil Air Patrol and Maricopa Medical Rescue Posse in the desert areas that they describe in their book. Both are long-time amateur radio operators.
They have two non-fiction books to their credit: Camp Health and First Aid In My Pocket, available on Amazon, and Labor and Delivery In My Pocket, editions one through three, currently out of print.
1. Why did you choose to write a dystopian novel?
We were both members of the American Red Cross Disaster Services in Southern California when Tony was there as a Deputy U.S. Marshal. We lived through several earthquakes and realized no one was coming to help for many days.
Tony assisted in relief efforts during the floods in Arizona as a teenager and saw how the most self-sufficient people fared better.
Of late, we have all been witness to increased terrorist attacks around the world. Any massive power-grid failure, such as cyber terrorism, internet failure or coronal mass ejection, could immediately put people into a survival situation that would resemble this book.
Without the internet or electricity you cannot pump gas, use an ATM, check-out at most stores or communicate by phone. Many of our friends and neighbors have less than a week’s worth of non-perishable food in their houses. If their freezers and microwaves go out, they are almost immediately hungry. Water is life and death here in the Arizona desert. Many have just a few water bottles stored in the pantry. At a need of one gallon of water per person, per day, they are in immediate danger of dehydration if the water goes off, even temporarily.
2. Do you have any favorite dystopian literature? Authors?
Michael Hopf (The New World Series), Ray Gorham (77 days in September), William R. Forstchen (One Second After) — These guys were trying to imagine a world Post Grid just like we are. It’s fun to see the same event through different people’s eyes, you know, different parts of the country, different scenarios.
3. Do you foresee any part of your book becoming reality? If so explain.
We hope not, but it’s a persistent possibility. There are so many vulnerabilities in our power delivery system and integrated into that is our communication infrastructure. Threats to the grid include solar activity, cyber terrorism, simple mechanical failure, EMP and new EMP weapons just starting to make their debut on the world scene.
4. Was there a particular event or idea in the real world that inspired your writing?
No particular events, although we have seen regional power failures over our lifetimes. Recent memory included the Toronto outage, Katrina, Sandy, and locally monsoon damage. We had a mega-transformer go out here in Phoenix a few years back that took months and months to replace. We watched the 3 mile per hour journey on a flatbed it made through the California/Arizona desert to get here. It’s all sobering.
5. When writing your book, did you seek to only tell a good story or to get across a specific message?
It’s all about the story. Rather than focus on doom and gloom, our goal was to inspire people to be more prepared and to make connections that can help them in any catastrophe. It can be as simple as having a premature baby to complete societal collapse. Good people in your circle always help. There is a tendency to think preparing is only about waiting for the “big one,” but it really is about coping better with the many little disasters people face.
6. What was the inspiration for your book?
We have spent years in emergency services watching others be unprepared and get into dangerous predicaments.
7. What other genres do you read?
Nancy reads romance, western biographies and Arizona history. Tony enjoys many genres: history, fantasy, biography, sci-fi and how-to books. We both read medical and survival texts.
8. Have you or would you like to write in another genre? Which one?
Steampunk, it just sounds so limitless and adventuresome. We envision Indiana Jones meets Sherlock Holmes.
9. Are you particularly fond of any one of you characters?
Nancy’s favorites are Kelly and Emma. Tony doesn’t have a favorite but likes all of the characters. We wanted to show teens as active participants alongside the adults.
10. Is there one book, in any genre, that has had a lasting impact on your life? Title. How did it affect you?
There are so many. Books stretch your imagination in ways movies cannot. It makes your brain summon images and settings. These worlds are to your own liking.
#1 Amazon best seller in western science fiction 11/22/14!
8 reviews. All five-stars.