Brushfire Plague by R.P.Ruggiero

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The Brushfire Plague made the Spanish Flu Pandemic of 1918 look like a case of the common cold.
When a virulent plague erupts across the globe, Cooper Adams faces a daily battle for survival as society unravels at a dizzying pace. As he organizes his neighbors for self-defense and strives to save those around him, he soon discovers the first clues about the origin of the Brushfire Plague that is killing untold millions around the world. In his pursuit to learn the truth, Cooper must combat looters, organized gangs, and those protecting the Brushfire Plague's secrets. When his son falls ill, his search to uncover the plague's origin and a possible cure transforms into a race against time. Ultimately, Cooper faces a paralyzing choice between exposing what he has learned with potentially shattering consequences, or abetting a horrible secret and giving his nation a chance to recover and rebuild.
Surviving the Plague was just the beginning...
MY THOUGHTS:  This book was a great read!  From the beginning, the author draws you into the story by using one of my favorite literary tools....the flash back.  You quickly become emotionally innvolved with the main character and his son through learning of their heart rending loss, which sets the stage for the book.  This is one of those "can't put it down" books.  Once you start you will stay up all night to find out how it ends.  Like all books of this genre, I was able to extrapolate some practical tips to file away in case of future need.  As a disclaimer, the language is a little strong in some areas, but certainly not gratuitous or to excess. 
The following is a written interview with the author of "Brushfire Plague" R.P.'s responses are in red.
1. First of all, let me say that I thoroughly enjoyed your book. Obviously the character, Dranko, in your book is a "prepper". When is the first time you ever heard that term? and Do you identify yourself as a "prepper" or is it just an area of fascination for you? I first heard the term prepper about three or four years ago. With the level of my preparations for crisis, I think others would call me a Prepper. I don't like labels all that much. Honestly, I just think of myself as a responsible American father. I feel it's my responsibility to make sure my family is ready to weather any bad situations that might arise. I see it the same as insurance. More Americans need to be doing this. In fact, part of the reason I wrote Brushfire Plague was so that it can appeal to both 'preppers' and 'average' readers and get them interested in prepping.
2. The book centers around a fast moving plague which is dubbed the "Brushfire Plague". How did the idea of writing a disaster scenario book about a plague first develop for you? I wanted to write a novel that focused on the rapid breakdown of society. I wanted to examine what that would look like. What that would feel like. What are some ways to prepare for that. How an average American family and neighborhood would deal with that. A fast-moving, deadly, and unknown plague was a good way to do that. Of course, I wove into the story a great mystery element too about the Brushfire Plague!
3. Although there is a strong female character in the book (which as a woman, I really appreciate), I have to admit that Dranko, while not the main character in the book, was certainly my favorite. Do you have a favorite character in this story or is it like choosing a favorite among your children? If you have a favorite, why? It is a little like choosing who your favorite child is! They all bring different things to the story and accentuate different elements. I like Cooper's depth of emotion and his relationship with his son. Dranko is actually based upon a very good friend of mine, so, of course, I'm very partial to him. Even though she is a minor character, I adore Lily Stott's energy and wit. Julianne's development and conflict is very significant. Angela opens a very different door for Cooper. Finally, I really enjoyed the maturing relationship between Cooper and Calvin and plan to do a lot more with Calvin in the sequel (among others, of course!).
4. A lot of author's will pull from their own experiences and education in life when writing a novel. I am curious what aspect of the novel were you the least informed about and have to research the most? The military tactics portion was the area I had to do the most research on.
5. The character's in the book decide to "shelter in" for various reasons. Is there a particular reason that you chose to write about this angle rather than an evacuation or "bug out" type of situation? Yes. First and foremost, it made the most sense for Cooper to stay put. And, I was driven to have the characters and plot drive the story first. While it gets debated to death, I think for most people and the most likely situations, people will find themselves at home. So, I wanted to write something that focused on this. Without giving anything away, readers will see some different situations explored in the sequel!
6. The book is set in Oregon....any particular reason? The first rule in writing is "write what you know". And, I know Oregon!
7. Finally, I understand that you are working on a sequel for the book.....without revealing too much to those who haven't read the book, can you give us a "sneak peek"? Let's just say that the way the Brushfire Plague ends, while providing closure, opens up several more doors. The decision that Cooper makes has consequences and in Book Two, he will have to deal with them. And, the mystery surrounding the Brushfire Plague grows too!

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