NOMINATED for UTOPiA Con Award 2016!

13227537_634791313334977_8658960362313404434_oLast year, Band of Dystopian had the wonderful privilege of debuting our book at the annual book conference UtopYA, now known as UTOPiA Con. We had a great time there and loved getting to share this labor of love with the world.

This year, we were thrilled to find out that PREP FOR DOOM has been nominated for Best Anthology of the Year in UTOPiA Con 2016’s Annual Awards! We are honored and so excited the book is getting the attention we know in our hearts this special anthology deserves. We are so glad people enjoy the book – that’s all we could ever hope for – but the nomination sure is nice too!

We are nominated alongside other anthologies featuring some of our authors, so we are rooting for them as well! We can’t wait for the con next week, so if you’re going to be around, look for BOD shirts. We’ll be there!


Author Feature ER Arroyo

ER’s Story

PFD Story TitleMartial Law
PFD Chapter: Twenty
Main Character: Kane, a National Guard pilot doing self-appointed search and rescue missions in the New York area


“Shhh.” Kane brought a finger to his lips.

When Kane returned to the peephole, a bloodshot eye greeted him, followed by a loud thud against the door. “You alive? Still not minding your own business? I’m doin’ her a favor, you hear?” the man yelled through the door. “I’ll do you one, too! Who else you got in there with you?”


How does Prep For Doom compare to other things you’ve written?

My YA dystopian series takes place around 20 years after the apocalypse, and it was chemical warfare in that case. This is a much different approach with it being a viral pandemic and writing about the actual apocalypse instead of the aftermath. Like my two novels and one short story (so far) in the Sovereign Series, my story in Prep For Doom – Martial Law – also has a fair bit of action, especially at the start.

What is your favorite thing about this project? 

Hands down, the authors. These folks not only donated their time and their stories to this book, but they were all so gracious and humble in the editing stages. The vast majority of them – dare I say all – have never collaborated with other writers on anything like this. Many have never collaborated on a writing project at all. So the idea of wrangling twenty personalities together to create a cohesive story is mind-boggling! But they understood what we were trying to do, knowing there wasn’t a precedent for us to follow. I can’t thank all of the 19 other authors enough for trusting me (and Sara Benedict) with this vision we had. This book is so special!

Do you or does anyone you know prep for disasters? 

Yes, my co-founder of Band of Dystopian. Cheer Papworth’s family preps for disasters. She’s well-stocked and her stash is in a top secret location! Seriously impressive.

What do you think would be the scariest kind of apocalypse?

I can’t remember the name of it, but sometime back in the 90’s, I think it was, or maybe early 2000’s, I watched a movie where the power went out indefinitely and people were breaking into each other’s homes, looting everywhere, and hurting people. It was a survival thing, like finding a safe place where you can get supplies but also protect yourself from horrible people taking advantage of the lawlessness. To me, that’s the scariest thing. Anytime the power goes out for longer than a few minutes, I’m always super on edge and imagining how to protect my family from horrible people like the bad guys in that movie. People are far more terrifying to me than any other threat or creature. What are you going to do if someone breaks into your house or something and there are no police to call? I have a two-year old to think of!

Tell us a little about your Prep For Doom character(s) and story.

My story, Martial Law, follows a rogue National Guardsman doing search and extraction missions, finding survivors and bringing them to safety. It all goes horribly wrong when his co-pilot disappears with his helicopter.

As Prep For Doom’s managing editor, I had the unique perspective of seeing everyone else’s stories before writing my own. In fact, with the way the stories were written with connections and the overarching plotline, my team (Cheer Papworth, Sara Benedict, and Angie Taylor) and I knew there needed to be a conclusion, and as the only author who’d seen all the stories, we knew that had to be me. I had a lot of fun bringing in characters from other stories throughout the book and giving a bit of closure to several characters as well as the book overall.


A message from ER Arroyo

As we near the release of Prep For Doom – mere hours away – I want to humbly express my utter gratitude for all of the support this book has received.

In the very beginning stages when this was nothing more than a Facebook conversation with a few dozen authors. Later, when we were editing and the authors in the book were so supportive of each other and of BOD’s vision for PFD. The Kickstarter campaign that absolutely blew our socks off in an unbelievably short timeframe. Likewise with the Thunderclap campaign. The enthusiasm our Band of Dystopian Authors and Fans members bring to anything we do never ceases to astound Cheer and me, and make us so, so happy to be a part of it.

I want to thank Cheer, Angie, and Sara for helping work through the story submissions and make the impossible decisions of which to keep. Thanks especially to Sara Benedict for helping me edit, and for always being a sounding board for ideas and different problems that arose, and helping me find solutions. Also, thank you Sara and your team at Your Elemental Solutions for being with us every step of the way, from creation to publication and beyond.

Tomorrow, at long last, we will debut this book at utopYA Con in Nashville, TN. You can also expect some noise on BOD for the release, as well as a huge release party on the 27th.

On behalf of Band of Dystopian and all of the Prep For Doom authors, we hope you love the book!


AUTHOR FEATURE: Monica Enderle Pierce

Author Feature Monica Pierce

Monica’s Story

PFD Story TitleBlood Brother
PFD Chapter: Nineteen
Main Character: Harman, a man on his way to meet up with his brother at a bunker


Luca lifted his shot glass. “To brothers reunited at the end of the world.”

Harman raised his glass too, and then downed the shot, welcoming the liquor’s heat as it seared his parched throat.

Luca took Harman’s glass and put it beside the Double Cross bottle. “We’re familia.” He turned and gripped Harman’s shoulder. “And we take care of each other.”


What is your favorite thing about this project?

Strangely, my favorite aspect of this project is the fact that I have a story in it. When it was first proposed, I threw my hat in the pile immediately, knowing it would be a unique opportunity but tough on my already tight schedule. As the deadline loomed, I was struggling to make my story work, struggling to find the time to fit it in between another anthology deadline and volunteer work for my daughter’s school, and struggling to overcome bronchitis. Tired and frustrated, I decided to withdraw from the project. Then E.R. posted on Facebook that she needed more stories with characters who were heading toward the Kingston bunker rather than Staten Island. So I sent Harman north and started thinking about the unintended victims of villains — their families. With that, the story wrote itself within two days. And, happily, Blood Brother is the penultimate chapter in this very fine anthology.

How did you prepare for writing your PFD story? Any particular research or personal experience?

My main character Harman was inspired (very loosely) by a family friend whose extensive world travels included time spent living in the Orinoco with the Yanomami tribe. Our friend is Romani and one of the most interesting people I’ve ever known. With that basic background in mind, I researched the Roma culture and very quickly learned about their tight family-based society, as well as the social pressures the Romani face worldwide. The experiences of Harman and his brother Luca are based upon a documentary I watched about the Romani in Slovakia. I wasn’t looking for a reason for the brothers’ actions when I started my research, but that documentary and news footage covering Neo-nazi attacks on Roma neighborhoods throughout Europe, presented an impetus for intelligent, but sensitive, men to make some disturbing choices.

What was it like working with the other authors to create such an integrated anthology?

As I said before, this tale came together after E.R.’s request for more Kingston stories. The events and characters’ actions evolved as I had discussions with Kelsey Gegan, who was working on a Kingston-based story, too. (Thank you for all your geographical information, Kelsey!) Then some back-and-forth brainstorming sessions with E.R. via Facebook helped me hone my characters and tweak my story to fit the whole collection. A great deal of discussion took place in the PFD Facebook group, and it was great fun to see details that the other authors were putting into their stories. E.R. made the editing process a snap, and I quite liked making little changes (per her suggestions) knowing that they were threads tying my story tighter to others in the anthology.

Have you ever experienced a major disaster that made you think about end of the world scenarios?

I grew up in Southern California where earthquakes and wildfires were anticipated yearly experiences, and the Cold War meant neighbors with fallout shelters and nuclear blast drills at school. I was an infant during the Sylmar earthquake and an adult for the Northridge quake. Growing up, we watched wildfires burn friends’ homes and took meals to the firefighters who stood between our house and fifty-foot flames. (There’s definitely something apocalyptic about a black sky, hot howling winds, and a red-eye sun.) By the time I was eight, I knew how to pack for evacuation and knew my job was to beat out burning embers with a wet towel as they landed in our yard. And, as a young adult fresh out of college, my shared apartment dodged the destruction of the Los Angeles riots (post-Rodney King) by virtue of one block.

I learned from those experiences that at the end of the world, the only thing that will matter is the people we love.


AUTHOR FEATURE: Hilary Thompson (w/ Video)

Author Feature Hilary Thompson

A Message from Hilary

Hilary’s Story

PFD Story TitleLucky
PFD Chapter: Eleven
Main Character: Arie, a girl with no family, a missing leg, and no one to trust – except maybe a guy she kind of knows


Taking a deep breath, she knelt next to Bas one last time, driving the tailspin of emotion in the other direction. Bas would tell her to keep moving: the chemicals would run out soon. She’d lost people before. She’d make it through this. Find new people.

Humanity was just one big lost and found now.


How does Prep for Doom compare to other things you’ve written?

My Starbright series is dystopian – it’s kind of like what happens 100 years after Prep for Doom! I’ve had a lot of fun restructuring society after a major population cleansing, but going backward in time to visualize what was happening in the moment of destruction was very enlightening! It actually caused me to add a new scene into one of my novellas, where they find evidence of the violence to which people will resort in order to survive.

What is your favorite thing about this project?

The collaboration! The sense of community we have in the PFD group is so refreshing, and it’s made each of our stories better, I think, to see what everyone else is doing. I haven’t just written a story, I’ve made so many friends!

What was it like working with the other authors to create such an integrated anthology?

Like I said above, it was flat-out fun. The enthusiasm our group has for writing (and for Facebook stickers) is just amazing inspiration. It gave me a sense of validation as a writer, to be included in a group like this! This book is full of absolutely amazing stories.

Have you ever experienced a major disaster that made you think about the end of the world scenarios?

A few years ago, our local area had an ice storm – not much happens in small towns, so people still just call it “the ice storm,” and we all know. It knocked out power for nearly everyone in a two-hour radius, for a couple of weeks. People had to bunk with friends, family, and sometimes neighbors. We had to work together – a lot of people didn’t have heat in negative degree temperatures, so it was a fairly dangerous situation. The first thing my husband did when it was all over was buy a generator!

What do you think would be the scariest kind of apocalypse?

Does alien invasion count? I hate “creatures.” Not knowing what something might be able to do to you and your planet creeps me out. The book/movie War of the Worlds was one that got to me for a very long time.

Tell us one thing people don’t know about you or might be surprised to find out?

I don’t keep a lot of secrets, but a lot of my students and friends would be surprised that I’ve recently been a little obsessed with coloring. I’m always so productive! But I bought myself a mandala coloring book and some nice markers and pencils. It’s very soothing – in my crazy life, the concentration involved in coloring is therapeutic. Plus I like pretty things.


Tell us a little about your Prep for Doom characters and story.

My main character Arie is a girl who has been through a lot – the death of her father at a young age, the loss of her leg, and now she takes care of her uncle and runs her dad’s pawn shop. She’s used to giving orders, in other words! But when her tiny sanctuary is threatened, she has to leave everything she’s built and put her trust in someone she really doesn’t know that well. Her personal struggle in trusting someone is almost as hard as her physical struggle to survive – a scenario a lot of us could relate to, I think.

AUTHOR FEATURE: Amy Bartelloni

Author Feature Amy Bartelloni


Amy’s Story

PFD Story Title: Second Chances
PFD Chapter: Eight
Main Character: Sierra, a teen reunited with her ex when he arrives to drag her out of her self-loathing to bring her to safety



A lump formed in her throat as she looked up to the TV, where a reporter was standing outside a hospital, ambulances flying back and forth while she interviewed some military official who was trying to remain calm. The same kind of bullshit Jake could see from a mile away. She could almost hear him saying that when the government says things are all right, it’s time to get out of town.



What is your favorite thing about this project?

I’m amazed at the talent and the level of collaboration on this project.  Blown away, really.  I’ve read compilations before that are just a book of short stories.  This is more than that.  This is a full story told from twenty-one different perspectives from twenty different authors.  I don’t think I realized the talent level of the other authors when I stepped in to this project, and now I’m so thankful to be involved with it.

Has being a part of Prep For Doom changed your outlook on disaster preparation and/or apocalyptic scenarios? 

I would like to say it has, but the truth is I’m too lazy to disaster prep in a meaningful way. I have friends that do it, and I’m in awe of them. I have some things shuffled away in case of emergency, but I’m afraid it wouldn’t last us much longer than a month. Reading this has definitely made me think more about my lack of preparedness!

Tell us a little about your Prep For Doom character(s) and story.

I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of real life characters put in extraordinary circumstances. Because the truth is, in any kind of disaster you’re going to have real people that come from real lives and have real problems they can’t just leave behind. I’ve always been interested in how those real problems translate to their post-apocalyptic experience. Do you take your baggage with you? Of course you do. That’s how the character of Sierra was born. I wanted to put her in the middle of a huge emotional crisis that she doesn’t have time to deal with before the world falls apart. So, not only does she have to deal with this virus, she has to deal with the emotional aftermath of a terrible accident (that was her fault), and some behavior toward her ex that she’s not proud of, though it turns out he was right all along. It took a lot of thought to sift through what was important to her, and how she could move forward. I hope it’s relatable, because despite what’s going on in the story, human nature doesn’t change and I want people to understand this character and her struggles.