Sunday, August 25, 2013

Featured Author: Dan O'Brien

Welcome to the Hobbes Family blog tour. It will run until September 2nd and will feature excerpts and new author interviews each day. But first, here is the obligatory blurb about the novel to settle you into this strange world:

The world had ended abruptly and without warning. How will a family navigate a world that seems bent on destroying them? Follow them in this exciting new serial adventure.

A few questions for the author:

What’s the thing you’re most satisfied with?

I am most satisfied with continuing to move forward in pursuit of my dreams. I love writing and I love helping people see their work in print (or digitally) and I could not be happier with the way it makes me feel.

When was the last time you laughed and what did you laugh at?

It was probably some comedy on TV. I am easily amused, though I don't always laugh until I cry. Honestly, I can't recall.

Are you doing anything which makes you and people around you happy?

Pursuing what I love makes me happier, and therefore makes the people who love me happy. Starting a consulting business and putting together an anthology have really helped other writers feel happy about their dream to be published.

Here be an excerpt for your enjoyment:

As Michael looked out the broken window of the convenience store, he recalled the last remnants of humanity that been flushed from him like so much waste that day. 

Winter had set in. 

The tall blue oaks that surrounded the building on two sides were dusted with frost; the ground was an amalgam of crystal sheets broken only by brave stalks of undergrowth that dared the frigid touch of the gales. 

The interior of the building would not serve as a long-term solution. However, it would be useful until the weather broke. 

The trek out of the suburban areas, even ones as small as those in the Sacramento Valley, had begun in the family Subaru. Highway 99 had been so congested, so overrun with smoldering and abandoned vehicles that the Hobbes family was forced to make the remainder of the trek on foot. Winter had not been as absurd as it had been during the past month. Often the snow levels came down into the valley for a day, sprinkling unsuspecting areas with brief, beautiful moments of frozen precipitation. 

This was different. 

A storm had settled in the valley, trapped and angry. 

When the sun managed to peek through the clouds above, there was a moment when it almost felt bearable. But the great star was soon obfuscated behind a gray wall once more, bloated and teeming with fury as a fresh zephyr of snow and blinding particulates dragged the valley. 

Before the fall of civilization, Susanna had begun to gain a little weight; the difference now was drastic. Her high cheekbones were prominent and the sallowness of her cheeks from periodic starvation saddened Michael as much as he was capable. 

He had not fared much better. 

His beard had grown in with dark clumps and gray patches that had no doubt taken residence from the stress that had become everyday life. His neat hair had become bedraggled and curly in places despite its length. Had it been on purpose, he could have imagined Susanna running her long fingers through it and calling it cute.

The store had weathered the apocalypse. 

Shelves remained intact for the most part, though they were barren fields. The coolers had been left open and the power had long since faded. Overturned cans, smashed and left for dead, littered the floor. 

It had served as a last stand for someone. 

The doors and windows were adorned with long wooden planks cast in random patterns. A length of coiled chain looped through the front doors––chime removed. The open register was a dusty beach before the sunglasses tree, broken lenses covering the counter. 

Susanna approached slowly. 

Clara walked beside her mother in silence. 

As they neared Michael, the young girl reached out her arms and wrapped them around her father’s neck. Patting her back, he felt emotion surge in for just a brief moment. He pushed it down and looked at the wide eyes of his wife––the distance there saddened him.

She had been vibrant before the world went to shit. 

Susanna had what could modestly be called a sunny disposition. She was always laughing and hugging people, a bright smile painted on her simple features. That beauty made her perfect in a way that Michael could never properly articulate, especially now that such simple joy was gray-washed by despair. 

Bio: A psychologist, author, editor, philosopher, martial artist, and skeptic, he has published several novels and currently has many in print, including: The End of the World Playlist, Bitten, The Journey, The Ocean and the Hourglass, The Path of the Fallen, The Portent, and Cerulean Dreams. Follow him on Twitter (@AuthorDanOBrien) or visit his blog He recently started a consultation business. You can find more information about it here: