Today I'd like to welcome Robert Brown, author of “The Last Blade of Grass” to The Thursday Interview. Before we get started, a quick intro!
Robert Brown is a happy husband since 1999 and a proud father of four starting in 2006. He was born in San Diego, California and he learned not to live in one place for too long as his family passed along restless gene's. After six months in California he lived in Germany, Texas, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Illinois, Hawaii again, Nevada, New Hampshire, and currently resides in South Dakota. His hobbies revolve around his family, writing, prepping, firearms, travel, and avoiding yard work. He believes in lifelong education both in life and academia. He has a b.s. degree in secondary education social studies/history and continued studies in biochemistry. He likes writing, shooting, hiking, enjoys apocalyptic/horror/zombie media of all sorts, and chick flicks. His perfect world would be filled with firearms, chocolate, whiskey, cats, and English Bulldogs.
OK - HERE WE GO !!
No.1 Would you break the law to save a loved one? .. why?
Of course I would. I would break every law there is to save a loved one. As is said, better to be judged by twelve than carried by six. The saying is true in defence of self or a loved one.
No.2 What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
A parasite is alive, but it exists just to satisfy its base survival instincts. Truly living means getting beyond the essentials like food, water, and shelter to fine dining, drinking and travel. Without exploration and getting beyond just paying the mortgage and bills, we are not far removed from parasites, sucking on the lives of others.
No.3 What motivates you to write?
I have a sarcastic and twisted brain that doesn't seem satisfied with seeing or interpreting the world the way other people see it. Writing for me is a way to control the eruption of fantasy, nonsense, and horror that wants to burst forth with every song I hear or bird I see fly by. Writing helps ground me in the real world by focusing my desire to create into one specific medium rather than on everything I encounter.
No.4 Why do humans want children?
We want children because our gene's tell us we do. I love my children, I have four of them so far, each one was planned, anticipated and hoped for. They are each an expression of the love my wife and I share as well as an extension of our innate desire to have a part of ourselves live on after our death. But on the most basic level, it is the hormone, neuron, sperm, egg and other processes that are working not too differently than all other animals. It is about gene survival and perpetuation.
No.5 What was the biggest challenge in creating your book "The Last Blade of Grass" ?
My biggest challenge was in moving beyond the character development. For even minor characters or small interactions in the book, I tend to over think the characters background and motivations for being there. I like to know them well before I put them on the page, that way I know their actions are realistic. Once I have created them, it is difficult for me to say; okay, we've gone through all of these things together, I really know who you are, now you have to die for the story to progress.
No.6 What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far?
Existence is everything. Every kiss and stubbed toe, all the smiles and frowns are only available while we live. I work to experience as many things as possible in life and prepare to deal with anything that might jeopardize mine and my family's existence.
No.7 How did you come up with the title "The Last Blade of Grass" ?
I struggled with various titles throughout the writing process, trying variations of name of the drug that causes the pandemic, to the animals that provide some type of reprieve. Nothing fit that gave the implication of disaster and desperation as well as providing some hope until I gave my main character a line that I say occasionally myself. I would love to give it away, but the meaning of the title is found about halfway through the book. No.8 How do you handle personal criticism? Like a rapidly aging human. I start like a one year old that has been told no, then progress to a teenager that thinks it is unfair, then I'm approaching adulthood and think maybe I should listen to them, finally ending with being an adult and listening to what I'm being told in order to determine if the criticism is valid or not and to what degree.
No.9 Why should people read your book?
Because it is a thrilling and entertaining story with characters that the readers will cheer for one second, hate the next and cry for somewhere in between. It pulls on the fears we have in the world, from natural disasters to diseases like Ebola while also providing the motivation in our desire to survive with little regard for what is thrown at us. It will also take the readers on a thought provoking ride of questioning what their own actions would be and where they would stand on the survival scale if thrown into a survival situation.
No.10 Why is there something rather than nothing.
Because I chose to write on the page instead of leave it blank.
Thank you Robert for taking the time to answer my questions & the best of luck with your new book!
Check out “The Last Blade of Grass" on
Societies collapse frees Eddie Keeper. He and his wife prepared for the fall of society. They outfitted their ranch for survival, built up defenses and stockpiled years worth supplies. When the collapse arrives as an engineered plague instead of a monetary collapse, their plans of hunkering down and hiding until order is restored are thrown out the window. Instead they work to save people from the fast moving illness and to maintain a small safe zone around their home.
The survivors that need help will often try to kill you for your supplies, criminals have free reign and all the others are infected zombies and want to eat you. Eddie struggles to maintain his sense of right and wrong in this new world where the safest course of action is to kill anyone you meet rather than speak with them. His actions and decisions make his friends, family and even himself wonder at times where the real evil resides, at the ranch or outside of it.