The Gathering by Randy Lindsay

The Gathering:
End's Beginning
by Randy Lindsay
LDS Fiction
Paperback265 Pages
January 14th 2014 by Cedar Fort Publishing & Media   

Summary

Robert Williams didn't expect an early honorable release from his mission, but upon his return home, he sees the reason for the surprise decision. Unemployment, rampant violence, and frequent food shortages have put the United States on the brink of another civil war. As the threads of society unravel, the Williams family must adapt to drastic changes as the long-foretold gathering begins to take place.
    Cedar Fort Books


Guest Post
THE WORLD WASN’T DESTROYED IN A DAY
By Randy Lindsay

It was recently pointed out to me, by Tressa, that The Gathering does a couple of things unusual for a story about the end of the world. It presents a realistic scenario and then it takes its time getting to the dreaded event.

Most books and movies with an apocalyptic theme destroy the world as we know it rather quickly. World War Z deals with a zombie apocalypse. A horrible virus infects people and within minutes it changes them into crazed monsters. With a new generation of zombies lurching into action every five minutes this creates a threat that spreads quickly. If not stopped the plague will spread across the planet in a little more than a day.

There are two reasons for this sort of abrupt end. The first is that it creates a higher sense of dread in the audience. Not only does the hero have to save the world, but he has to do it within a set amount of time. The shorter the time allowed, the greater the tension. The second reason is that most of the disasters that have the potential to destroy the world tend to be fast and powerful events. Meteor impacts, mega-earthquakes, solar flares, and nuclear wars all have the potential to change the face of the Earth in a matter of minutes.

That is not what I wanted for The Gathering. None of the stories in the series are meant to be nail-biting obstacle courses. Rather than having my characters running from place to place in near exhaustion I wanted them to feel the slow, constrictive fear of a changing society. The world is crumbling about them at a rate that is fast enough for them to notice, but slow enough for them to consider the ramifications of what is going on. In fact, it is slow enough that not everyone can see what’s happening.

This slower timeline to doom allows the reader, through the characters, to question themselves. What would my readers do in these same situations? Would they share their limited supply of food with the neighbors during an emergency? Would they stand up to a mob in defense of the rights and freedoms of others? Would they set aside their political and religious differences to work towards a common good? I want my readers to ponder questions like these and a slower pace permits that. As is so often the case in life, it isn’t the destination that is important as much as our journey to get there.

Then there is the matter of realism. I wanted my stories to be as realistic as possible. We can sit back and watch aliens invade the Earth and enjoy the spookiness of the event because inside we know that it couldn’t really happen. But a brawl in the middle of the meat department of your local grocery store is something that could happen. Super storms knocking out the power for an entire region is not only plausible, it has happened several times in recent years. All that it takes is to put my characters into these situations, with a description of the very real threats they face because of it, and I can create a story that leaves my readers spooked. It’s a different kind of creepy because it’s based on realizing that the events they are reading could easily happen to them.

Or at least that is what my readers have told me. My goal in writing The Gathering was to give people hope. I want them to read it and say, “If the Williams family can make it through events like this, so can my family.”


About the Author

Randy Lindsay is a native of Arizona. From an early age, his mind traveled in new and unusual directions. His preoccupation with “what if” eventually led him to write speculative fiction. According to his wife everything is a story to Randy. And it is. Although this is his first novel, Randy has been published in a variety of science-fiction and fantasy magazines. He lives in Mesa with his wife and five of his nine children. If you want to find out more you can check him out at RandyLindsay.net.




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