In honor of Ashes, the second book in the Rag & Bone Trilogy and my third release this year, I did a little Q&A about the book, the overall story arc, and the characters!

Cover by the amazing Michael Knightley!

1. What inspired you to write this book? When I first wrote Transmission, I fully intended for it to be a stand-alone with a sort of ambiguous ending. It wasn’t until a few months after I finished book one, that I felt inspired to keep going with the story. I realized that I wasn’t done with Avery or the Ruger Virus or the world falling apart, and I started to think about how to continue. The world is a big place, and I had set it up for the story to go just about anywhere I wanted it to. At first I considered setting it in Europe, but eventually realize that would make it difficult for an Avery come back, so I decided instead to set it on the other side of the country (United States). I wanted to tell the story from a new perspective though, and eventually fleshed out the Jacobs family.

2. Can you tell me about the book? The book begins just as the fictional Ruger Virus, first introduced in Transmission, begins to take hold and spread across the globe. Sarah and Trey Jacobs, a pair of boy-girl twins from Pasadena, are our two primary characters in the story. We follow them and their parents as they struggle with what to do and where to go, hoping to outrun the virus and stay safe. Survival, however, is a struggle in the trying times they are living in, and one curve ball after another comes at them as they search for sanctuary with other survivors.

3. What did you learn when writing the book? I wrote Transmission BEFORE COVID-19 and some of my, at the time, ideas about how people would react in a pandemic became very real. Because I wrote Ashes DURING COVID, I was able to take some of the things I saw going on in the world, and my own personal experiences, to really flesh out the story in a hyper-realistic sort of way. I learned so much about the state of humanity while writing this, and that’s something that will stick with me for a long time.

4. What surprised you the most? How easy it was to tell the story of the Jacobs family in a linear way. Transmission bounces around from Avery’s current perspective, to moments in the recent past as the world starts to unravel. I was able to just launch right into the story this time and go in a straight line, which made it just flow very naturally.

5. What does the title mean? The title reflects the state of the world as it is totally ravaged and torn apart. All that’s left are the ashes.

6. What do you think happened to the characters after the book ended? I know exactly what happens after the events in Ashes, and what happens to Sarah, Trey, and Avery. Everyone else, however, has to wait for book three to find that out!

You can check out the eBook and paperback of Ashes here!

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