​We all know someone like Brett. He was raised on Country music, hard work and the endless Saskatchewan wheat fields .

He's your best friend. The guy you call upon when you need help. But, life can be cruel to good men. Layoffs, plant closures and hard times have broken his spirit. 

​"It gets to be where a man stops believing in himself." He comments distantly.

Through the years of hard rain that comes with end of all things, Brett keeps crossing paths with a woman he can't forget; Maggie Hunter.

"That's one hell of a torch your carrying," A friend observes.

UPDATE: Blogger Fiona McVie's interview with Richard Correll can be found in his Bio

​5 Years After is a fresh look at the apocalypse genre. A deeper, more intriguing story line with characters who reach out of the pages and grab you. They are defined not by their strengths. Instead, it is their weaknesses and emotions  that set them apart. In short, they are just like us and the people we know. Richard Corrells' rich, descriptive landscape and research has created a series that KSPK  Radio says "You will believe."


When Louisville is evacuated, Reverend Isaiah Deacon does as he is ordered and leaves. His parishioners gather at the church in Louisville. waiting for him to tell them what to do. 5 Years after their deaths he travels to Louisville to give each one the Last Rites and a Christian departure from this nightmare world. Slowly, he is washing the blood from his hands one drop at a time.


​All of his career, Roberts has been a worker ant on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. He is content with his role in the background. Now, with Ottawa surrounded on all sides by overwhelming numbers of the dead, Roberts is thrust into the role of decision maker as the government begins to fall apart. A rumor swirls through the passages of power that a possible military coup is brewing. Tom Roberts realizes how far into uncharted territory he has travelled. As the crisis deepens, he finds his decisions become more and more ruthless. The boy scout has become bloodied.


The General regards himself as the epitome of the southern gentlemen.  Molly remarks to her sister that "he has seen Gone with the Wind waaaaay too many times." Still, the more Molly learns of the General the more she is intrigued by him. He uses the firepower of the 1st armored to travel west  and proclaim the New Republic of West Virginia. An independent nation. With the war against the dead  straining military resources, only 18 thousand National Guard can be spared 

to protect Washington. General Beauragard's 63 thousand crack troops has more than just a few people in power nervous.  Plus, Beauragard's gross domestic product is on the rise against the faltering United States. The General agrees to appear on Sixty Minutes with Molly Hunter and the verbal sparring begins.


Maggie's sister. The two could not be closer. As sometime occurs in Scottish families, she was born with black skin. Maggie accepts the answer but is somewhat suspicious. Molly embraces her Caribbean-like looks. Stylish, smart and sexy. She has the reputation for asking the tough questions in engaging interviews on Sixty Minutes. In this new and dangerous world, facts, not fluff is the new media king. In Molly's own words: "When the wolves are at the door, no one has time to keep up with the Kardashians."

          WHAT IF

What if it really happened? I wanted real feelings from real characters. Think about it, how would it really feel? It would be beyond terrifying.

It would be one huge step toward insanity. The psychological scars would run so deep you would never feel safe again. That is FIVE YEARS AFTER.

                THE LOOK

I have never read anywhere in the genre about "The Look." The one that enters their eyes when they see you. A blazing rage that burns brighter when they sniff the air and catch the scent of your skin. A confirmation for the predator.

They should not be alive, you tell yourself. But, there they are.

​They are beyond our realm of comprehension.

They cannot be reasoned with.

​They live to feed

​They are the gathering darkness that is slowly ending all we know.


​Yes, I drew a great deal of my inspiration for the feel of FIVE YEARS AFTER from the The Blitz, The Battle of Berlin and many other moments in history. One I found most helpful was Paris in 1916. The former city of lights. Its' citizens now tired, cold and hungry. They yearn for the comfort

of the past while they are watching the lights of civilization slowly winking out all over Europe. Perfect.




​In FIVE YEARS AFTER, I wanted each short story to illuminate this world a bit more. It is much like assembling a puzzle with each story being a piece. The idea of tossing in 

the characters knowing each other seemed to strengthen the realism. Whether they had a close personal bond or a distant six degrees of separation,

​it has drawn several positive comments.




                BRINGING BACK THE FEAR:

Familiarity seems to have bred contempt in this genre.

It seems the dead are not quite as frightening as they used to be. The first thing I wanted to do in FIVE YEARS AFTER was make the dead as terrifying as possible. They are the wolves at our door. They deserve to have their teeth back



As she struggles to maintain a facade, Maggie feels herself becoming lost in the abyss of post traumatic stress disorder. In the battle and evacuation of Chicago, Maggie is awarded a commendation for bravery and eventually a Silver Star. One of the US Military's highest honors. She is then told to leave the country and never return.  With her leadership and combat experience, it is clear to her new Canadian comrades that Maggie held a much higher rank than Corporal south of the border. But, no one in the US military wants to talk about it.

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