Well holy shit. Today on Book Punks we have the writer behind the mind-blowing, P.K. Dick-award-nominated, Aqueduct Press-published 2014 novel Elysium. Thank you so much Jennifer, for taking the time to talk to me about the end of the world.
BP: Do you think you would survive an apocalypse?
JB: No, not really. I’m pretty smart, but not physically strong. (Well, actually, I would fight pretty dirty if my back was against the wall and I wouldn’t want to be the sucker who tried to test me.) Besides, I like people for the most part. If everyone was gone, I’m not sure I’d want to be around anyway.
What kind of apocalypse would you prefer to experience?
None! I don’t really believe in apocalypse scenarios anyway. I guess that makes me an optimist. I figure—no matter what stupid thing we do as humans—life on this planet is pretty hardy and will somehow continue. Maybe without us, but so it goes. Mother Earth is pretty durable.
What would be the first thing (or two) you’d stuff in your bug out bag if shit hit the fan? (Unless of course you actually have a bug out bag, in which case I would like to know what is in it…)
After 9/11, things got so crazy that my husband and I put one together. I look back on that and laugh to myself. We were thinking all kinds of ways for me to get out town and where we could meet up if separated. I remember trying to figure out the simplest way to get my cat into his carrier. Ha! Cray-cray. We stuffed this backpack with maps of New York state, my passport and college degree, about $200 cash, soap, and a bottles of Ensure. We found the thing the other day and, of course, we had dipped into the money, so that envelope was empty. All the other stuff was there, though. We chucked most of that stuff out.
And an extra bonus question as you’ve written an end time scenario…did writing Elysium make you paranoid about the end of the world?
Not really, because that’s not what I was thinking when I was writing the book. In my mind, I was thinking that losing the one you love most in the world is like the world coming to an end. So an apocalypse to me was simply a metaphor for that.