So, I’m working on the next book to be published under the Garth Owen pen name. The working title is Pickers and the high concept pitch is “Mad Max goes green.” Having broken it down into chapters and major scenes, then looked at my current writing pace, it’s not going to be ready by the middle of next month to tie in to the release of Fury Road.
A slightly longer synopsis- Pickers* wander through the (mostly) abandoned badlands after a climate change driven collapse, finding old equipment and technology that they can rescue, repurpose or recycle, selling it on to settlements. The story is about a family of pickers- father, two daughters and the husband of one of the daughters- who have been chasing a particularly precious treasure trove, and the journey they take once they find directions to its location. The treasure isn’t oil, or even water, and the action takes place in Spain and France, rather than unspecified desert.
I’m setting it up such that guns and ammunition aren’t yet vanishingly rare, but other, older weapon technologies are more likely to be used first. So I’ve been watching quite a few YouTube videos about bows and catapults. Which is how I found my new hero Joerg Sprave.
Joerg’s a jolly bald fellow with a crazy imagination, lots of skills, and one of the scariest laughs ever**. He builds things like pump action pencil launchers.
Or, at the other end of the spectrum, a machete launching “crossbow”.
It was an aside in one of his Slingshot Channel videos that inspired me to arm a secondary character with a catapult that she uses to launch darts fashioned from nails. I’m not sure how many of his other creations I could realistically use in the story, but you never know.
I’ve also been researching stuff such as thermite and napalm, but those probably aren’t things I should mention on an open channel.
*I admit it, the title’s inspired by the TV show American Pickers.
** It’s not the laugh itself that’s scary. The laugh is rather jovial, and occasionally gleeful. It’s just the way that he lets it out just after demonstrating another piece of destructive hardware.