Keith Loucks, Delta County resident, recently published a novel titled "I Wish I Had An Orange," which discusses physical and spiritual survival in a society brought to Third World conditions by electromagnetic pulse. Anything connected to the electric grid was rendered useless.
"I thought about the idea for a couple years before starting to outline the book," Loucks states. "It took me about three years to complete it, writing an average of 15 minutes a night."
Loucks used his experiences working at catastrophe sites to draw inspiration for his book. Many of the experiences depicted in the novel are based on true events.
Loucks asserts that as a society, we rely on government aid and lack preparedness to help ourselves in the case of a post-apocalyptic situation. The novel warns readers of the dangers of unpreparedness. It also discusses conflict that may arise between spirituality and survival.
"I was having a discussion with some friends in 1999, back when everyone was worried about Y2K, and they were all spending tens of thousands of dollars on survival equipment, including guns to keep people out. I asked them if they thought they should share resources with their friends and neighbors or keep them out at gunpoint, and they all changed their viewpoints after that."
Western Colorado played a major role in the creation of "I Wish I Had An Orange." The book takes place in the Mesa and Montrose counties. Many readers of Loucks' novel told him, "I know exactly where that is!" while reading the book.
"In fact, the orange on the cover of the book is actually one of my oranges. I held it up and took a photo!" Loucks says with a laugh.
When asked about any advice he had for aspiring authors, Loucks states that outlining and planning are necessary. "After you get it edited and published, the hardest part is getting the word out. I went around personally to businesses and also did a lot of work on the internet."
Although Loucks found it difficult to spread his work from rural Delta County, the many readers of "I Wish I Had An Orange" assured the author that the book had a profound impact on them and their view of the future. The words he wrote in the cover of the copy he gave me apply to everyone interested in the novel: "Read, heed, and enjoy."
The book can be purchased online and at The Gazebo Florist in Cedaredge.