I’m always trying to convert people, even within the Mormon Church, to my way of doing food storage. They should try to go for a month and see what they learn about what the problems in their food storage. But so far everyone thinks that I’m a little extreme. Even within the Mormon Church I’m a little extreme. Everybody [in the LDS community] has the food storage, but nobody ever uses it. It’s very strange to me. I talk to other people, and they have wheat, but they never ever bake bread. Or, they have dried beans in storage, but they have no idea how to use dried beans. Partly because I’m a vegan, I eat beans all the time, and I cook bread. So it wasn’t that different of a lifestyle.
What’s prompting the recent rash of dystopian/apocalyptic fiction?
I think that it’s a fad. It’s a cycle that seems to happen. In the ’70s, dystopian was very big. There was a lot of it being produced—not on the young adult level, but on the adult level. I grew up in the ’70s, and that has been in the back of my mind, my whole life, the idea that there will be bombs, and what to do when the bombs come. I’m not sure what causes it to become a new fad. My guess is that it’s the economic crisis. People are acting as though it’s the Depression again. I think this dystopian literature is being read and becoming more popular because it strikes people as being real in a way that it didn’t 10 years ago. People have a sense that they want to be prepared. Literature is a way for people to experiment with things that they think may happen to them in real life, but experiment in a safer way. So they don’t have to experience it for the first time without being prepared, they’ll read literature that scares them, but just a little bit.
How do you think the world will end?
I don’t actually think the world is going to end anytime soon. I think we’re going to be around for a very long time. I think we humans are very adaptable. And even if there were some catastrophic event that happened, I think that we would find a way to save a few people. I think that’s one of the reasons people read about apocalyptic fiction. It really is about hope. Under the worst possible circumstances, what do people do? And it turns out that people do these amazing, wonderful things when they are against the wall.