Gregory is regularly posting with two other environmental mystery writers at Free Range Writers.com.
Save 20% when you buy all three books: Rare as Earth, Some Say Fire, and The Straw that Broke.
Zeigler’s long-awaited third environmental thriller is finally here (summer 2020). Rare as Earth finds Jake Goddard and Susan Brand once again battling dirty government and business dealings in a rush to rescue fourteen-year-old, Amanda Fry and her mother, Melissa Fry, both of whom have been assaulted and abducted.
The action in Rare as Earth opens in central Pennsylvania in the heart of the environmentally disastrous latter day “gold rush” called hydraulic fracturing or fracking. Then it shifts to Utah where the focus becomes the reduction of Bears Ears National Monument and the extraction of rare earth metals.
Rare as Earth, like its predecessors, The Straw That Broke, and Some Say Fire is climate fiction at its finest showcasing climate change as well as young warriors for the planet like Greta Thunberg.
In 2013 Zeigler captured a crisis in the Colorado River Basin (The Straw That Broke). In 2015 he predicted devastating forest fires as a result of drought caused by climate change (Some Say Fire).
Now in 2020 in Rare as Earth, Zeigler sets his sights on the deleterious effects from the extractive industries on both human health and the health of the planet. And once again, in Rare as Earth—just as in The Straw That Broke and Some Say Fire, the environmental crisis is the backstory to a classic thriller.
“I love the book! The Great God Jenerator Bird is brilliant! Greg’s bad guys are really bad, and the good guys are very real. I like Susan and Jake and feel that I know them well—although I’m also sure they have secrets about themselves that they haven’t yet revealed. Greg sets his scenes meticulously throughout the West, so the reader can follow his road map and be right inside the real-life settings of the characters’ adventures. Since both Jake and Susan have children, I appreciate how Greg carefully tells us where the children are and how they are being cared for while their parents are out investigating criminals. Sometimes the reader catches on before the protagonists do, and ultimately I’m left with a big grin on my face.” – Louise Haberfeld,
long-time environmentalist and concerned citizen
In the sequel to Greg’s Zeigler’s riveting debut eco-thriller, The Straw That Broke—which has been critically compared to Polanski’s “Chinatown,” Some Say Fire pits former police officer Susan Brand and private investigator Jake Goddard against nefarious arsonists setting forest fires in the drought-stricken Southwest. Bodies are found in the fires, each with an arrow through the chest. Who are the murderers taking advantage of climate change to spread terror and cause widespread destruction? Goddard and Brand rush to discover the truth before more innocent people die and a conflagration devours the Southwest.
“Greg Zeigler is a rising star in penning modern environmental thrillers. Strap yourself in as he takes us on another green thrill ride.” -Todd Wilkinson, journalist, environmentalist, and author of Grizzlies of Pilgrim Creek
This will be my last post for awhile. I will be focusing on writing my sequel to The Straw That Broke, which features the return of Susan Brand and Jake Goddard, now both working for Goddard Consultancy Group as private investigators. Jake and Susan are hired to determine who is murdering prominent people and intentionally setting fires around the increasingly drier southwest. Drier due to climate change and beetle kill, I might add (you guessed it—another cli fi thriller). The title is Some Say Fire and I’m approximately twenty percent through the first draft.
I hope to complete Some Say Fire by September, 2015.
Just one teaser—in, if I may say so myself, an interesting twist on the standard car chase, Jake chases a pick-up truck full of bad guys down a mountain road while hauling his Airstream trailer!
My last tour for Straw concluded recently at a Christmas bazaar here in Jackson, Wyoming. I was honored to have my wife, Dimmie on hand do the transactions and Jane Lavino, our cover artist, in our booth selling her notecards and bookmarks. So, since I started with the last event I will continue to work backwards. Before the Jackson Christmas Bazaar I was in Flagstaff for both a store (Mountain Sports) and an outdoor event called Gear Fest. Previous to that I was in bookstores in Santa Fe and Las Vegas, New Mexico and the tour started in Colorado with a bookstore in Fort Collins and a library event in Red Feather. I want to give a shout out to the wonderful folks in Red Feather for their interest (and a great little library run by a great guy named, Creed) and to readers in Ramah, New Mexico who in a serendipitous and truly gratifying manner, expressed interest in both my books.
Finally, book wise, the Airstream factory in Jackson Center, Ohio made this author’s Christmas recently by ordering two dozen copies of Travels With Max to give as Christmas gifts.
Thank for you for caring about books and authors. See you soon.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS! READ ON!
Okay, calling it a “tour” might be a bit of an exaggeration, but my recent week spent at two schools and a college back East were truly gratifying for me and the feedback from both students and faculty was very positive.
My tour started on a beautiful October Monday with a full day at Kiski School (9-12, boys) in Saltsburg Pennsylvania. Kiski had chosen The Straw That Broke for its 2014 all-school book. First, I addressed the entire student body, focusing on the dire situation on the Colorado River. The students had excellent questions and observations during the Q&A. I announced that Sterling Myers was the winner of the Kiski Challenge (see earlier post) and presented Sterling with his reward. I ended my presentation by thanking them all for participating, reminding them that there are no writers without readers and encouraging the boys with the charge, READ ON!
After the assembly, I was a guest at lunch at the head prefect’s table. And after lunch, head librarian Leslie Poston escorted me to the student center where I signed many of the boys’ books. That evolved into an impromptu creative writing class as several students lingered and posed questions about the writing process. That evening, school head Chris Brueningsen hosted a coffee for faculty in my honor and I was, indeed—honored that is—by the whole day.
Washington and Jefferson College
On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of being the guest lecturer in two classes at W&J. The first was a writing class, the second an environmental science class. The students were attentive and tuned in. It was great to be back in front of inquisitive young adults.
That evening I offered a presentation again focussing on the Colorado River. Questions were great—book sales were brisk. Special thanks to professors Scott Frank and Robert East for making my visit a pleasure and a success. After the evening presentation, on my drive back along torn-up I-70 to my friends house where I was staying near Saltsburg, it poured buckets. But I survived to blog about it.
Wakefield Country Day School
On Wednesday, I drove across Pennsylvania and northwestern Virginia—the hills were aflame. It was an absolutely stunning trip through the Appalachian Mountains. On Thursday I was the guest of school head Jessica Lindstrom at Wakefield Country Day (pre-k-12) in Flint Hill, Virginia.
I addressed all the students in grades 10-12 on the subject of Travels With Max and my journey around America retracing Steinbeck’s route. Again, the students questions were insightful. Later I taught two upper level writing classes and that evening offered a public program at the local county library.
Friday I chose another scenic fall route across the Virginias back to Pennsylvania.
I didn’t print a t-shirt (probably should have as Chris Breuningsen suggested) but my “2014 Tour” was a great experience for me at three excellent schools in gorgeous areas of the East. I trust it was a great experience for all.
Program note: Tomorrow I am scheduled to be interviewed by Jill Reynolds for KRFC in Fort Collins, Colorado. Since the show is mostly about animals, the focus will be Charley and Max. Jill’s show will air on Thursday, October 23rd at 6:30 pm on KRFC. It can be streamed at www.krfcfm.org.
Kiski School, an excellent boys’ boarding school in Western Pennsylvania, has honored me by selecting The Straw That Broke as the all-school read for this summer. That means every student and faculty member has been asked to enjoy the novel over the summer in anticipation of my visiting for a day in early October.
Members of the selection committee felt my cli fi (climate fiction) thriller had a unique ability to both entertain and educate the students, and that the environmental message was a good fit for the school’s recently implemented sustainability program.
Now for the challenge. There is a discrepancy between the YouTube interview featured on this website and the novel. School head Chris Brueningsen and I have agreed to challenge the boys to read carefully and watch with scrutiny. The first student to email me (email@example.com) with the correct answer will be awarded a $50.00 gift certificate to iTunes on the day of my visit.
Come on Kiski Cougars! Get reading and watching and win the card!
(You other blog sloggers who endure my occasional posts are welcome to join the challenge, however, I regret I can only offer this valuable prize to the winning Kiski Cougar.)
“You know, scientists and other people are trying to get their message across about various aspects of the climate change issue,” Georgia Institute of Technology professor Judith Curry told NPR. “And it seems like fiction is an untapped way of doing this — a way of smuggling some serious topics into the consciousness of readers who may not be following the science.”
That is a quote from Dan Bloom’s recent OPED (7/11/14) in the Washington Post. I love the thought that I smuggled serious topics into The Straw That Broke. That is a wonderful way of putting it. As you know, if you have read my earlier posts including an interview with Bloom, Dan is the father of the cli fi genre and is working tirelessly to bring works of fiction that reference climate change to the attention of the world media. Dan has informed me his Washington Post piece has now resulted in an invitation to do something similar in the NYT. Keep pushing that rock up the hill, Dan!
Also, yesterday NPR ran several interviews intended to highlight the extreme measures that have been put in place to stop water abusers in California—experiencing the worst drought in twelve centuries. In an earlier post, I mentioned that on a spring 2014 book tour from San Diego to Santa Barbara I had observed little voluntary effort to conform to the state-wide water emergency that Governor Jerry Brown had issued. Apparently studies have now revealed what I anecdotally observed. Those who do not comply are being fined $500.00.
Finally, the Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum newsletter for summer 2014 featured in a cover article (A Pulse of Hope in The Colorado River Delta) the life-giving return of water to the Colorado River Delta. I referenced this miraculous event in an earlier post. But I learned a new and gratifying fact from the ASDM article. American Indians have been included in the process of water surges to the delta—which are happening because of the herculean efforts of many organizations including the Sonoran Institute—for the first time in fifty years. This includes representatives from the Tohono O’odham Cultural Center. Considering that the Tohono O’odham reverence for water plays such a key role in The Straw That Broke I found that bit of information affirming and reassuring.
Maybe it is not too late, after all.
I have been hesitant to post recently because older posts have a tendency to get buried on blogs and I wanted my interview with Dan Bloom to take precedence for an appropriate amount of time. I’m still grateful to Dan for sharing his insights with me (and you).
But there is exciting news to report. The revered and venerable King’s English Bookstore in Salt Lake City invited me to do two events. I’m really grateful to Anne Holman, the manager for her support. The first event on June 6th went very well. She also connected me with Cindy Lund of the Insights to Conservation Book Club which is associated with the King’s English (1511 South 1500 East). That meeting will be coming up on July 1, at 6:30 p.m. at the store. Wine, other beverages and snacks will be served while we discuss The Straw That Broke. Cindy has done an excellent job promoting this event. I’m certain it will be fun.
Speaking of a fun event…the Stio store in Jackson (an outdoor clothing company) has been carrying my book since it came out in January and it is selling very well. Stio hosted a signing—well actually—Stio threw a party for the book on June 12th at the store. It was a great event, well attended by locals and tourists alike. As an author, I felt flattered and honored. I want to thank my friend, Noah Waterhouse, and store manager, Liz Eaton for a great evening. I have included a picture from the Stio party below.