Survival by Amy Dunne (plus a couple of free books!)

the RenegadeCongrats to Ron and Sandra! They both won an ebook copy of The Renegade by Amy Dunne!

Hey! This week we have the fabulous Amy Dunne joining us! Yes, that does make me happy. Amy is a return blogger and this time she’s here to tell us about her new release, a post-apocalyptic book titled The Renegade.

And, because she’s all manner of awesome, she’s giving away TWO ebook copies of The Renegade. Drop a comment in the space below and I’ll draw the winner on Friday, 9/25.

Good Luck!

by Amy Dunne

It’s such a pleasure to be back here blogging for Women and Words. This month has been exciting as my third novel, The Renegade has just been officially released by Bold Strokes Books. It’s a speculative fiction romance. I’m a huge fan of the genre, but as I’ve never broached writing this genre before, it’s been a difficult journey to explore a fleeting thought and turn it into a full blown novel. This has been the most challenging novel I’ve written to date. At times the concept, world building, and characters, felt too overwhelming and I felt lost, with no end in sight, but we stuck together and made it through. It’s a story I’m proud of and the characters feel like family.

Me up Mt Kenya1
Amy atop Mt. Kenya

Let me start with an honest admission. I’m 90% certain that I wouldn’t survive in the post-apocalyptic world I’ve created. I’ve no survival skills to speak of, I’m awful at basic camping, I’m a complete technophobe to the point I don’t know anything other than switching something on and off and maybe hitting it if it still doesn’t work, I have OCD, I’m a hypochondriac, and generally don’t cope well in the great outdoors—as soon as I see a spider I freak out big time and mosquitoes see me as an all they can eat buffet. Plus, I don’t even want to consider a world where I’m alone and my loved ones aren’t with me.

In this post-apocalyptic world, there are many dangers. Most of the population have been wiped out by the Red Death pandemic. There’s no cure and it was never officially confirmed whether the virus was manmade or created by Mother Nature. Flight and fight are no longer options. In the aftermath, towns, cities, and main roads are thriving with disease and death. Everything we have grown to rely on is pretty much gone. But as with the world we live in now, humans remain the most dangerous threat of all.

Me up Mt Kenya 2I try never to write bad or good characters. It’s not realistic as people by our nature are deeply complex. I’m fascinated by what has contributed to that person being who they are. Their decisions, dreams, ambitions, fears, beliefs, history, experiences, psychology, physiology, emotion, and their relationships with others. Someone can make a number of bad decisions and can even do bad acts, but I want to know what led them to that point and why they do the things they do. We all have faults and this is why I never intend to have a bad character for the sake of being bad, there has to be something more substantial to them.

If I asked you what your ideal society would consist of in this new world, your opinion may be completely different to mine. Would you continue to try and use technology? Or would you want to go back to farming the land, sourcing local resources, and living a simpler way of life? Maybe both? Would you insist on keeping religious faith and beliefs? What it other people disagree with your beliefs? How would social roles and power work in your new society? How would you keep yourselves safe and secure? What about judging crimes and dishing out punishment? Would you let anyone join your community or would there be a criteria? Where would your community stand on procreation? After all, the human race is verging on extinction. Do you have moral duty to encourage procreation? What if people disagree? Would you fight / kill to defend yourselves? What if a different community had something that your community desperately needed?

There are no perfect answers that are correct. I can’t say for sure how I would even feel. What one person may think is just and right, will be completely the opposite to someone else’s beliefs. A thought that struck me when contemplating all of this, is how easy it would be for an individual to exert their power and beliefs over others. In desperate and scary times, we seek reassurance and protection. It only takes one person, a great public speaker, a perfect manipulator, someone who may or may not believe that what they are doing is for the best of everyone, who lacks empathy, and sees that opportunity to rule over others. That person is a real danger. That person could change everything. And that’s what scares me.

Now I’m aware that this blog up to now has been quite dark in content and philosophical. It doesn’t have to all be doom and gloom. In this new world, there’s the possibility of starting again. Building a community that has learnt from past mistakes. There is hope of for a peaceful and prosperous future. There is hope for love and relationships. There is hope for humility and empathy and a coming together for the greater good, to not only survive, but to also thrive. And this hope is vital to the characters in The Renegade. Humans haven’t made it this far, to just give up the fight and accept their untimely demise. We can adapt to situations and environments. We have an intrinsic drive to survive and that’s what makes us formidable.

PaddyPaddy and I

On afinal note, I just want to quickly mention another fairly main character in The Renegade. A few years ago, our first German shepherd, Paddy passed away. He was so loving, gentle, and handsome. One of the perks of being a writer is that you can write stories that can reach lots of people and will hopefully live on long after we’re gone. It was an honour to write Paddy into this story and share his loving, faithful, and mischievous nature. What better tribute could he ask for? So if you do read The Renegade, I hope you enjoy the journey and share a warm thought for the memory of Paddy.

11752496_546937538808691_5299717590684266280_nAmy was raised in Derbyshire, England. She attended Keele University and graduated in 2007 with a BSc in Philosophy and Psychology. After graduating she worked for a while with vulnerable young people. She is married to her beautiful wife, Lou. They share a love of Dolly Parton and have a gorgeous cat called Alice and a very mischievous little dog called Kimmy. Amy’s debut novel, Secret Lies won a Golden Crown Literary Award in 2014 in the Young Adult Category.

Contact Info:

Twitter: @giftofthegaborg


  1. A good dog is the key to survival in my opinion! I surely wouldn’t want to try and survive in a post-apocolyptic world, but I do enjoy reading about them. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • I 100% agree that a good dog is key to survival, Beth. Their unconditional love and faithfulness astounds me on a daily basis. And I must admit, I love the genre, but wouldn’t ever want to attempt to survive. I’m too soft. Thank goodness for books and braver characters than I. 😉


  2. Great blog, the book sounds like my kinda thing 🙂 Like you I also hate spiders and get eaten by mosquitoes but I still love camping. Sometimes I think how much easier it would be to live in the simplicity of nature 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading and commenting, Crazyaimz. There’s just something about spiders that makes me freak out. Why do they need so many legs and eyes? Ugh. And on a positive note, we must both have very tasty blood. 😉 Sometimes I daydream about a simpler less stressful type of life. I think most people do. Thanks again!


    • Thank you so much, Christiane. It’s lovely to hear that you enjoyed Season’s Meetings and Secret Lies. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I really hope you enjoy The Renegade. Perhaps if you ever get a spare few minutes, you could share some of your thoughts on the books? Amazon and Goodreads are always looking for more reviews. If not, no worries whatsoever. Thank you again for popping by this blog. 🙂


  3. I’m not a fan of speculative fiction, however I am a fan certain authors, so………..that being said (wink wink), I gave the book it’s due and I LOVED it! Especially the shocking end! You made me feel like I was actually there and not every author has that ability.
    So, thank you. It was a great book that I enjoyed immensely. And as I always say, Write On!
    PS: No book consideration please. I already own the book 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading and commenting, Boasie. It’s lovely to hear that you enjoyed The Renegade. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Perhaps if you ever have a spare few minutes you might be able to write a review on Goodreads or Amazon. But if not, no worries. Thanks again!


    • Hi Sue. It’s so lovely to hear from you. It means so much to hear that you enjoyed reading Season’s Meetings and Secret Lies. I really hope you enjoy The Renegade as much. If you ever have a spare few minutes, perhaps maybe you could share your thoughts in an Amazon or Goodreads review? No worries if not. Thanks again.


  4. I’m not sure why I find myself fascinated with the, or THE, apocalypse…but I do enjoy the creations that come from it. I am very much looking forward to reading this, please enter me in the draw.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a wonderful tribute to Paddy. You have opened my eyes a bit to how involved and difficult to write this type of futuristic book. I look forward to reading your story.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Sandra! Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. If you ever do read The Renegade, I’d love to hear your thoughts. I hope you enjoy Alex’s and Evelyn’s story. 🙂


    • Hi Melissa! Speculative fiction is the hardest genre I’ve tried writing so far. But also incredibly rewarding. If you ever do read The Renegade I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for taking the time to comment. 🙂


    • Hi Diane. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and comment. It was a pleasure being able to share my experiences of writing a new genre and my fond memories of Paddy. I truly hope that you enjoy reading The Renegade. Alex and Evelyn feel like family to me. I’d love to hear your thoughts when you’ve read it. Thanks again! 🙂


  6. Dystopian and post-Apocalyptic novels rank in my top favorite genres. My love for the genre was sparked while helping my wife write her Master’s thesis, and has only grown as the years have progressed. I have read extensively in the field, and I would be honored to receive a copy of your novel, and promise to write reviews for Amazon, goodreads, etc. So please put my name in the drawing – fingers crossed 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Amy, this is a wonderful blog and it has really captured the essence of your story and characters without giving anything away! Thank you so much for sharing your Paddy with us. I love the cheeky little Paddy in your story so far, so it is an added bonus to see the beautiful soul who inspired you to include him in your book.

    I am thoroughly enjoying the book, by the way! It is one of those treasures that really makes you think… not only about how you would deal with such a situation personally, but it also shows that you have to come out of yourself and see the bigger picture… and would you be brave and humble enough to do that for the sake of mankind? It is very well layered, so there are many other points to think about, as well. I love this genre and read it quite a lot, so I’ve read my fair share of different scenarios by various authors and I have to say that, with what I’ve read so far, you have done everything right. It’s interesting, enthralling, nerve-racking and is filled with great characters that I care about. It’s another great gift for your growing number of fans, but also a wonderful story that anyone can pick up and be pulled immediately into. Great blog and great book!!

    Liked by 1 person

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