Epic journey begins When Everything Falls Apart
When Everything Falls Apart is the story of a family who decides to head north to their off-the-grid cabin after widespread power outage in Toronto.
After their car is stolen, they escape the city, which is showing signs of becoming socially destabilized, in a canoe by way of the Humber River.
In Book One: The End, the first in a trilogy, Creemore author Simon Heath set out to write a story about how everything would go wrong in such a scenario, but it didn’t feel real. In developing the characters, it came to be that the real struggle was from within.
“I had this idea of escaping from this crumbling urban wilderness and everything falling apart,” said Heath, but when he walked the bank of the Humber River, it wasn’t the urban wasteland he expected. He experienced beautiful green spaces, and believed it was more realistic that in these places people would come together and help each other.
“We are kind of dominated by the American narrative around apocalypse, where someone goes to a cabin in the woods that they’ve got a stockpile of guns and that wasn’t my sense living in a community like this,” said Heath.
That’s not to say there isn’t tension or danger but the true conflict is between the couple, who are each going through their own mid-life crises, while raising an eight-year-old daughter, and there’s a baby on the way.
“When you take away the power, you take away the underpinnings of your life,” said Heath referring to the mortgage, career advancement, and planning for retirements. “When you hit your 40s, I think a lot of that comes into perspective…” he said. “But when the power goes out and you don’t have a job anymore, all of your abstract qualifications aren’t necessarily applicable when it comes down to how do you just survive day-to-day, and feed your family. So, what you are left with are your basic human relations.”
In his career heath has worked as a playwright and executive communications coach. He began working on the When Everything Falls Apart trilogy (Book Two: The Middle and Book: Three: The Beginning) at the time he was leaving the city to move north.
The premise, said Heath, is based on a real possibility and well-researched scenario about how a solar flare, like the Carrington Event of 1859, could take out electrical grids, satellites and internet.
He said, in the overall story arc, book one is about the family getting out of the city but there is a lot more to come in the next two books.
When Everything Falls Apart is published by Curiosity House Books. There will be a launch at the bookstore from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5, with Heath reading and signing books around 3:30 p.m. The book will be sold for $19.95, plus tax.
The event coincides with Creemore Festival of the Arts. Illustrator Steve McDonald has done the artwork for the trilogy’s covers. His work will be showing at the bookstore throughout the weekend.