Character Interview: Rolf Hermann
Summer comes with nuclear bombs raining down on US cities.
Even though his granddad taught him to prepare for the apocalypse, Rolf is helpless to save Granddad from men with military style weapons and vehicles. Having no other place to go, he heads to the Walls’ ranch in Beaver County. To his dismay, only Ivy, the Walls’ teenage daughter, is at the ranch, leaving no adults to take charge. The rest of the family are trapped in Russia, unable to make it back to Montana because of the Bombing.
Rolf and Ivy will be no match for the looters who are sure to come. When the first wave of looters is about to overwhelm them, their prayers for help are answered in the form of genetically modified animals.
At first, the animals’ help is enough to protect the ranch, but an enemy even more dangerous than the looters drives into the nearby town, threatening the ranch and everyone in Beaver County.
Betrayed by their human allies, the two teens and animals are forced to fight for freedom against a powerful enemy.
Country in Chaos is an 88,100 word young adult novel set in the near future where genetic mutation and government conspiracies are no longer secret. It will appeal to fans of Partials, Ashfall, and Ship Breaker.
Happy Tuesday, readers! Today, I have the pleasure of introducing to you Rolf, from Jessi L. Robert’s novel, now completed and in the editing stage, Country in Chaos.
Hello, Rolf! Welcome to Red Lettering. I’m honored to have you here today, and I hope that I shan’t be putting you or anyone you know in any unnecessary danger by delaying you. I won’t take long. In spite of the fact that I’ve been told this is the hardest question I ask (presumably because of how vague it is), could you tell us a bit about yourself?
Rolf: I’m Rolf Hermann. I’m seventeen years old.
Nice to meet you, then. Do you have a family?
Rolf: *Clenches fists* It’s just me now.
I’m very sorry to hear that…What do you believe about God?
Rolf: Um, I’ve never been asked this before. I’m a Christian. I guess I believe that God doesn’t normally interfere with the world. He lets it go the way man wants it to go but when I die, I’ll get to go to Heaven and see my family again
That makes sense. If you’re not expecting Him to interfere in the world, though, don’t be surprised if there’s a miracle when you’re not paying attention. What makes you laugh?
Rolf: I don’t have much reason to laugh. I used to, when Granddad told a funny story but they killed him. *Looks away.*
Oh.I know this is a rather personal question, so I hope you don’t mind… Have you ever been in love?
Rolf: No. I’m only seventeen. Besides, it’s stupid to get romantic in the middle of an apocalypse.
That is the best answer to that question I’ve ever heard. Seriously. That answer needs to be widely publicized. If you could change one thing in the past of your life (not before you were born) would you do it? If so, what would you do?
Rolf: *Looks at his hands* Probably be less of a brat for Granddad and Grandma.
I think that all of us have our times like that; when we lose someone, we wish we could have been better to them. I doubt it would ever be enough though. Have you ever killed anyone? What did you feel like when you first did?
Rolf: *Shrugs* Not yet but considering the US got nuked, I’ll probably kill quite a few if I don’t get shot first. I don’t think it will bother me much if they deserve it.
I wonder if that’s just a guy thing. I know it would bother me. Is there anyone you would die to save?
Rolf: Not really. I guess I’d sacrifice myself for someone innocent but there’s no particular person.
I see. What is your world like?
Rolf: *Flatly* It’s pretty bad. It just got nuked. Most likely, there are people starving in the cities. I’d bet that within a year, seventy percent of the US population will be dead and that’s being optimistic. It’s probably going to be closer to ninety percent mortality. In the cities, it will be even worse since they won’t have any food at all.
That knowledge must be hard to live with. There must be something you can hold onto to make it better. What is your fondest memory? Why do you cherish it?
Rolf: I guess it would be when my Granddad taught me to shoot. He worked a lot with me and we had a really good time. Knowing to shoot makes me feel a bit safer in this world. *Looks away and wipes his eyes.*
Oh. I’m… glad you feel safer.
Thank you for being here, Rolf… I’m sorry to have asked such hard questions for you. I hope to be able to hear the rest of your story someday. Don’t ever give up hope.
Jessi L. Roberts lives and works with her family on a cattle ranch in eastern Montana. She has her own flock of chickens, a crazy turkey, some cows, and a few horses. For supplemental income (and to access more books), she works part time at the local library. Jessi enjoys fantasy and science fiction and plans on publishing more books in the future.