Honestly, although some of my readers ask about it, I’ve never been stranded on a jungle island. But my protagonist is, and with three helpless companions, at that—an eleven-year-old girl, her elderly aunt, and a man-eating prosecuting attorney (okay, slight exaggeration on the latter, but not by much).
While most people could survive for a while on coconuts, at some point, with no rescue on the horizon, they’d have to set about finding water, food, and shelter in order to survive. Eat so many coconuts, and you face a major problem with diarrhea. And do you know how hard it is to open a coconut in the first place?
Our four survivors are on an isolated island on the eastern edge of the Philippines, so amphibian life is their worst threat in the animal world, but crocs and pythons do come in large—and hungry—sizes. What do you do with no weapons, no fire, and no medicine? Oh, and no cell phones (grin)? The weather is another hazard, particularly when typhoons assault the island again and again during the monsoon season.
Fortunately, all is not lost, for our hero is a Marine Corps reservist—like yours truly (oo-rah!). The discomforts and dangers of jungle life are familiar to me, thanks to thirteen months of serving in Viet Nam. There I employed some of the survival skills used in the novel, and I learned many more that I fortunately didn’t have to use through the basic training all Marines have to go through.
It was fun incorporating this knowledge into the story to help bring it alive. But the real challenge the four survivors face is that of getting along with each other. Sigh. Are there any survival skills for that?
Don Prichard and his wife, Stephanie, began co-authoring Christian fiction when the empty-nest years arrived at their home. Don is a retired career architect and Marine Corps reservist, and Stephanie is a career homemaker hoping for retirement. Between the two, they write fiction that is a blend of adventure, suspense, and romance, clean as a whistle but elevating your heartbeat. Their two books are available in digital and paperback: