Age of Rust takes place in a dystopian future that resembles the middle ages. The story revolves around a war between a divided America, and pulls us into the lives of people on both sides. As those characters become more involved in the war, their potential roles in history begin to grow. Moments of friendship and love are balanced against the struggle for life itself.
Age of Rust was born of several inspirations. Conrad Bair and I met as undergraduates at Susquehanna University. We became fast friends living the raucous lifestyle of young adults in an academic bubble on the edge of rural farmlands. One of the things we circled back to in our conversations was how both our paternal grandfather’s had served in the second world war on opposite sides of the globe. We discussed how each man had been affected by that war and how that generation defining event was still shaping the lives of their descendants through stories as well as the international relations that sprang from the war. Our maternal grandfathers had fought in Korea and Vietnam and had vastly different experiences. Those differences and their ripples into succeeding generations formed the basis for much of our story.
Another motivation came as college ended and our tight-knit group of friends spread out across the country. This pseudo-loss of peer groups is something that colors our more mobile millennial generation, whereas previous generations were more apt to grow up, work and retire in the same place. This nostalgia for the past and the maudlin feelings for a time when things were better or simpler is an important and often unexplored aspect of human life when applied to war time. Losing control of their lives, these characters find solace in the things they can try to save, their immediate friendships and support groups, while also trying to save the home that raised them.
Lastly, we find the cyclical nature of human peace and violence immensely interesting and seek to unfold the nature of it in our novel. Our story reflects not only the inescapable effects of continuing down the path human nature sets for us but also the cycle itself—as the country again plunges into civil war. It explores greed, vengeance, vainglory and sacrifice as characters are forced to make life changing decisions between the betterment of humanity in the immediate or the possibility of lasting peace through sacrifice.
“Age of Rust” is the first part of two novels. We would like to thank the Author’s Lounge for letting us talk about it here because we are excited about the future of our story. Work is nearly complete on the sequel and final aspect of the story and we hope to have it polished and ready for publication by the summer. Though, any follower of the Author’s Lounge knows that publishing is no easy endeavor and waiting to release a book can feel like a small eternity, and so finding meaning in other parts of life is essential.
I have built a career out of leading young professionals in the marketing and sales world. The thrill of a fast work pace and the joy of teaching are things that I hope to never lose. I’m a Pennsylvania native, a proud Susquehanna alum and have had the experience of living all over the great commonwealth. I now reside in Delaware.
Conrad lives in Arizona where he is pursuing his doctorate degree. He is enjoying finding inspiration among the people and natural wonders of the American West but ultimately plans on returning to the East Coast to continue writing.
We hope that all audiences of adult age can enjoy Age of Rust, and though these two books start and end the story for these characters, the world we have built is something we often consider revisiting with future works and different characters and stories. We hope that readers enjoy our world as much as we respect it as a representation of important themes that every person has considered at some point. Thank you for reading and please leave a review somewhere or get in touch with us so we can hear what you think about “Age of Rust” or any other ideas. We love to hear from our readers!
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