I’m excited to feature a book I’ve been eagerly anticipating for a while now: “Then Comes a Drifter,” a YA post-apocalyptic fantasy. Set in a land inspired by the desert Southwest, including New Mexico where I live, which if I wasn’t already intrigued by the concept of this book would have me very hooked!
What’s it about?
Laramie was born to ride the desert wilds. And she won’t let anything stop her, even a fearsome warlord who wants her captive–or dead.
A genius mechanic–and a rare descendant of the once-magical Itan–Laramie drifts from dusty town to dusty town in search of the family that was taken from her.
But her rambling desert journey becomes a game of survival when Laramie crosses a ruthless warlord’s territory. Taken prisoner by one of the warlord’s biker gangs, she befriends a quiet, dangerous man named Gered. After surviving hellish circumstances Gered is tired of fighting for a better life.
Laramie will always fight. And she’ll stop at nothing to win their freedom.
Enjoy this pulse-pounding motorcycle adventure in a post-apocalyptic western setting with found family and being brave in brutal circumstances.
Doesn’t that sound very cool??
And I got to sit down (metaphorically) with the author, C. M. Banschbach, and ask her lots and lots of questions, all of which she answered.
Pour yourself a nice glass of iced tea, sit back, and enjoy!
- Can you tell us about what inspired this book? Not only the initial idea, but also the different aspects that you wove in. Where did the spark come from?
The initial idea came when I was watching Mad Max:Fury Road when I was technically supposed to be studying. The idea for a young woman crisscrossing a desert on her motorcycle with grit, gun, and some tools popped in and bits and pieces starting coming in. I initially thought of doing it as a post-apocalyptic or dystopian initially, then decided that I’d definitely be more interested in it if it was a fantasy world which would give me more ability to play with things such as fading magic, a civilization having rebuilt itself without magic, and play with a modern fantasy for the first time.
- Which is your favorite character?
I really have a hard time picking one from this series, because they were all so much fun to work with. But Gered might possibly edge the others out only slightly. And that’s because I love his arc for the entire series.
- Where did the inspiration for that character come from?
Gered started as just a gang member who would possibly form an alliance with Laramie, but as I got deeper into planning the story and developing the world, he changed and evolved with it, and even through the first draft I was changing things about the world and evolving worldbuilding and plot to include things about him.
- “Then Comes a Drifter” is a post-apocalyptic fantasy, with interesting hints of magic and a unique set of characters and people groups. Where did the idea for these aspects come from? How did you go about setting it up?
The world of Natux is drawn a little from ours with a diverse set of people. I took some inspiration from Native American tribes of the southwest, and even a little bit from Mexico. Laramie’s adoptive family live in migratory groups, and they were inspired by Yoruba culture in many different ways while still having their own distinct place in Natux.
- What are your favorite books/movies/TV in the post-apocalyptic and/or fantasy genres? Did it (or they) influence the story, and how?
Mad Max: Fury Road for sure! I also comped the series to the show Into the Badlands which is post apocalyptic with hints of magic and modern tech that was super cool! I have also really enjoyed the episodes I watched years ago of Falling Skies which is more alien disaster, but still found family/rag-tag survivors.
- If you could pair one food or drink with this book, what would it be?
I’d say automatically a salted caramel mocha because I drank so many of them during the drafting process! I drafted probably 70% of this book at the Starbucks around the corner and this is the book that converted me to drinking coffee.
- As a native New Mexican, I love that you set this book in a land inspired by the deserts of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. What part of this area inspired you the most? Why did you choose it for “Then Comes a Drifter”? Are there any areas in the book inspired by specific places you’ve visited?
I grew up in west Texas and have always loved the wide open plains of scrub and mesquite that give way to cotton fields or stately longhorn herds. I love the deserts of New Mexico with those same vast skies and plains, the Sangre de Christo mountains which feature as the Christan Mountains in the book. The pine and open pockets of sunshine and lonely wind sighing down-mountain. Red dirt and arroyos, oil fields, and dusty towns. This book is sort of a love letter to those empty highways, sudden plateaus, caprocks, tumbleweeds, dust devils, and broad skies with flaming sunsets that just can’t be beat.
- What was your favorite part to write (if you can say without spoilers)?
So many parts I love. But there’s a showdown with motorcycles and guns that had me frantically typing and blasting a Mad Max song on repeat.
- What part of the writing process would you do differently?
Honestly, this book came together so fast and really overall so well, that I’d say nothing?
- Your favorite character just showed up at your front door! Do you invite them in? What do you serve them to eat or drink if so? Do you go out to give them a hand with their motorcycle? Or do you reach for the nearest weapon?
Since it’s hard for me to pick favorites, I’ll go with the four I love most. If it’s Laramie, she’s coming in and we’re having hot chocolate and she’s telling me about her adventures and maybe teaching me to ride the motorcycle. If it’s Gered, he’s probably glaring at me a little, but we’ll eat some tacos which are fairly close to some food they eat in the book. We’re both quiet, so wouldn’t mind some companionable silence and maybe a shooting lesson. Dayo gets a hug and we go for beers. Gioia and I’d go for a coffee at a bookshop, pick out our favorite books and read or chat life or stories.
Sooo, um… I’m more excited to read this book than ever! I still haven’t watched Mad Max: Fury Road (a bit too squeamish), but I love the soundtrack and I might just know exactly which track she’s talking about. Probably. lol
I requested the ARC from the publisher and I’m already up to my kickstand into it, so expect a review soon!
And you won’t have long to wait to read. Preorders are still open, and there’s some pretty fantastic swag, so be sure to check out the links above!
Now to go off and get a salted caramel mocha…