Today I am so pleased to welcome Jaimie N. Schock to Joyfully Jay. Jaimie has come to talk to us about her latest release, The Wasteland Kings. She has also brought along a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!


Farming in the Wastelands & Killer Robots

An explanation of research for The Wasteland Kings by Jaimie N. Schock


Researching for a book is never easy, even when it’s fiction. But it is an essential part of writing, and it’s something an author must do before getting published. For my adult sci-fi book The Wasteland Kings, I did quite a bit of research in the hope of making the future look as believable as possible.

The most research went into the specifics of running a town in a wasteland environment. It had to be self-sustaining, protected, and full of people with the right skills. As part of that, I had to learn a lot about farming.

I needed to find out when each crop would be planted and harvested, what would be required for the crops to thrive, and what types of food could sustain a population of around thirty people. Additionally, the world in which this farming takes place includes acid rain, which could contaminate and destroy the food, as well as the drinking water, so that was a concern. 

I decided, based on this research, that the characters would use transparent tarps to cover the crops while also letting light in. These tarps funnel the rain away from the plants and into an advanced filtration system, which then makes the water drinkable. Water filtration systems that can remove chemicals as well as bacteria and debris already exist, so it was just a matter of including it in the story.

Additionally, I wanted the townspeople to have milk and eggs for protein. This meant they would need chickens and goats, which had to be fed, housed, and cared for. I learned about animal husbandry in order to include those animals.

The people needed to have the right skills to accomplish the planting and harvesting. Some, like Galeron and Ezekiel, required the knowledge that I had to research, while others simply had to harvest the food and cook it. Bast, the main character, doesn’t have much planting knowledge going into the book, but he learns quickly. The process of creating food for the town had to be a group effort.

The second, and arguable more fun, research item had to do with the killer robots roaming the countryside. I based them on a real robotic prototype from Boston Dynamics (with a few killer upgrades). I watched a documentary on the present and future of murderous robots that also helped. I learned the proper vocabulary to use, and, with a little sci-fi creativity, developed the biggest threat to my characters: robotic dogs.

A few other research items involved the cities and their technological advances, the wildlife and damaged areas outside the town, and non-gas forms of fuel for vehicles and generators. Some of the futuristic items were simply made up, but I used research to make educated guesses along the way.


wasteland kings coverHacker Bast has it all: a cushy condo, a sexy boyfriend, and a place among the wealthy elite. When his past catches up with him, he flees into the dreary and dangerous wastelands between domed cities. There, he meets Delphi, who saves him, and Galeron, who runs a small town. He is anything but safe, however, as robotic “dogs” roam the countryside, looking for people to kill, and humans can be just as deadly.

As Bast settles in to life in the town, he develops a controversial relationship with Galeron. They fall in love, but all is not well in their world. Can the two of them survive and reach the happy ending they long for, or will the wastelands take everything they hold dear?

Warnings: Guns, death, child death, violence, animal death, suicide, drug use, nazis.

Universal Buy Link:


Jaime N. Schock bio photoJaimie N. Schock is an author, editor, and journalist with nearly two decades of professional experience. She has been published in newspapers and magazines and has released nine fiction novels.

She is married and living in Northern Virginia. Though she have an extensive career, she is disabled with PTSD and chronic illness. Schock tries to incorporate her life experiences into the fictional pieces she writes while delivering complex and diverse characters. Her pronouns are she/her, and she is proudly a member of the LGBTQIA+ community.


Jaimie is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • By entering you are agreeing to the Terms and Conditions set out by Rafflecopter for entries.
  • Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
  • Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize. In order to facilitate prize distribution, the winner name’s and email may be provided to a third party awarding the prize.
  • By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
  • Void where prohibited by law.
FILED UNDER: Giveaway, Guest Post