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From Battlefield to Bookshelf: Unveiling The Crown Acres Series.

Upon concluding his service in the US Army, Caelen Walker turned to writing as a means of grappling with the haunting echoes of his past and giving voice to the untold stories that lingered within him. Inspired by a friend's challenge to "just write a book," he embarked on a literary odyssey to explore a narrative seldom well traversed: the “every man” when society collapses.

Thus, The Crown Acres series was born; a sprawling epic tale that transcends mere storytelling to immerse readers in a complete world brimming with threats, challenges, and struggles as well as resilience, strength, and the unyielding pursuit of survival. Set against the backdrop of a post-apocalyptic landscape just northwest of San Antonio, Texas, the series follows Clint, Becs, and their band of unlikely heroes as they navigate the treacherous terrain of a world stripped bare of safety nets and certainties.

However,  The Crown Acres series is more than just a saga; it's a tapestry of interconnected tales that weave together the diverse experiences of individuals grappling with the chaos of an uncertain future, with one narrative chronicling the trials and triumphs of Clint and his community. Walker invites readers on a riveting journey of discovery, empathy, and the enduring power of human connection.

Continue reading for an exclusive interview.

Tell us a bit about your background.

My father was a Y2K-era prepper and my step-father was a hunter and general contractor.

There were plenty of times that hunting season and hard work were what kept our family fed, so

I learned from a very young age what the balance between work and play, readiness, and daily

life looked like. 9/11 occurred during my Senior year of high school and like many of my friends

and peers from across the country I signed up to serve. I was deployed multiple times as a

19 Delta Cavalry Scout in the US Army, to both Iraq and Afghanistan, and learned a lot about the

intricacies of combat, teamwork, and tactics.

Why and when did you decide to become a writer?

After completing my service I started writing short stories as a way of processing the things

that had happened overseas and telling the stories that stuck with me. Few people have ever

read those stories, but one friend who did challenged me (rather directly) to “just write a book.”

Well, I took the challenge to heart and began writing a story I felt hadn’t been addressed well:

the “every man” when society collapses.

Tell us a bit about The Crown Acres series.

The first thing I’d like readers to know is that Crown Acres is a complete world. There will be

multiple books in the main series, as well as a half-dozen or so books that tell stories from

around the country on how people are surviving different threats in different areas. I also want to

tell the story of this world from different points of view and these “side quest” books as I call

them will allow for that.

The main series takes place just northwest of San Antonio, Texas, and follows Clint, Becs, and

their family and friends as a community of people. They have limited skills, almost no supplies, and no real plans for this terrifying new world. The only hope they have lies in their community

and those around them, including a comical best friend and some of his resources. They have

to understand that there is no safeties in this world, and they will be responsible for their own


What was the impetus for writing the series?

I’m a huge fan of the dystopian genre, but there are many tropes and clichés that tend to pop up

in books like this and I wanted to put something out that avoided them. It seems like it’s always

a Navy SEAL or an Army Ranger with the tagline “The grid is down, can former Navy SEAL

John Smith keep his family safe?” and all I can think is “He’d better be able to! Because if he

can’t, what is the ‘average person’ going to do?”

I wanted to avoid the instant gratification of knowing what happened and why, what’s going on on the international stage, the benevolent military figures, and the infinite supplies that many books in this genre present. I wanted to tell the story of a man who wasn’t okay with what was going on. Who wasn’t “built for this world” as it unfolds in front of him. He doesn’t rush into killing, he doesn’t have the discipline and tactics to survive like many other protagonists of the genre do. He’s basically winging it! I also include tips and tricks, recipes, and basic survival info in the books that allow for more than just idle reading if someone were to want/need more information.

What surprised you most about writing your books?

I know, I just got done talking about clichés, but I’m going to have to give into one: the way the characters come to life. At a certain point, it’s less that I’m telling a story and more like I’m seeing it unfold in front of me. Seeing the action, hearing the voices, the personalities coming to life, and creating dialogue. If I’m being honest it always sounded corny to me when authors would talk about the characters presenting the story and telling them what was happening, how, and why, but it really does feel like that.

Did you pull from your experience in the military when writing the series?

In some ways. I get asked regularly if I “am” Clint or which character I identify most with and the truth is that I kind of sprinkle myself across a few. There are key aspects of my life, my experiences, and my opinions in Clint, in Les, in Mac, in Logan, and others. There are dozens of times that I have come walking out of my office shaking my head, my wife asking me what’s wrong and me lamenting that Clint did something stupid. She likes to point out that I can make him do anything I want and I have to admit that I’m letting him do it for a reason. All of that is to say that I actually go out of my way to avoid some of my military experience and ideologies for the main character, instead displaying them through other characters in the book who are veterans or survivalists. The information still needs to get to Clint, but he’s learning it and not teaching it, which is a unique presentation for the genre in my experience.

Is there a message you hope readers take away after reading your books?

You don’t need a tinfoil hat to be a survivalist. Right now is the time to prepare your family for any disaster or unforeseen event. You don’t have to believe that civil unrest is a probability to stock up on water for your family. You don’t need to believe we could be invaded by a foreign entity to keep 2-3 weeks' worth of food on hand in your home. You don’t need to believe in lizard people just to stay physically fit and keep a garden. In 2021 the area in the book lost water and power for weeks due to a massive winter storm. People died. Right now is the time to be familiar with, if not actually become, more self-dependent and self-sustaining. Get to know your neighbors and what strengths you can bring to them and vice versa. Come up with a plan now, not when things go wrong.

How would you describe your upcoming book?

The first two books in the series, Frost Rising and Frost Settles, both focus on Clint and his family and circumstances in the northwest San Antonio area. My next book is the first of the “side quests” that will also tell what is going on in other areas of the country. It’s going to tell the story of a character I wanted to put in the main continuity, but couldn’t find a way to place him that made sense. He would have seemed too easy there, and butted heads with other characters that had more at stake in the series. Rebel’s Redemption is definitely still a part of the Crown Acres world, with a few Easter Eggs in it for those who have been following the main series, but it stands as its own story, with its own unique characters and their own development.


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