I have been asked 'why Russia?' quite a few times. I wish I had a very cleverly researched answer for you that backs up Russia/Siberia as the most obvious choice to set up my post-apocalyptic world but I don't. But maybe that's one of the cool things about writing. I could just make up the back story because I really wanted to set The Woodlands in Russia.
Reason One: Wolves. Anybody who knows me well knows I am slightly obsessed with wolves. I knew I wanted to include them in my book so I had to set it in an area where wolves lived.
Reason Two: Animal attacks. In The Woodlands the survivors of the war have holed themselves up in concrete compounds for hundreds of years. They have left the wilderness to, well, completely run wild and take over. I wanted to write about animals and plant life taking the world back and the danger us pitifully prepared humans would face if we had to brave real 'wilds'. Russia and Siberia has wolves, bears, polar bears, tigers, lynxes to name but a few creatures that would love to sink their claws and teeth into the soft-fleshed citizens of The Woodlands.
Reason Three: Extreme weather and beautiful scenery. Who wouldn't want to write about snow settling on evergreens and the bright blast of colour an autumn in Russia presents?
Reason Four: Almost every Young Adult Dystopian I've read in the last year, which is quite a few, has America as the sole survivor of the apocalypse. In the Woodlands the survivors are moved to Russia from the six countries that had the largest populations. These included the US, China, South America, Africa, India and Russia. It made sense to me that if there was a race war that the countries with the greatest numbers to start with would survive.
Reason Five, and probably the most important reason: COZ I WANTED TO! ;)