BLUNT TALK ABOUT SUPERCELL

Tornado that hit Moore OK May 3, 1999, killing 36 people. Photo: Julianna Keeping, newsok.com.

I wasn’t aware of it until my publisher, BelleBooks, pointed it out, but May 4th is National Weather Observers Day.  And maybe BelleBooks wasn’t aware of it until I mentioned it, but the month of May marks the climatological peak of tornado season (see graphic below).  On average, more twisters rip across the U. S. in May than in any other month.

Taking both of these factors into account, early May seemed a good time to run a promotion on SUPERCELL, my novel set against tornado chasing on the Great Plains.  So here we are.  For a buck ninety-nine, you can join the chase (until May 15).

But let me enter into some blunt talk about SUPERCELL here.  I was once asked of the five novels I’ve had published, which was my favorite.  Tough choice, really.  I truly enjoyed writing them all.  I suppose the politically correct answer should have been EYEWALL, by far my best seller.  Or maybe the “blowing-my-own-horn”  response should have been BLIZZARD or CASCADIA, because they’re my highest-rated (by readers) books.  (They’re also my most recent, suggesting, if nothing else I guess, I’ve grown as a writer.)

Anyhow, my gut response to the question about my favorite novel was SUPERCELL.  Although readers don’t agree it was their favorite—and in the end, readers are the final arbiter—I had more fun cranking out SUPERCELL than any other novel.

A lot of readers did like it—it remains my second best-selling book and won the 2015 EPIC eBook prize in the suspense/thriller category.  But those who weren’t enthusiastic about it thought the ending was a bit “over the top,” considered the character from Hollywood a bit too crude and misogynistic, and didn’t care for the subplot about a father having difficulty accepting his gay son.

Okay, maybe the ending smacked a bit too much of a three-ring circus, but I had a blast cranking it out.  One reader wrote it seemed like something out of a blockbuster movie . . . so you’d think Spielberg would have noticed by now.  Here’s the kicker, though, the real conclusion occurs in the Epilogue.

The Hollywood guy?  Loved him.  Quite a few readers did, too, calling him “deliciously sleazy” or “deliciously slimy.”  That’s really what I was striving for.

The father finding it a challenge to embrace his gay son?  The was based on something I witnessed a few years back.  A good friend of mind, because he was gay, was never accepted by his father.  He was, in fact, shunned.  Even on his deathbed (yes, AIDS), my friend’s father never came to him.  That hurt even me.  So in SUPERCELL I saw an opportunity, as an author, to make things right.  That’s all.

Now you know what goes on in a writer’s head.  At least this writer’s head.

And I didn’t have to lie on a couch and shell out a hundred bucks an hour to talk about it.

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