Rambling thoughts: hurricanes and novels

At my age, it’s okay to allow my thoughts to ramble. So here they go.

The numerical forecast models handled our recently-departed holiday visitor, Hurricane Earl, very well, consistently indicating the eye would stay just offshore of the Eastern Seaboard. And that’s exactly what happened. Sustained hurricane-force winds brushed by a few miles east of Cape Hatteras, but that’s as close as they came.

Now the models are warning that a couple of new storms will spring to life in the far eastern Atlantic over the next several days. So there may be more Cape Verde monsters come a-calling in the near future. (As a matter of fact, about an hour after I wrote that, Tropical Storm Igor was christened just south of the Cape Verdes. Igor? Now there’s a name with possibilities.)

Speaking of weather–I was, wasn’t I?–it’s nice to know fall is at last inward-bound here in the Deep South. It’s been too hot too long. The temperature tumbled into the 50s both Sunday and Monday mornings where I live, and each day more and more leaves give up the ghost and drift down from trees that are slowly beginning to change color.

On another subject, books. I don’t generally read mysteries, but I could no longer ignore The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It’s been on the best-seller list for weeks, and although I’ve been sorely disappointed by BS’s in the past, this one seemed worth picking up.

I’m only about 80 pages into the novel so far. The writing is wonderful and the characters exquisitely drawn, but… nothing much has happened. I’m used to reading (and writing) thrillers where someone gets threatened, shot or blown up in the first few paragraphs.

Well, I’ll keep plugging. The novel does seem to offer promise.

Finally, regarding my own journey as a debut novelist, I’ve realized over the past few days that my thinking vis-a-vis book promotions is still very much 20th century. That needs to rapidly change, to become 21st century. I’m still wallowing in a world of book signings, promotional handouts and newspaper advertising. Nay, nay. No longer. It’s time for an old dog to learn new tricks.

Now it’s all about book trailers (like for movies) on the Web, blogs and ebook promos. So one thing I’m thinking about doing as the release date (next May) for EYEWALL nears, is to use Buzzblogs to do a series of interviews with key characters in the novel. Who are they? What’s their history? What are their fears and desires? Their shortcomings?

Maybe they’re people you know. Or would like to know. Or poke in the eye.

Photo: Wind field history of Hurricane Earl
Hurricane-force winds are displayed in red; tropical-storm force winds are shown in orange.  The U.S. was spared sustained hurricane-force winds as Earl charged toward Nova Scotia last week. (NOAA/NHC image)

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