LIVING ON THE FAULT LINE

I believe there are two different ways Cascadia, my newest novel, is being read.  It’s dependent, I think, upon where the readers live. When I do a presentation on Cascadia in the Southeast, where I reside, I’ve discovered I need to do a little extra.  I have to set the stage for the drama, because most…

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WHERE WILL YOU BE ON “C-DAY?”

Where will you be on “C-Day,” the day the Cascadia Subduction Zone blows a gasket?  Yeah, yeah, I know.  Maybe we’re all six feet under or blowing in the wind by then. Or maybe not, not if Cascadia lets ‘er rip tomorrow or over the Fourth of July weekend, like in the novel, Cascadia. So,…

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YES, I KNOW THAT’S NOT WHAT A REAL TSUNAMI LOOKS LIKE

When I got my first look at what is now the cover of Cascadia, my left-brain (logical, factual) persona took over.  I fired off an email to my publisher: “NO, sorry.  The cover image looks great, but it’s much too Hollywood.  A real tsunami doesn’t look anything like that.” Now most publishers, especially the majors,…

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How EYEWALL influenced CASCADIA

Of the four novels I’ve had published so far, my first, Eyewall, remains by far the best seller.  That’s been a little difficult for me to come to grips with, since I don’t think the book necessarily reflects my best writing.  It’s not that it’s bad writing—or it would never have sold as many copies…

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HOW A NOVEL IS CONCEIVED

I grew up in western Oregon.  It seemed, at least in terms of natural threats, a bucolic place in which to spend my youth.  For instance, severe thunderstorms and tornadoes there were about as common as the Northern Lights in Georgia.   Hurricanes were nonexistent.  Such storms are born over warm oceans.  If you’ve ever…

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DOES A HURRICANE DISASTER LOOM? WHY I’M WORRIED

When the great “Dixie Tornado Outbreak” of April 2011 ripped through the Deep South, I remember being absolutely appalled that over 300 lives were snuffed out. How could that happen, I wondered, in this era of sophisticated weather prediction, detection and warning systems? You had to go back to 1936, into the “Dark Ages” (my…

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