H is for Hurricane
There’s more than enough real-life drama caused by hurricanes, but it is a believable fiction scenario too. You may want to bump this up a little higher than your standard Category 3, but anywhere that you throw in a few deaths you’ll be able to sell this. One of the bonuses of using a ‘real life’ disaster is the endless science and experiences that you have access to.
Scenario: Low-grade hurricanes should be more character-driven. But you could have all kinds of fun with a super-hurricane, or even multiple hurricanes. Flying debris, hailstones the size of your head, localized flooding – the possibilities are endless.
Characters: Families and lovers – fighting your way home in the hurricane for the ones you love is a guaranteed winner. You could also include some scientists or even storm chasers (clueless characters in the form of scientists? Win!) for variety – but I wouldn’t recommend focusing solely on these guys – apart from the kookiness factor, you’ll have a tough time making them loveable.
Location: It has to be somewhere susceptible to hurricanes, otherwise you’ll need a lot of science and convincing. Small town, big city are two good choices.
Series or stand-alone: Hurricanes are hit-and-run – there’s very little longevity here – so unless you’ve got something really unique, this is going to be a stand-alone.
On My Wishlist
Isaac's Storm by Erik Larson
Published: 11 July 2000 by Vintage
Pages: 336 (paperback)
Using Cline's own telegrams, letters, and reports, the testimony of scores of survivors, and our latest understanding of the science of hurricanes, Erik Larson builds a chronicle of one man's heroic struggle and fatal miscalculation in the face of a storm of unimaginable magnitude.
Roar of the Heavens by Stefan Bechtel
Published: 1 June 2006 by Citadel Press
Pages: 308 (hardcover)
Before there was Katrina, there was Hurricane Camille, a 1969 torrent that caused billions of dollars in damage and cost 256 human lives. Called the most intense storm in American history, this Category 5 storm packed such a wallop that meteorologists reckoned that such a hurricane would likely occur only once in a thousand years. Roar of the Heavensre-creates Camille hour-by-hour, reconstructing the human drama of an all-too-perfect storm.