As we’re all watching tropical storm Laura, hurricane preparedness has been on my mind. I checked on the neighbor who’s never been through one, ordered flashlights from Amazon Prime, surveyed the shelves full of canned goods I’ve been stockpiling since May, and overall tried not to panic. After all, we don’t even know yet if the storm will come our way. Several people sent me an article according to which Laura is following the path of the Great Storm of 1900. I guess hearing about that storm makes people think of me, which means I’ve been doing a good job promoting Storms of Malhado, my historical novel set against the backdrop of that natural disaster. But I promise, a hurricane was not part of my marketing plan! In fact, if I could complain to the manager right now, I would.
Anyway, it looks like there might be some stormy weather, so it’s a good time to remind people to stock up on books too, not just flashlights and canned goods.
I even came up with some book club discussion questions:
1. Would you say this is a ghost story? Who are the ghosts? How do they manifest themselves?
2. What role would you say astrology plays in the book? If you had to guess, what would you say are the signs of Suzanne, Josephine, Desmond, Betty, Edna, Cornelius, Katie, Mama, and George?
3. What books have you read that are similar? In what way?
4. What’s your favorite meal in the book and why?
5. What is the lesson Katie must learn? How about Mama?
6. What’s your favorite thing to stock up in case there’s a bad storm?
7. What scene in the book spoke to you the most and why?
For even more fun, I created a collection of art inspired by the book on my Society6 page.
And finally, since the 1900 storm was on my mind, today I decided to auction off one of my favorite paintings, The Storm of 1900. This piece is inspired by Katie’s nightmare of her lover turning into a fish in the 1900 portion of Storms of Malhado.
This painting is special for many reasons, including the fact that it was my interview piece for the Escapist Mentorship Program. And guess what? Some powerful magic was at work, because one of my favorite people, who supported me during the program and beyond and who is now part of a small group that’s providing much needed relief from the anxiety of the pandemic, has loved this painting for a while and got it in tonight’s auction! I can only hope weather and traffic cooperate so I can bring it to her this week.