As I mentioned in my last post, we finished writing a little more than a week ago. Half the chapters went to the copy editors last week. The other half are on their way this week. And… drum roll please… we should have publishing news to share with you soon!
While I’m waiting to get the edited chapters back, I’m reading through the whole book from beginning to end. It’s the first time I’ve been able to do that without having to skip over unfinished sections. Although I’ve been immersed in every aspect of this story for more than a year (not counting the time I actually lived it), I haven’t been able to see it from introduction to conclusion all at once. The writing process has been like catching brief glimpses of someone you really want to meet. One day you see the back of his head as he walks away. The next time you might catch a flash of his hand as he waves through a crowd to someone across the street. Now that the book is finished, I feel like I’m finally getting to meet that elusive person face-to-face.
As I read, I’m going to share my experience with you by telling you about my favorite parts of each chapter. I plan to cover three chapters a week. By the time we’re done, I should be able to tell you exactly when you’ll be able to get a copy of the book for yourself.
Chapter 1 introduces three families that we follow throughout the book. You meet them on the Monday before Hurricane Ike made landfall. Although you will get to read dozens of individual stories throughout the book, you will feel like you know our main three families the best. You’ll learn why they view storms the way they do and how Ike changed their perspectives. You will walk with them through the island’s recovery and experience the challenges they faced as they tried to put their lives back together.
My favorite part of Chapter 1 is the sense of dread hanging over it. The reader knows the storm is coming and will wreak havoc. But our three families come to that conclusion slowly. They all showed a chilling complacence as Ike barreled toward them. I’m sure some readers will think the families foolish, but I sympathize with them. Although it’s completely illogical, Galveston somehow seemed immune from a catastrophic storm.