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The Inspiration behind the Broken Tide series

Updated: Mar 13, 2023



Howdy, muchachos!


When you think of post-apocalyptic scenarios, the big three come to mind: An EMP event (or other grid down scenario), Nuclear War, or Biological Outbreak (intentional, accidental, or natural).[1] Then you start to see other plays on the man themes of survival: massive earthquakes, super-volcanoes, meteor storms, climate crisis, AI revolution, terrorism run rampant, etc.


So why did I decide to use a megasunami for my series Broken Tide, co-written with Mike Kraus?


Because to my knowledge, no one really focused on that before. I'm sure there were some authors out there who'd written about it as a basis for a post-apoc thrill ride, but they were few and far between compared to EMP stories, which just...everywhere.


Okay, so I'd decided to do a megatsunami story. My first thought was, this is cool...what place is known for tsunamis—I obviously can't set this one in the midwest or Texas or something. Well, tsunami is a Japanese word...what if I set the series in Japan...or the Pacific Northwest?


Having never been to either of those places, I wanted to stick to areas I've at least visited—when I write about a location, I like to have been there to at least get a flavor of the place to add realism to my stories (when I write about the Lost Sanctuary Series, I'll show you some pictures from a trip I took to New Mexico that inspired me).


At the time I was kicking around this idea, my sister sent me a picture from the top of Cadillac Mountain where she was vacationing with her family. I got a good look at the Atlantic over my nephews shoulder and realized that would make an AWESOME location for some characters to watch a megatsunami roll ashore.


I've been to coastal Maine and love Acadia National Park...so it was a no brainer to set my story there. It was a place I knew, I had lots of reference photos for descriptions, and it was on the coast. Then I started digging. And I found the La Palma volcano system and the absolutely devastating impact a collapse of one of the Canary Islands would have on the world.


For starters, I'd found research that suggested waves some 30 meters tall would smash into the Eastern Seaboard with enough energy to travel almost 16 miles inland. That is a LOT of people impacted or killed by a wave traveling hundreds of miles an hour.


That gave me the basis for my story, and like I always do, was enough for me and Mike to run with it and see where it took us. Turns out, it took us on a wild ride from Maine to South Carolina, with stops in Boston and the Chesapeake Bay (my old stomping ground from when I grew up in Delaware).


Like I did in Solar Storm, I wanted to shake things up a bit—the main character in Broken Tide is a female hunting guide (who specializes in taking women CEOs out into the Alaskan wilds to hunt...no glamping here!) who is caught in the middle of a local power struggle in Charleston, South Carolina when things go sideways and she has to defend her home, neighborhood, and daughter while hoping her husband (caught on a fishing trip/team building exercise for work...off the coast of Maine) survived the end of the world and makes it 1000 miles south.


Along the way, I got to blow up houses, deal with the outbreak of diseases, a hurricane, and I had a lot fun writing about sailing (which I'm definitely going to do more of...it was just so much fun!).


So until next time, keep a weather eye on the horizon and keep your powder dry, muchachos. We live in interesting times.






 

Notes

[1] This doesn't include zombies, they are their own genre, though they mesh with post-apoc very nicely...and I even wrote a serious about that, called Elixr Plague. It's fun as hell to write, which is a plus.





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