POED, the third Candy’s Monster, went live on Amazon while Sandy stormed up the east coast of the United States. A few minutes after I checked the link, the lights flickered and I heard the Con Edison transformer blow on East 14th Street.
A little more than a week later, Bill of The Bookcast interviewed me about Poe and POED. The tick, clatter, tick, tick, tick of frozen rain from the Nor’easter that followed the supercharged hurricane, became the soundtrack for our Poe-ish talk.
POED is truly a stormy little story!
Weather — from the classic “dark and stormy night” to the oppressive stillness of the air on a summer afternoon — creates a backdrop for many frightening tales. Snow, sleet, fog, hurricanes, tornadoes, hail, thunder & lightning, dust storms, flash floods, mudslides, avalanches and every other weather phenomena can be a threatening, if unspeaking, character in a story. It’s not surprising that storms are described in Monstrous terms. Sandy certainly was! The combination of hurricane, full moon high tide and northern cold front was called a Frankenstorm. The London fog permeates every good Jack the Ripper incarnation. And where would all those stories that begin with a car breaking down on a lonely road be without a good soaking rainstorm?
All this extreme weather in such a short time frame has planted a seed in my story-writing imagination. I’m wondering how far I can take the malevolence of a natural phenomena? What if a tornado “chose” its spot to land? What if lightning skipped one tree and aimed at the next? What if a mudslide was selective — the houses, cars and trees swept in its path, purposefully buried down the hill or pushed onto the highway?
It’s something to think about on a nice clear night like tonight. Maybe it’s a bit too much to contemplate when there’s a storm brewing?