nonameFancy meeting you here.

Are you really going to lead with that?

 

So what is your debut novel, Twister, about?

In Twister, a small Midwestern community grieves the loss of a young man killed in a war. Coincidentally, or not, there’s also a huge storm coming. The story opens with Rose, the soldier’s mother, but then broadens to include a number of other characters—Rose’s estranged stepsister, a neighboring family, townspeople who appear at first glance to be less connected to the loss. In retrospect, I think I wanted to explore how a community copes with momentous change and existential threat—the germ of the story first appeared on the page during the long build-up to the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Will they survive it? And if so, how will they be changed?

9781625579379

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A hum comes over the wires, a message from the meteorologists who are miles away watching color patterns swirl and break apart on the Pulse-Doppler radar. Yellow, green, red, blue, black—pixels in all colors of the rainbow. It is beautiful, they think. Kaleidoscopic. Majestic. Aloud, one will begin the alert sequence: rapid air movement, supercell gathering into a wall, affected counties. The alert becomes an all-out warning because science makes it so.

Emails, text messages, faxes, phone calls; printers spit out paper with bold captions. An intern hands a radioman a piece of paper and points to a message blinking on the computer screen in front of him; he pulls his chair closer to the microphone and prepares to read. One county on the list is more familiar to him than the others, but Ted Waite is a professional and does not pause.