…but everybody has to be the bad guy sometime right?
Part of “Evelyn’s Drawings Can’t Swim” was inspired by the catastrophic flood that hit Cedar Rapids, Iowa in June of 2008. Mother Nature was the perfect bad guy then. Sometimes it can be hard to describe the flood as thoughts of it can be overwhelming. Where do I start? There are many images floating around in my mind about those days and weeks in the summer of 2008.
Naturally (no pun intended) as I began constructing the story, the flood became the villain again. It threatens, among other things, something that Noah has grown to love. And with the help of his friend Mrs. G—the children’s librarian and Noah’s neighbor—he musters the strength to do something about it. I imagine him raising his twelve-year-old fists in the face of the flood and shaking them.
And as I am typing I am realizing just how strangely ironic it is that I am blogging about this element of the book today. It was just two years ago this very week that we in Cedar Rapids were all preparing for and dealing with the flood. So too, Noah is getting ready to face the flood.
I will honestly admit that I know it will not be an easy task to recreate the flood as my villain—despite how much I dislike the waters that wrecked havoc on my city. But I hope that through my story, and the characters I create—protagonist and antagonist alike—I am able to show that there is hope and goodness that can come from such a challenge, such a disaster.
So in the meantime, holler if you know of a good book that has a natural disaster or Mother Nature as the antagonist of the story.
It’s not that I don’t love the great outdoors. I’ve just learned it can also be not so great sometimes.