I’ve been noticably quiet over the beginning of 2020. That’s because I’m working on Flood Risk, Book 2 of the Risk series featuring my insurance investigator Valerie Sloan.
Flood Risk has suddenly become very timely because it is set in Nashville during the flood of 2010. I’ve been researching personal stories of that time and have been immersed in the flooding, the stealth of the water in the night, the quiet panic of the city in the day, and the struggle to rebuild in the weeks and months that followed. Under Water, by Owen Grimenstein, is part of that research.
It should come as no surprise that I was disoriented on Tuesday by the news of the Nashville tornado. Once again, the city will have to pick up the pieces, clean the streets, and rebuild the houses. Once again, the city will have to find the strength within itself to band together, mourn their losses, and move on into an uncertain future.
I have been a tourist in Nashville. I’ve seen the beauty of the city as well as some of the heartbreaks. I love the juxtaposition of the new and the old in the city. I love the food, the shopping, the honky-tonks, and of course, the music. But most of all, I love the people and their willingness to help you, whether they know you or not, whether you live there or not. I love their resilience, their friendliness, and their joy.
These next weeks and months will be hard for the people of Nashville. But people like me will come back and visit. Soon.
In the meantime, I will work on this new book and try, in my way, to do justice to this city and its people. They deserve nothing but my best.
I’m thinking of you, Nashville, and weeping again for your losses.