Fortunately not many of us are faced with natural disasters, maybe that’s why we are fascinated with them. Everyday, somewhere in the world there are people thrown into a disaster they were not expecting and they are called on to react to uncontrollable circumstances.
I was in Portland, Oregon on May 18th, 1980, the day Mt. St. Helens decided to wreck her havoc on the area. I remember the ash covering the streets, the nightly news coverage and the terrible loss of life when 47 people were lost to the eruption. granted, Mt. St. Helens was the first volcano that the USGS was able to get there hands around and accurately predict an eruption was eminent, but what if a super volcano decided to wake up and you were the person on the scene, the one everyone else was relying on to save the day? Would you run and leave everyone else to fend for themselves, warn your closest family members so they would be saved, or put yourself in harms way in order to save as many lives as possible?
I wrote Caldera, not as a typical disaster novel, but as a study of the people who are forced to make decisions that affect all our lives in a natural disaster. After all, those who must make the decisions that affect our lives in extraordinary circumstances are not unlike the rest of us. They have families, loved ones, and tough decisions to make which should put those they are there to protect first and foremost in their plans. We all hope they will not think of themselves first and leave the rest of us to our fate.