Finding Inspiration in a Hurricane
At the time, I was living in central Houston about two miles west of downtown. My wife and I hunkered down in our small apartment and watched the storm approach via Doppler radar on our TV.
Except for some minor flood damage to our walls, our residence made it through the hurricane with minimal damage. However, when we ventured outside, we found that was not the case with the rest of the city. Shattered glass littered the streets, large trees had been completely uprooted, and trash and debris were everywhere.
90% of the county had lost power. Some neighborhoods would not get power back for weeks. However, our apartment complex never lost its electricity for more than a few minutes at a time. We would find out later that it was because we shared a dedicated transformer with the fire station next door.
Basically, without energy, the entire city had to shut down. Nobody went to work, nobody went to school, and nobody ran any errands. No one could do much of anything except for try to put the broken pieces back together.
As our friends and family learned that we miraculously had power, they began flocking to our precious amenity of electricity, but more specifically, our air conditioning. The heat in the days following the hurricane was stifling and stagnant. I can hardly imagine the misery level of all those millions of people without AC.
For about a week, at any given time, there would be more than a dozen people crammed in our 800 square foot apartment. People would bring over frozen foods in an attempt to save them from spoiling. We quickly ran out of freezer space and grilled large amounts of meat as it thawed. We had people sleeping on the couch, in the hallways, and on the floor. This was a couple years after Hurricane Katrina did a number on New Orleans, so it only seemed natural when people started calling our apartment “The Little Superdome.”
The next year, I began working on my recently published novel, The Undying Love. Now, I’m certainly not comparing the aftermath of a Hurricane to a worldwide zombie apocalypse, but I got a lot of inspiration from those days following the hurricane. I was able to see the country’s fourth largest city in a completely incapacitated state. I saw downtown buildings that were heavily damaged. I watched the creative ways people passed the time without television or Internet and the creative ways people prepared boring, non-perishable foods. I witnessed both the good and bad side of humanity in the wake of a catastrophic event – whether it was people arguing over Ramen Noodles in Walgreens or someone letting their neighbor use their generator to keep their kid’s medicine refrigerated.
I drew on so many of those experiences when writing the post-apocalyptic portions of my novel. I’m not saying that every writer needs to experience a natural disaster, but I think that just about everyone has a bizarre or unique story from their life that could serve as inspiration to a really good story. It truly was a crazy week and not one I will soon forget.
The Undying Love by Greg McCabe
For Diane and Jackson, life is just about perfect. They’re healthy, happy, and madly in love with one another. Unknown to them, a virus is sweeping across the globe that instantly kills the infected and turns their corpses into mindless, murdering cannibals. In short: zombies have taken over the planet.
Diane and Jackson find out about the epidemic the hard way when their wedding is crashed by friends and family who have succumbed to the virus. Now, fighting for survival, they’re faced with unthinkable decisions.
Follow their story across Southeast Texas as they meet unforgettable characters and face challenges that will put their love, and lives to the ultimate test.
Where to purchase The Undying Love:
About the Author:
Greg McCabe is a proud Texan. He was born and raised in Midland, Texas, received a degree in Speech Communication from Texas A&M University, and currently resides in the Lone Star State. He enjoys spending time with his wife, Mandy, his daughter, Annabelle, and his dog, Walter, as well as traveling, sports, movies, reading, and writing. He enjoys all genres of fiction, but seems to gravitate towards horror and science fiction. The Undying Love is Greg’s first book.