Since we are upon the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, I feel I must acknowledge and highlight the meaningful part this powerful storm played in my first novel, All Rise.
For the residents of the Gulf Coast area both in Louisiana and Mississippi, the devastation from this record-breaking hurricane had a deep impact on every one of us, regardless of whether we experienced severe property damage or not. Unfortunately, everything I’ve seen on television this past week focuses on New Orleans, particularly the failed rescue attempts, the debacle at the Superdome and the tragedy of the 9th Ward.
While these dreadful situations did exist, there’s a whole lot more to the mournful story of the Gulf Coast devastation than just the New Orleans area. The North Shore (Slidell, Covington, Mandeville and Lacombe) of Lake Pontchartrain in Louisiana experienced the same life-threatening flood waters as New Orleans. Also, the Mississippi Gulf Coast region (too many towns to name) literally lost entire cities or neighborhoods to the tidal-wave surge waters of Hurricane Katrina. The accounts of these devastated areas should be told with the same heart-felt emotions as the poignant tales of New Orleans residents’ experiences.
In my novel, All Rise, the reader will learn a little about what it was like to live in these less publicized areas during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. As the reader follows the daily activities in the lives of the victim and the accused while the high-profile trial unfolds, he or she will be able to glimpse into the behind-the-scenes moments of, not only the main characters, but also many others living in the area. Hopefully, the reader will come away with a more realistic understanding of what it was like for all the Gulf Coast residents of both Louisiana and Mississippi to live through the aftermath of the most powerful hurricane in U.S. history. May I just say, it brought out the best as well as the worst in all the people living in the area.
In conclusion, the reader should recognize and understand the fact that this fictional story was written by someone who actually lived in the area and personally experienced what the novel reveals concerning the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. At that time, my husband and myself owned a newly-built home in Lacombe, Louisiana as well as an established cattle ranch in the Picayune area of Mississippi. Additionally, my mother-in-law lived in Slidell, Louisiana where her home contained eight feet of flood waters for several days. I could go on with many more sad tales of our family’s personal experiences but I won’t. Suffice to say, I know of which I write in All Rise. I hope you’ll read it.