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4.04.2012

Joni Rodgers' THE HURRICANE LOVER: fiction for the storm-obsessed

Joni Rodgers admits to being a bit storm-obsessed since the epic hurricane season of 2005, which sparked the story in The Hurricane Lover, which reviewers have called "stylish and intelligent" and "a whirlwind read."

Rodgers and her husband volunteered with relief efforts here after Hurricane Katrina and watched agog as the Houston metroplex was strangled by the biggest evacuation debacle in US history as Hurricane Rita threatened the city. She combined her personal observations and the many stories she heard from Katrina survivors with hundreds of hours of research and documents released through the Freedom of Information Act, weaving storm science and the political debacle into the cat-and-mouse suspense plot.

"In 2008, Hurricane Ike roared up I-45 like a colonoscopy," says Rodgers. "It did all the damage we narrowly escaped during Rita. During the height of the storm, my curiosity got the better of me. I went outside so I could experience it. Absolutely incredible. I couldn't have written about it if I hadn't seen, heard, smelled and tasted it."

Rodgers spent the weekend in Dallas, working on a ghostwriting project. Less than 48 hours later, this footage was shot in the area.

"Texas weather," the author observes, "always an adventure."