The Cascadia subduction zone will rupture this weekend.
At least, in novel form.
H.W. “Buzz” Bernard’s new book “Cascadia,” releasing on Monday, is a fictional thriller about the earthquake the Pacific Northwest is long overdue for.
By Jordan Wolfe
And it prominently features a little town called Manzanita.
“It makes a great setting,” said Bernard. “It’s a beautiful area. Ruggedly beautiful.”
A native Oregonian, Bernard now lives in Roswell, GA, outside of Atlanta. With his brother as a part-time Manzanita resident, Bernard has ties to the North Coast.
“Manzanita became a focal point because I knew it well,” Bernard said. “I always like visiting, It’s a cool little town. I talk a lot [in “Cascadia”] about Laneda Avenue and the Big Wave Cafe and the Fourth of July parade.” He added, scenes take place in Cannon Beach and Neahkahnie Mountain as well.
“In the end, it all gets wiped out.”
Bernard said about 10 years ago he saw the blue Tsunami Evacuation Route signs, while visiting the area. “They look just like the east and gulf coast signs that show hurricane evacuation routes. I thought ‘tsunami evacuation. Really? Why do they need evacuation routes?'” He said the idea rested in the back of his mind until his interest piqued after reading more about the Cascadia subduction zone.
“Oh my God. This is a really big deal,” said Bernard.
He began thinking about a novel.
“You can’t have just the event,” he said, “You have to populate it with characters. They are what really drive a novel.” Unfortunately for Manzanita residents hoping to make the cut for the novel, Bernard said all characters are fully fictional.
With a background as a meteorologist and atmospheric scientist, Bernard said he tries to bring authentic information into the books he writes.
“I’ve flown with the Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunters into the eye of a hurricane,” he said. “I went on a tornado chase for a novel I was writing and for “Cascadia,” I had a lot of help from aviators and rescue teams and people who do speeches about [emergency] prepardeness.”
Bernard said after his first novel “Eyewall” fictionally destroyed the factual town of St. Simons, GA, with a hurricane, he was worried how the residents would react.
“I met the emergency manager at a book signing in St. Simons and I was told I helped raise people’s awareness.”
He is now considered a local writer there.
“‘Cascadia’ is about something that will happen. We just don’t know when,” said Bernard. “Not that I would encourage anyone to move away from the Pacific Northwest, but people need to be prepared.”
H.W. “Buzz” Bernard’s fifth novel, “Cascadia,” is available for pre-order now and will be available on July 11 as an e-book and trade paperback. Bernard currently plans to be in the North Coast area in August for book signings. For more information, visit buzzbernard.com.