Who started out in the business when they were two and what business was it? None other that Buzz Bernard and he has been in that business for some time.
” I was involved professionally in meteorology for over half a century.”
To welcome you today Buzz, I have made us a special coffee called “Butterscotch Coffee”. I hope you readers will join us, be sure and make you some of this delicious coffee. The ingredients: 1 cup butterscotch chips, divided, 8 cups hot brewed coffee, ½ cup half-and-half cream, 5 to 8 tablespoons sugar, and whipped cream. Directions:
In a microwave, melt 1/2 cup butterscotch chips; stir until smooth. Cut a small hole in the corner of a pastry or plastic bag; insert a #4 round tip. Fill with melted chips. Pipe eight garnishes onto a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate until set, about 10 minutes.
In a large pitcher, stir coffee and remaining butterscotch chips until chips are melted. Stir in cream and sugar. Pour into mugs. Top each serving with whipped cream and a butterscotch garnish. Yield: 8 servings (2 quarts). You can get this recipe and others at: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/butterscotch-coffee.
Buzz, with the books you write, tell me about the research that you do. It seems like it would be intensive.
“It depends. If my topic centers around weather–such as in Eyewall, Supercell, and Blizzard–I don’t have to do a lot of research, since I was involved professionally in meteorology for over half a century. Two of my novels, however, were very research intensive, because they dealt with fields not related to atmospheric science: microbiology/bioterrorism for Plague, and geology/plate tectonics for Tsunami (a work-in-progress).”
What’s the scariest research you’ve ever done?
“The research for both Plague and Tsunami uncovered some pretty scary facts–perfect for novelists, of course. For instance, at the peak of the Cold War, the Russians had the capability to produce 4500 metric tons of anthrax per year. 4500 tons! Wonder what they planned on doing with that? The Russians also experimented with weaponizing the Ebola virus. (Which, by the way, is what the antagonist in Plague succeeds in doing.) The impetus for Tsunami sprang from learning that the San Andreas Fault probably isn’t the biggest threat for a super-sized earthquake in the U. S.; it’s more likely the Cascadia Subduction Zone which undercuts the coasts of Oregon and Washington.”
That’s all scary just thinking about it. I’m curious as are most people. When you write do you snack? If so, salty or sweet?
” Salty. Things like Sun Chips or Chex Mix. But don’t leave a dish of cookies or chocolates lying around. I hate to see things go to waste. But I don’t snack while I write. I may have a cup of coffee or a glass of Diet Coke on my desk, but no snacks. If I did, I’d spend all my time nibbling and not enough writing. And I’d also have to come up with some lame excuse for my wife why I’m not hungry at dinnertime.”
Tell us something you would like your readers to know about you they don’t.
“Well, I’m really a pretty conservative guy. That despite what I write about in my novels, I don’t hang out at strip clubs, have friends who are sleaze bags, or keep large snakes as household pets.”
I hope not Buzz. Can’t imagine any woman liking that, especially the snakes.
Tell us about your book Supercell.
“Chuck Rittenburg was one of the most intrepid storm chasers in the country until a bad decision resulted in the death of a young couple who’d paid to ride along. A decade later–broke, divorced, and estranged from his college-age children–he’s got nothing left to lose. When a film producer offers Chuck one-million dollars to help find and photograph a deadly tornado in Oklahoma, Chuck sees a chance to earn his kids’ respect again–and maybe his own.
The situation quickly becomes about more than tracking a monster tornado for Hollywood. FBI Agent Gabi Medeiros insists on riding along. A burglary ring is targeting tornado-ravaged neighborhoods, and their tactics now include murder.
With the stage set for a major heist, a deadly supercell, and a confrontation between Man and Nature on an epic scale, Chuck and his crew will be lucky to escape in one piece.”
I read the book, and I have to tell you, it was really something. Having been in a tornado I could grasp the tension as they were looking for the storms.
If you like to travel; what is the most unusual place you’ve ever visited and put in your books?
“Though not a “place” in the sense you probably mean, but at various times in my life I’ve spent a lot of time riding around in air force C-130s (four-engined turboprop aircraft), including a WC-130 of Hurricane Hunter fame. That plane was featured in my debut novel, Eyewall.”
Do you still do that, if not how difficult was the decision to give up being a meteorologist?
“Weather still interests and fascinates me, but now it’s my hobby, not my profession. And it wasn’t at all difficult to give up as a profession, since it meant I could sleep in past 3 a.m. My normal getty-up time now is around 6:30. Unless the dog alarm goes off prior to that, meaning he has to go out . . . and I’m the designated predawn dog walker.”
What is your favorite hobby and do you think that has had an impact on your writing?
“Weather is far and away my favorite hobby . . . now that it’s no longer my career. And I think you’ve probably figured out by now it’s had a rather large impact on my novels.”
What are you working on now that you can share with us?
It’s called Tsunami. Researchers in the Pacific Northwest have recently determined that great earthquakes, known as megaquakes, and huge tsunamis have occurred there in the past, and will again in the future. The coasts of Washington and Oregon sit atop the Cascadia Subduction Zone. It’s a virtual twin of the fault that caused the massive quake and tsunami in Sumatra in 2004.”
For those of you who don’t know and are writers and live in the Georgia area, Buzz currently is vice president of the Southeastern Writers Association, a member of International Thriller Writers, the Atlanta Writers Club and Willamette Writers. He and his wife Christina live in Roswell, Georgia, along with their fuzzy and sometimes over-active Shih-Tzu, Stormy.
I really appreciate you being with us today Buzz. When your new book comes out. I hope you will drop back by and share it with us.
“Thanks for having me Susan and promoting my books.”
Be sure and check out Buzz’s books and his website. He loves to hear from his readers, and you can ask questions.
Visit his website: http://buzzbernard.com/
Visit his blog: http://buzzbernard.com/blog/ and be sure and sign up for it. It has a lot of information.