October 15, 2012

Authors Needed for Book and Screenplay on the Columbus Day Storm!

The Columbus Day Storm was the strongest storm to hit the Northwest in 150 years and probably the most powerful non-tropical windstorm to strike the lower 48 states in a century.

You would think SOMEONE would have written a gripping book about the storm. But no one has.   Unimaginable. What an opportunity for good writer.  This storm has everything:
  • Massive damage on an unimagined scale. 
  • Winds exceeding 150 mph and a storm equal to Hurricane Katrina
  • Huge forests leveled.
  • Dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries.
  • Thousands of homes and buildings destroyed or seriously damaged.
  • Record flooding and landslides in California.
  • Power outages everywhere.
  • Dramatic stories of rescue and recovery.
  • No warning the day before, but valiant meteorologists get the word out that day after offshore ships are hit by extraordinary winds, seas and low pressure.

What happened that day was so extreme, no exaggeration is needed.  In fact, truth is difficult to believe.  The book and screenplay would write itself.  Perhaps Hans Zimmer could complete the score for the movie.  I love Hans Zimmer music--it all sounds so similar, but who cares?  Triumphal, inspiring music is needed here.

This project could make a good writer and/or screenwriter very rich.  A sure-fire best seller.  A hit movie.  I approached one well-known local writer about the project...wasn't interested.  His mistake!

OK, I know there was a movie called the "Perfect Storm", based on a best-seller book--but that storm was NOTHING compared to the Columbus Day Storm.  Some comparisons:

Lowest Pressure:  Perfect Storm, 972 hPa; Columbus Day Storm 960 hPa.  COLUMBUS STORM WINS BIG.

Maximum Gusts:  Perfect Storm, 65 knots; Columbus Day Storm, 130+ knots.  NOT EVEN CLOSE.

Damage:  Perfect Storm:  A fishing vessel full of sailors that ignored the forecast, plus some wave damage in Massachusetts.  Columbus Day Storm:  Massive damage from CA to BC in the billions of dollars.  NO CONTEST.

Our storm is a hell of a lot more perfect than theirs!

Just a little blow compared to the Columbus Day Storm
 If you are an experienced writer and would like to talk about this project, send me an email.   Same thing for screenwriters.  I have all the data and background information. I have only one request/demand--I want to play the meteorologist in the movie.  Just like the weatherman in the Perfect Storm.  You know who I am talking about.  Looking at the weather data he starts to shake.  He grabs a colleague and says the immortal lines:

"You could be a meteorologist all your life...
...and never see something like this.
It would be a disaster of epic proportions.
It would be...
...the perfect storm."

Here is the video clip.   I WANT TO DO THIS!

Click on the picture to see video!
Opportunities like this don't appear every day.   I would write the book myself, but I just wouldn't be very good in penning the love interest part that is required in all disaster books and movies. 


  1. You could go to the Northwest Screenwriters Guild and find a writing partner.

  2. Mike Rich (Finding Forrester, The Rookie, Secretariat) of Portland, OR would be a good choice.

  3. Actually, the similar storm that sank the Hood Canal Bridge would make just as good of a subject - plus you have the bridge sinking. Tie this into Forks WA and all the Twilight Vampires there, and a low budget film called Zombies of Mass Destruction filmed nearby in Port Gamble, and you might have a real winner to get rich with. Or not.

    I think if any disaster movie about the Columbus Day Storm was planned, it got pre-empted by the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens. They somehow made the mountain erupt so they could film the 1981 disaster movie called "st. Helens" afterwards.

    Besides the "Perfect Storm", other movies (google searched) featuring big storms include "The Day After Tomorrow" (which was really stupid), "The Abyss", "The Hurricane" and "Storm Tracker". None of them remarkable really. "Gone with the Wind" was entirely a different subject matter.

    My favorite movie featuring a big hurricane is the 1948 John Huston film noir masterpiece "Key Largo" starring Bogart, Bacall and Edward G. Robinson. Cliff, this, not the others, is the type and quality of movie that you should strive to appear in!


  4. most disaster movies suck because of the other drama they add. It always seems phony because it is. Otherwise it is a documentary,(i like documentaries), but they don't excite investors. It's the sad state of movie making in this ADHD world.

  5. It would only work if space aliens caused the storm.

  6. NaNoWriMo is next month. Post the idea on their forum.

  7. Any legitimate leads yet?

    I’m not an author or professional writer by any means, but in the back of my mind I've always wanted to write. I mean, I am pretty savvy at wordsmithery, maybe I should take a stab at it? Perhaps this is a good opportunity to start...

    I have to laugh though, Dr. Mass: http://i50.tinypic.com/2ldk3nr.jpg
    I'm just not seeing it... o_O

  8. Tim Egan is the guy to go to, for the book. (Nobody ever wrote a book based on a movie, did they?) The trouble is, nobody died, no ships sank, no bridges collapsed, right? Just some property damage.

    So, Kenna has the right idea with "Key Largo." The movie can't be about the storm, per se. It's got to be fictional about people trapped in the radome being blown off Mt. Hebo and the following rescue effort, during the subsequent forest fire and earthquake.

    A meteorologist will appear somewhere in the story.

  9. My personal suggestion would be to contact Simon Winchester, who has written a number of very interesting and well written non-fiction books on similar epic disasters that happened in the past. Some of my favorites of his are "A Crack in the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906" and "Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded."

  10. @strix27, you would be mistaken. Though I can't say for certain about any sunken ships, I do know for a fact that around 50 people perished due to this storm. Also, one bridge (in Corvallis) was severely damaged by a fallen tree, although it did not collapse, per se.


  11. Someone just call Erik Larson. Hell, he lives on Capitol Hill. Just walk over.



  12. They also get the Seattle Expo event. My story is only one of many thousands who fled.

  13. Nobody ever wrote a book based on a movie, did they?

    Sure they have, but they're mostly pretty forgettable as books. There are novelizations of many science fiction movies: Star Wars, the Star Trek movies, Alien. I'm sure there are more.

    Cliff, see if you can find a real love interest story to write about! There must be some couple out there that met or got closer as a result of the storm.

  14. Jeffery -

    Are you telling me space aliens ~didn't~ cause the storm?!?


  15. At least a couple of non-fiction books were written about the storm. On my desk is a copy of "The Big Blow" by Lucia. Somewhere, packed away, I have another one. Much larger than "The Big Blow." I remember it has one of those plastic, comb like bindings. I'll run across it, sooner or later. I'll be selling them both on Amazon :-) .

  16. If it didn't happen on the east coast or in southern california it didn't happen.

  17. Start with KGW-TV in Portland. Their met-man at the time was Jack Capell, and he was one of those who correctly deduced a bad one was coming in. His son is the beneficiary of all of his knowledge, and probably has all the notes needed to write that book/screenplay.

    I got to Portland nine months after the Storm, but it was still the major topic of conversation in the city.

  18. You love your missing dog. The love interest should be the fictional weatherman's pooch!


Please make sure your comments are civil. Name calling and personal attacks are not appropriate.

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