Local author Linda Gerald has found plenty of sources for inspiration during a prolific writing career.
Hurricane Michael proved no exception as the author reaches nearly two dozen published novels in barely more than a decade.
Gerald recently published “Table 36” which, using fact and fiction, tells the tale of Port St. Joe, Mexico Beach and hurricanes employing a table at the late, great Sunset Coastal Grill as a main character.
“This is our story,” Gerald said. “So many people took the time to share their story. The book is a blend of fact and fiction.
“All the names have been changed but not the places. I hope it brings a little closure to our community.”
Gerald will be on hand to sign copies of her book 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. ET Saturday at Duren’s Piggly Wiggly’s Fall Festival.
The book is well-reviewed on Amazon.com and is currently the top new release in the category of Graphic Novels and Anthologies.
The book is a look back at Michael, the loss of lives, fortunes and possessions, but not everyday stresses, according to the description of the book online.
The book asks the reader to enter the landscape after a Category 5 hurricane and consider the plight of two small communities in two counties, Port St. Joe and Mexico Beach, impacted by the storm.
“A killer attacked us, not a person who destroyed our lives but a monster named Michael,” Gerald said. “In a blink of an eye communities were decimated.”
As the book described, everyday life was turned upside, from using a restroom to finding food or gas, everything became a challenge.
And, Gerald lends some history and context to the story; these communities were impacted by a similar catastrophic storm in 1844, she writes.
Jumping between fact and fiction, Gerald tells her story via a table at Sunset Coastal Grille, one of the restaurants annihilated by Michael.
“Where else is life more fluid and diverse than a restaurant?” wrote one reviewer. “Imagine, if walls could talk inside any of our favorite dining establishments?”
But, as a central theme of the book, despite these storms, these destructive forces, the residents never lose their faith or love for each other and the towns rebuild.
“Oh, how I hope this can help the healing,” Gerald said.