The tale started out as a romance novel dropped into a preapocalyptic setting—but it appears I’m incapable of writing straight genre. The love triangle quickly morphed into a plot that asked bigger questions about love in crisis, especially: Is it possible to love others well when our own survival is on the line?
The answer is no. And yes.
So now I call Afloat a “supernatural-disaster survival-of-love story.” It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue, but it works.
Afloat is like my previous novels in that events are driven by a devastating combination of supernatural forces and human nature. Readers who liked the presence of angels and demons in Never Let You Go will find echoes of these creatures in Afloat—just angels this time, as the humans provide plenty of their own darkness.
It’s different from the stories that come before in that the Christian content is more overtly stated this time. And the heart of the tale belongs to the hero, Vance, rather than the heroine, Danielle. These two belong to a crazy cast of people who are all, for the most part, trying to do what they believe is right. Of course, what a person believes is right is often skewed by a whole mess of not-so-right or misinformed motivations.
I like to think I’d put others’ interests above my own in a crisis. It sounds good. Heroic. But the truth is, saving my own skin is in my DNA. I’m weak that way. So are the characters in Afloat. At least in the beginning.
“Sometimes even superheroes don’t get it right the first time,” Vance tells Danielle’s young son after spinning a distracting tale for the boy while the floodwaters rise. “That’s something you’ve got to remember, if you plan on being a superhero when you grow up.”
Thank God for second chances.
What makes it possible to set survival instincts aside for the sake of another person?