Sunday, May 13, 2012

Struck Blog Tour

Hey, everyone.  I've Jennifer Bosworth, author of Struck, here today for her blog tour!

Stranger than Fiction –– 
Why I look to natural phenomena for story inspiration

I’m a sucker for those programs on Discovery and the History Channel that play late at night, the ones about strange phenomena. Swamp lights and weird rain, fish or frogs falling from the sky, bioluminescent tides and the aurora borealis. And lightning. Don’t forget lightning.

Lighting, you ask? Is that really considered a phenomenon? After all, it’s a lot more common than frog rain. I mean, how many people do you actually know who’ve been walking along, minding their own business, when out of the blue a toad lands on their head? Probably not very many.

Sure, lightning is common. But people who’ve been struck by lightning . . . not quite so commonplace. How about people who’ve been struck twice? Or three times? How about seven?  

That’s how many lightning strikes U.S. park ranger, Roy Sullivan, survived. Seven! All of them verified by doctors. He used to drive around with a bucket of water in the back of his truck, just in case he was struck, caught fire, and needed to put himself out. People began to call him a “human lightning rod,” and avoided him because they were afraid to be near him if he were struck. The fifth time Sullivan was struck, he saw a cloud forming over him and tried to outrun it, but it followed him. When Sullivan finally died at the age of 71, it was from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the stomach. The lightning never claimed Roy Sullivan, though it did try its hardest.

Sullivan’s story was one of the strangest, saddest things I’d ever heard. What was it about this man that attracted lightning? And why, oh why did he not quit his park ranger job and move somewhere like sunny Los Angeles, where lightning only strikes a handful of times every year?

Reading about Sullivan, an idea started to form in my mind. A “what if?” What if the reason Mr. Sullivan wouldn’t move somewhere safe was because he actually liked being struck?

I can’t tell you why Sullivan didn’t try harder to outrun the lightning that tormented him. What I can tell you is that a story like Sullivan’s is the stuff of dreams for a creative person. My mind went wild with possibilities for characters and stories after reading about Sullivan. I began researching lightning, and found more and more strange anecdotes and facts and bizarre happenings. The story in my mind began to snowball, grabbing up tidbits of information and inspiration as it rolled.

Did you know lightning can lift you up and move you?

Did you know ball lightning has been known to appear out of nowhere and chase people around their houses? Even move through walls?

Did you know being struck by lightning once healed a woman of Multiple Sclerosis?

Did you know lightning doesn’t actually strike the ground? That energy on the ground reaches up to the energy in clouds and meets it?

Did you know the inventor Nikola Tesla nearly found a way to provide free energy to the entire world by harnessing the power in lightning, but was shut down by the power companies?

These are the kinds of facts I learned as I researched lightning. The facts that inspired me and gave shape to my story. But Struck would never have existed if I hadn’t, one night, been staying up late, flipping through channels, and stopped when I saw a program about natural phenomena . . . one that taught me about a real life human lightning rod. 

Sometimes nature is stranger than fiction. And that’s why I turn it into fiction.

Struck Blog Tour Schedule
Monday 5/7             
Tuesday 5/8             
Wednesday 5/9      
Thursday 5/10         
Friday 5/11                
Saturday 5/12          
Sunday 5/13             

Monday 5/14           
Tuesday 5/15           
Wednesday 5/16    
Thursday 5/17         
Friday 5/18                
Saturday 5/19          

Be sure to check out the next stop.
Thanks to Jen for the great blog post!

Here are some more sites if you're interested:

Fierce Reads Fan Page -
Jennifer Bosworth on tour for Fierce Reads -

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