Archived Story

Miller’s ‘Tornado Valley’ recounts storm victims’ stories

Published 2:58pm Thursday, June 6, 2013

Shelly Miller interview storm victims for her book, "Tornado Valley: Huntsville's Havoc." (CONTRIBUTED)
Shelly Miller interview storm victims for her book, “Tornado Valley: Huntsville’s Havoc.” (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – Shelly Miller’s book, “Tornado Valley: Huntsville’s Havoc,” touches down on hard-to-accept facts for North Alabama.

The book chronicles Alabama tornadoes, beginning with her recollection of the 1974 Super Tornado Outbreak and leading to the destruction of April 27, 2011.

“Our town manages to survive, revive and even thrive. This is the story of us,” Miller said. “Tornado Valley” won the “Indie Book of the Day” nod on March 31.

Originally, the book was “all about me. We feel that way when tornadoes swarm and drop from the sky on the same places repeatedly,” Miller said. Her focus later broadens to tell true stories of friends, family and strangers. “Tornadoes tear us apart but bring us together, too.”

Reluctant to approach storm victims, Miller found them eager and appreciative to tell their stories. “I had to get it right the first time — not just event accuracy but the life experience,” she said.

Readers can learn about rationing food for a horde of hungry teenagers and the scientific account of April 27 by meteorology icon Bob Baron. “After sifting through debris, I learned I don’t need beautiful glassware … plastic NASCAR cups survived the burn piles,” Miller said.

A Master Gardener, Miller has a “horticultural zoo” in her backyard and volunteers with “The Grubbers” gardening group. A native of Owensboro, Ky., she has lived in Madison for almost 25 years.

Her husband Randy works at Teledyne Brown Engineering. Their daughters are Brandy, speech pathology major at the University of Montevallo; Audrey, a recent Bob Jones High School graduate; and Claire, a Bob Jones student. The family attends Building Church.

For paperbacks, visit Amazon, Shaver’s Books in Huntsville and Creative Learning Connection in Madison. For information, email to or visit or Facebook/TornadoValleyTheBook.

First in a series, Miller also has written “Whispered Secrets of the South: Montevallo, Alabama,” available on Amazon’s Kindle. In the ghost/horror genre, her books will focus on small Southern towns.

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