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Spring is springing up — or was that autumn?

Spring is experimenting with Michigan here for the next couple of days — doubt if it’s going to stay, but it’s giving us the big thrill of temperatures in the 40s (we hear the forecast for Saturday and Sunday is 46! )  Can you imagine the rapture?

What it makes me think about are the settings for our books.  We settle on a place, and then we have to settle on the time of year, unless of course we’re writing about Hawaii or something equally temperate where it doesn’t really change much over the course of twelve months.  My current WIP is set in Nevada, which to the best of my recollection features two seasons: winter (COLD — at least in the northern parts, which is where my WIP is) and summer (HOT — which goes for anywhere in the state).  I don’t want it to be winter, so it’s not cold, but I don’t want it boiling hot, either.   I’m afraid I really can’t remember what the spring and autumn are, to the extent they exist.  Fortunately I’m going to eastern Nevada in person at the end of this month, partly to rev up my memories, and I figure whatever it is in March, as long as it isn’t snowy, is what it’s going to be in my book.  At least that’s the current plan.

My last effort was easier — it was spring in northern Michigan, which is cool and short.  We tend to tumble into summer rather precipitously.  So the warming weather went with the tension in the plot.  Now, thinking about it, I can’t help but wonder.  Am I seasonally sensitive because I live in a place with such marked seasons?

So that’s the question I’ll bounce out to you all.  Is the season important to you in your books?  How do you pick the season for each story?  What kind of book should be set in winter?

Of course next week we well might have deep snow here.  We had a horrendous ice storm one April 1st.  What kind of story would that fit?

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7 Responses

  1. Seasons usually are important in my stories, only from the standpoint that some of the stories wouldn’t work in 10 feet of snow!

    Ice storm story – estranged lovers are trapped in their vacation cabin when they go to clean it out. And then we all know what happens next, right?

  2. I pick my season by what kind of clothes I want my heroine in. I know, I know, TERRIBLE reason, but there you have it.

  3. I’m with Keri.

    Actually, my seasons tend to be dictated by my stories. Most of them revolve around either athletics or rodeo both of which have seasons of their own. Where I want my characters to be (i.e. which rodeos) or what I want them to be doing (working with basketball players, or football?) dictate my seasons, then I have to deal with what the weather will be like and how to use it to set mood, create obstacles, etc.

  4. Interesting, interesting — isn’t it always fascinating to see how other people’s minds work?

    Cyndi — now is that a result of being from Arkansas, where 10 feet of snow doesn’t happen all that often, or because you like problems set in balmier climates?

    Keri — hadn’t thought of that. Hmmm. I’ll have to contemplate that idea.

    KariLynn — wow. The rodeos I might have expected — but I didn’t know they had a season. When do they have rodeos, just in the summers?

  5. I’ve never thought about this. It’s kind of strange, but my stories take place in the cooler months of fall and early winter here in Texas. Maybe it has something to do with suspense? Hmmmm. Now I’m wondering if I could write a steamy summer suspense story. LOL

  6. The only thing I can see that might be difficult with a steamy summer suspense story is that the romance is bound to be sweaty.

    Of course that can be sexy too!

  7. Well, my new brand is Romance through the Seasons, so I’m thinking it’s important. Mine do figure prominently in my books. I have three books with Super and the first starts in late Spring into Summer. Lots of strappy sandals and bustiers – works great for Vegas. The second starts in mid-fall and goes into Christmas. I loved the scenery here – carnivals, Thanksgiving, putting up the tree. The one I’m working on now starts in January and goes into early Spring. It shadows the path of my heroine since this one is about growth and renewal.

    So, yeah, pretty important in my contemporaries. For Regencies, you have to follow the Season…or not. But that dictates your setting…or not. Those who write Regency know what I mean 🙂

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