Tuesday, July 10, 2012

'Tis the season to shiver - Kandy Shepherd

How important is weather to you in a novel?

As I shiver through a cold, wet winter Down Under (yes, I know it’s meant to be eternal summer here but not where I live!) I realize I have never written a story set in anything but warm weather.

Whether my stories are set in spring, summer or fall, it’s always pleasant weather. Cool enough, perhaps, for a heroine to shrug on a hero’s chivalrously offered leather jacket on a spring evening, but most of my characters wear nothing warmer than a T-shirt. In The Castaway Bride, my hero and heroine don’t wear clothes much at all. If you were cast away on a blissfully perfect tropical island alone with a hot hunk, would you?

The perfect setting for romance!
A book set in a wonderful snowy location (trapped in a cozy, snowed-in mountain cabin with a hot hunk maybe) might be in my writing future, who knows? But not right now.

Toby is a picture of equine misery--despite his expensive new rug
They say to write about what you know, but there’s also writing about what you wish for. The scenarios I’ve chosen up ’til now force me to admit blue skies and a kindly sun feature strongly in my fantasies. Yes, the three stories I’m working on right now are all set in summer!

Miss Molly models her cosy coat
It isn’t only me who suffers in the cold weather, my animals too don’t seem to happy with the cold and wet winter we’re having.

There's nothing as contrary as a cat like Cindy who insists on sitting out in the rain

I have quite the menagerie of pets who are all complaining about the conditions.  Forget me getting a new coat for the winter—the horses and dog have priority.

I’m lucky, though, as I’m escaping to the Romance Writers of America convention in Anaheim in just a few weeks. Bring on that Californian weather!

Do have a season you enjoy more than the others? Do you notice the weather in a novel? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Leave a comment to win a free download of my e-book Something About Joe, or a voucher for a copy of The Castaway Bride from Amazon. Be sure to include your email address.

Something About Joe is available for just $0.99c at AmazonBarnes & NobleSmashwords and other e-retailers. The Castaway Bride is exclusive to Amazon.

Kandy Shepherd writes fun, feel-good fiction.


Louise Reynolds said...

Hi Kandy,
I'd never thought about it but it's always warm in the stories I write. Although I do love a snowbound, cold weather story - it usually involves massive fires, red wine,etc...
I LOVE summer and I LOVE winter. Bizarre, I know. But we live differently in each season and embrace both. It's all good :)

Unknown said...

Nice pet dress.

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Laurie G said...

I definitely am a warm weather person. I love summer. The ease and comfort of wearing t-shirts and shorts. We recently had a run of 100* days... too hot! We normally average mid 80's which is very nice!

In books I don't care what the weather is. The writer takes me on a journey where I don't physically feel the discomfort. Emotionally yes. I can handle that.

Laurie G said...

OOPS johns lake at usa dot com

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hi Louise, how interesting that you write warm in your stories. It wasn't something I 'd really thought about either until I realized and had to draw the conclusion that it was some inner yearning! Although I appreciate the beauty of winter--especially when there's snow around--it's the opportunities to get warm such as the fires and the gorgeous coats that spring to mind when I'm asked what I like about the cold weather!

Kandy Shepherd said...

Hmm, yes, Laurie here I am complaining about the cold but hoping I won't find myself in a massive heatwave when I get to California in a few weeks time!
Your comment regarding weather in novels is interesting--it's emotional heat that really counts doesn't it?

Anna Campbell said...

Kandy, what a fun post and I love the animal shots. Actually I tend to have a variety of weather in my books. The new one that's out in October is set in November in Devon and the weather is darn miserable - have lots of fun with that. Hey, all that cold gives them an excuse to cuddle, doesn't it?

pamerd said...


I do notice the weather in books, I think it lets me see the whole picture and what the characters are going through. The season I prefer is Fall - it has a variety of warm and cool days and is not a volatile as Spring.

Your books sound great, I am adding to my list of books to read.

Thanks for the chance

*yadkny* said...

Sometimes I do notice the weather in novels. I from an area where we experience all 4 seasons and I like to be able to get that from the stories I read too. Usually the weather is nice in the majority of the stories I've read, but I do like to change it up now and then:)

Jeanne M said...

Kandy -

I grew up in-state New York and just thinking about the winters there have me shivering right along with you! I went to college in Arizona to get away from the cold weather and after college moved to Florida where I met my wonderful husband.

What I didn't take into consideration was he was in the Navy (during Vietnam) and when he finished he his duty he moved us "back home" to Rhode Island! We've been here since 1971 and even in the summer it's cool because we're just two miles from the ocean!

I think the only thing that keeps me warm is reading books like Something About Joe and The Castaway Bride!

Can you see me shivering here even though it's summertime?


Kandy Shepherd said...

Yes, Anna, I guess there's more than one way to turn up the heat--as we romance writers and readers know only too well!
I'm so looking forward to that next story--do I really have to wait until October? I love Devon, it is such a beautiful part of England. You always seem to have wonderful houses in your books so I'm only looking forward to seeing what you come up with in Devon!

Kandy Shepherd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kandy Shepherd said...

Pam, fall is beautiful, isn't it? Not too cold but that crisp touch in the air and, of course, those beautiful leaves. I feel more energetic in fall, not too hot, not too cold, just right!

And you're right, the weather and how the characters react to it is all part of the layering that can deliver us a satisfying read.

Kandy Shepherd said...

Thanks for your interesting comment, Yadkny, it makes me think I should challenge myself and set a novel in winter! There's something about having four distinct seasons that differentiates our life experiences, isn't there?

Kandy Shepherd said...

Jeanne, your comment made me smile. Seems to me like you gave up a warm climate for love! As a romance writer, I like that...

Jeanne M said...

Kandy -

It didn't take me long after meeting my husband to know that he might aggravate me at times and even though he was "macho" on the outside he was a softy inside!

This past February we celebrated our 42nd anniversary! It also has this habit of introducing me to people as his "first wife"!

Pat Cochran said...

I especially notice weather in books when it
is opposite to what we are experiencing in
real time!

BTW, Recent triple digit temperatures have
had me jealous of blogger friends who are
experiencing winter temps in Australia!

Anna Campbell said...

Actually Castle Craven is VERY gothic. It was fun to play with a ruined castle on the edge of a cliff in the middle of all that thunder and lightning! Talk about the weather mirroring what's happening inside the castle! LOL!