Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Change in the Weather by Kate Walker

We’ve had a lovely warm summer – at times it has been a really hot summer. The sun has shone, the sky
was clear bright blue, rarely a cloud in view. When I was teaching in Wales last month – and travelling on my way to get there – it was hot and humid, and being in a workroom, even talking about writing romance, was hard work at times.  We went through jugs of water and had all the windows open.  The slight breeze from the sea helped.

It’s been warm since we got back – which was just as well, because I had all the washing to do – and get dried – after we unpacked and before we  repacked set off again. This time on a special trip for my husband’s birthday treat to the old spa town of Harrogate in North Yorkshire. We had sunshine  almost all the time we were away. One rainstorm and that was it.

But this week has been so very different.  Apparently we’ve been hit by the tail end of   Hurricane Bertha and – well, I’m glad it was only the ‘tail end’. My heart goes out to everyone who has to endure the real thing – we had huge thunderstorms, lashing winds, torrential downpours, flash floods. . .
And then today is just beautiful. The day is calm, the sun, shining, the sky is back to that wonderful clear blue – and all the heavy, humid heat that had built up has cleared. We have warmth, but it’s  fresh and enjoyable, not  heavy and close and almost unbearable.

Of course, being a writer, I’ve been looking at the weather and thinking how closely it reassembled one of my books.  There was the long , hot build up, the way that things grew stronger and stronger.  Then there was the  way the heat got  heavier and  close to unbearable, the way that we knew something had to break  - it could almost be felt coming closer and closer.  The dark clouds gathered, got darker . . .blacker. Until with a crash of thunder and a flash of lightning  everything seemed to explode around us. The heavens opened and the  rain  bucketed down, drenching everything in its path.  It’s  a real image of the way I try to build the tension in a story , cranking it up higher and higher until that ‘black moment’ when everything comes to a head  and all  the tension blows up right in my characters’ faces.

And then there is the calm after the storm .  The time when with a fresh new day, a clearer, calmer way of looking at things, they can resolve the problems that caused so much trouble and go into a future together, and hopefully to that happy ever after.

So it’s interesting that that’s exactly what I’ve been writing over the past few days. The weather outside has almost mirrored the scenes and the ‘emotional storms’ between my characters. It’s been fun watching that happen . . . and now I have to give them their happy ending and the bright sunny day.  I’ll enjoy that too.  And I was wondering if it’s the stormy  moments that readers enjoy reading in  my books – or is it that ‘calm after the storm ‘ that you’re looking for and enjoy reading most?

What do you think?

I hope you’re having peaceful weather right now – whether hot or cold -  and that the sun  keeps shining for the rest of the school holidays so that everyone can enjoy them.  And if a bit of rain is falling – I hope it will pass quickly .

My  latest title A Question of  Honor  is on sale in Harlequin Presents.

You can find out more details about it on my web site   and read all my more up to date news about my books and what I'm doing on my blog   or my Facebook page.

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