Sunday, September 25, 2011

And So It Begins

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.  Albert Camus

Summer departed last week and autumn came into her own. When I walked last week, I found leaves beginning to show their colors. I like fall. I like seasons. I've never wanted to live where it was summer all through the year - although a year in Hawaii might be interesting - and I certainly wouldn't want to be where it was winter with no real summer.  A little winter is okay, but I never want it to linger. I like welcoming spring. But fall is a good season here in KY and perhaps even better to the north where the leaves show more vibrant color. We haven't had remarkable autumn color in the last couple of years. Too dry. So we'll see this year although I'm noticing a lot of oaks with brown leaves as if they're dying instead of changing colors. 

I like using seasons in my books. I pick summer to tell my stories a lot of the time. That's the easy season because you don't have to put coats and gloves on your characters to let them out the door. The Outsider went through summer and winter with the soldiers fighting the War of 1812 suffering first in the heat and then in the cold and snow. My Hollyhill books had a year's worth of weather, starting one June and ending the next. Angel Sister was set in the hot, dry summer of 1936. 

The weather can be a force in any book. A tornado blew through The Scent of Lilacs. A snowstorm stranded a visitor in Summer of Joy. Hannah made snow angels in The Believer. And the coming of spring played an important part in the plot of that story. Then of course, Lacey did her dandelion dance to welcome spring in The Blessed. Weather matters. I'm editing my fifth Shaker novel now. The Gifted will be released next summer. And the climatic scene is very stormy.

Do you notice the weather in the books you read? I try to make you feel it along with my characters. Of course I'm trying to make you feel everything along with my characters - love and joy, anger and despair. So why not rain and snow? Sunshine and shadows. 

Hope you're embracing whichever season is falling down on you right now wherever you are. Or in whatever book you might be reading. 

Oh yeah, if you haven't signed up for my giveaway - see the details of what you might win on my website News and Events page - you need to send me a message or leave a comment with a way to get in touch with you before the end of the week. But you can jump the gun on winning something before that. The Book Club Network is having a great giveaway Monday evening, September 26, at 9:30 p.m.  I'm giving away a couple of books. Several other authors are doing the same plus one author is giving away a Nook. You have to be present at the "live chat" to win. You can check it out at The Book Club Network. 

So great to have you come by.


  1. Ive really taken to fall since moving back to the northeast last year from Florida. The smells and thecool weather are really something to love, and reminds me of how very much i have missed the north! Richard from Amish Stories.

  2. Ann - Thanks again for giving away the books on TBCN - had a lot of fun. Looking forward to reading "The Blessed". And thanks for the book club suggestions!

  3. Hi, Richard. I'm imagining those trees up in Amish country. Very nice to bring to mind. Our trees aren't really turning yet - just a very few of them - but it's going to be cool this weekend and we'll be seeing more color then.

  4. Hey, Sharon. I haven't heard from the Book Club Network yet, but I've got to go to the Post Office tomorrow so I may jump the gun again and go ahead and mail your book. The winners were listed on the site, but I don't think Fred has all the addresses yet.

  5. I sure did notice the seasons you used! in the Outsider. I have many books by and about the Shakers, and have visited many of the sites. I first heard about your work through one of the Shaker study groups. When I was reading the outsider, I was suprised to see it come north here to the River Raisin, because I am also involved in the River Raisin Battlefield here in Michigan. After that book I had to read your others. So I did notice the change in seasons. Here it is beginning to change colors, lots of gray skies and falling temps too, but that goes with the season! Happy to hear you have another Shaker book coming out!

  6. Guess all those shivers while I wrote about all that snow in The Outsider wasn't wasted then. Thanks so much for reading my books, Kevin. The Battle of River Raisin was hard to write about because it was so tragic. But it's interesting how things can connect. Hope my Shaker history hasn't disappointed. I've taken a bit of fictional privilege here and there to make my stories come to life.

  7. But, I should add, I do try to stay true to the history of the Shakers and whatever era is the time frame for my story.

  8. Your Shaker histories have not dissapointed at all! I have enjoyed them! Thsnkd!


Thanks for joining the conversation. I like hearing what you have to say. Thanks for dropping by.