Wicked Wednesday: the Changing Light

Edith/Maddie here, with our fourth August Wicked Wednesday.

We are still in what we think of as full summer. School hasn’t started yet in Massachusetts. People are still going to the beach, having cookouts, wearing white and drinking gin and tonics, and relaxing in the warmth of the season. But, alas, dear readers, we’re closer to the fall equinox than the summer solstice. The light in New England makes sure we know it, too: sunrise today is at 6:59, and sunset at 7:31. The sun slants more, and the air changes.

Halloween Party Murder, the collection Barb has her novella “Scared Off” in, released in paperback yesterday, and congratulations, by the way! And that also got me thinking about the fall even while we’re still enjoying the activities and fruits of summer.

Wickeds, would you rather write about the summer or the fall? Which books have you set in August and which in September, October, or November? Did it change the way you wrote? Which season do you prefer for yourself?

Liz: I love both! They’re both my favorite seasons. My Pawsitively Organic Mystery A Biscuit, A Casket is set in October around Halloween, and the Cat Cafe Mystery The Tell Tail Heart is a November book. Claws for Alarm is a summer book. And I’m currently working on the newest Cat Cafe Mystery, which will be another Halloween setting.

Barb: My Maine Clambake books are about a very seasonal place and business, so it makes a huge difference which time of year I’m writing about. The novels that take place during the clambake season are full of sun and fun and great food, though Julia finds it challenging to find time to solve a mystery. The stories in the off-season are better for sleuthing but without the tourists and snowbirds, there are fewer victims available. The novellas are tied to holidays, all of them in the off-season, and I particularly love the challenge of writing those stories.

Julie: The five books in the Garden Squad take place in one calendar year. May/June, August, October, December, May/June. One would think that writing books that center on gardening would be harder in the fall/winter, but I loved writing Wreathing Havoc and Digging Up the Remains. Lilly, after all, has a greenhouse. The spring season for gardening is the time of opportunity. Late summer, which is when Tilling the Truth takes place, is always hot and often dry. My other books mostly took place in the fall and winter, so I suspect that may be my favorite time of year to write about.

Sherry: Like Julie, both my series follow calendar years. Each of the four Chloe books is in a different season which follow the local seasons — summer is the busiest, fall the quietest, winter is snowbird season, and then it’s spring break season. The garage sale books take place over two years with more of them in the spring/summer/fall because of the nature of the business. I don’t have a preference as far as writing in a season, but I do love fall personally!

Edith/Maddie: I’ve set books in each season all around the year in each of my series. Like Barb, my Local Foods mysteries were seasonally tied to what’s growing on the farm and how much time Cam has to deal with murder, and the Cozy Capers Book Group Mysteries are connected to which tourist season it is on Cape Cod. It’s a bit hard for me to write in the summer, because I love being outside so much, but I do it anyway! And it’s as fun to write a blizzard scene when you’re sweltering in July heat as it is taking your characters to the beach when it’s snowing outside your office.

Jessie: I agree with Edith that it can be such fun to “visit” another season while living in another one. My last Beryl and Edwina book was set in August and the one I am writing at present is set in late September/early October. I tend to enjoy writing books set in any season but often the story springs from research that ends up guiding when the novel will take place. Like Sherry, I love autumn in real life!

Readers: Do you have favorite seasons to read about, or to read in?

18 Thoughts

  1. Love them all! However, I will have to admit that sometimes it’s great to read about a season you’re not living in. How cool is it to read a winter themed story when you are living in sweltering humid and temperatures about to blow the top off the thermostat as well as to read a warm, sunny themed story in the cold, frigid winter time.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  2. I agree with Kay. I love them all. Each season has plusses and minuses. When we are in one, we always start yearning for the next. I was recently craving stew so I could think about cold weather comfort foods! Yes, I made some. Books are the same thing. They take us away from one environment and into another. Keep them all coming.

  3. Fall and Halloween times are my favorite times of year to read about but I also love settings at the beach too. I’m not fond of cold weather and snow but I can read about it while it’s hot here in Florida.

  4. I’ve written all seasons and I like to read books in all seasons – although my favorite season personally is fall.

  5. I don’t do winters any longer…we settled in Southern California in 1991 after a life of living in so many fine cities, but the cold is not for us…I lived in Montreal for 6 long months of cold and snow. I lived only 2 blocks from my office, and had to bundle up so much that only my frozen eyelashes were visible…yikes! Love reading cozy mysteries from beloved authors in any season from the warmth of my SoCal ranch. Thank you for writing such fun mysteries!!!

    1. You are so welcome! I’m a four-gen Californian from the Pasadena area, but I happen to love snowy winters and have been in MA for foty years. Go figure.

  6. I love reading stories that take place during the Christmas season. Apart from that, I really enjoy stories that take place in any season.

  7. How exciting to have a new collections of novellas to look forward to.

    I really dislike winter with a passion, but the other seasons all have their pluses. Like Kay, I like reading off-season books. It’s always a bit of a shock to be reading about a snow storm and then look out at 88* and sunshine. Ginnyjc (in case I come anonymous, too.)

  8. I love summer. But I enjoy reading books set in any season, and I read just as much year round.


  9. No. I enjoy reading in all the seasons as well as about every season. Thank you for sharing. God bless you.

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