One of the things I loved most about writing my debut novel, FAMILY TREES, was being able to reflect on and describe all four seasons — including my favorite, autumn.
In fact, when I first set out to write the novel, I had planned pay close attention to the seasons as if I were a farmer on my protagonist’s apple orchard in Bayfield, WI. I closely aligned the story ARC with the growing seasons, including Farmer’s Almanac data at the heading of each chapter.
Well, it didn’t take long for me to scrap that idea. I’m certainly not a farmer, so the writing felt forced. I am, however, a lover of the seasons — particularly here in the Midwest.
As I continued writing, reflecting on the sights, smells, and feelings of each season came to me naturally… such as describing the windswept streets of historic Bayfield in early November:
“It was early November and the wind was racing across the lake in shifting shades of grey. Frigid air blew off the water and up into town. Pedestrians wrapped their coats tightly around their bodies, pulling their arms across their chests and leaning into the wind. Dry leaves were swept up and scattered along the edges of porch steps, boulevard gardens, and brick-laid streets. Jack-o-lanterns sat on doorsteps in post-Halloween stupors with tired eyes and drooping, toothy grins. And neighborhood scarecrows, once well dressed and standing straight, now appeared haggard – their hats askew, jackets slipping off their shoulders and straw stuffing falling out of the seams and blowing away with the leaves.” — FAMILY TREES