Thursday, July 30, 2009

When reality reflects fiction

In my recent ECHOES OF PASSION, I described a scorching hot arid environment that my hero, Daegon Bosaru, comes to. It wasn't a pleasant place, but then it wasn't just the weather that was dreadful, but the circumstances too. Little did I realize that I would be experiencing that hot, icky, scorching climate just a while after the book came out.

And it is horribly, ickily, dreadfully hot. Here in the Puget Sound, in the state of Washington, we are used to mild weather: mild winters, mild summers. But with the blast of ice and snow that we were subjected to this past winter (in the two decades we've lived here, it was the first time that we had police advisories not to leave the house if we didn't have to), it was inevitable that we have this horrific heat in the summer. We are not used to 100-degree-plus days, multiple ones. We are not used to glaring heat. Mild heat, yes. Mild sunshine, yes. But not THIS. When Seattle temperatures hit 103 around the city, it is truly unnatural. This is a city without a real history of air-conditioning, mind you. I think we are getting there. Right now, I have one coworker who has air-conditioning. I think by next year this time, I will have more. It doesn't help that I drive a car without air conditioning (bought in 1986, back when a/c wasn't standard issue).

Why am I whining about this? Well, as we were all whining about the heat (and around here we were), I realized that I didn't add enough details about the heat and the glaring sun in ECHOES. Every time I was out and about the past couple of days, I thought about a detail I should have added. The sweat around the hairline. The belabored breathing. You get the idea.

The moral of this story? THINK about those details. THINK about those senses. I was used to a mild climate. I should have been thinking about a much harsher one. Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to go find some air-conditioning. The grocery store, the library, the bookstore. I think we're going out for dinner.

Eilis Flynn
ECHOES OF PASSION, on sale now

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