Season of Change

Optimized-autumn(Let me introduce you to my one-eyed wonder dog, Luna.)

When I was a girl, my mom owned a book called Color Me Beautiful. Based on your hair and skin coloring, it prescribed your best wardrobe and makeup palette, and it divided the palettes by season. My mom’s black hair and fair skin made her a winter, which meant she wore jewel-toned colors. Ruby, sapphire, emerald. She was veritable walking jewelry box. I remember being fascinated by the notion of separating the palettes by season.

Now I’m wondering if books can be separated by season too. Do they have a color palette? For example, KILMOON takes place in September, one of my favorite months. So is it an autumn, and would it walk around in russet and gold tones and have red hair?

The funny thing is, my original working title was Kilmoon Season, which my first agent (I told you about her last week) liked. Setting the story in September wasn’t a choice exactly, because the matchmaker’s festival that inspired the novel took place each September. I stuck with that month, and it fit me, it fit the novel. It fit me because I always seem to go through some kind of growth spurt (or maybe a setback, but in any case, a change) in fall.

I went through many seasons of change while writing and revising Kilmoon. Many of these changes had to do with my notion of myself as a writer — and more specifically, a novelist. In addition, my characters felt changes coming upon them too. They noticed the chill in the air and scents coming in off the harvesting fields, the peat smoke and heather shimmering at the start of its autumnal turn to purple.

Like us, our characters notice these things but don’t always understand that change is upon them until after the changes have occurred. In Kilmoon, and in my life, autumn is the season of change.

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Lisa Alber is the author of KILMOON, A COUNTY CLARE MYSTERY (March 2014). Ever distractible, you may find her staring out windows, dog walking, fooling around online, or drinking red wine with her friends. Ireland, books, animals, photography, and blogging at Lisa Alber's Words at Play round out her distractions. Visit her at www.lisaalber.com.

8 thoughts on “Season of Change

  1. Great point about characters. They should be written just like us–gobsmacked by change from time to time and unaware of the seasonal signs. Other times, they’re completely aware, but are powerless to stop it, and do they really want to?

    • That’s true, if our characters aren’t aware that something’s going on, how can they be proactive? And sometimes they’re aware of some changes, but not others (that will gobsmack them later, as must happen, of course!).

    • I should go in and add what you just wrote to round out my post. It felt a little unfinished, but I didn’t have time to go back and think it through some more. 🙂

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