….Submitted by Karna Small Bodman
We are delighted to welcome New York Times Bestselling Author Lisa Black as our guest blogger.
Lisa has spent over 20 years in forensic science, first at the coroner’s office in Cleveland, Ohio and now as a certified latent print examiner and CSI at a Florida police department. Her books have been translated into six languages and one has been optioned for film and a possible TV series. In keeping with our current theme of the effects of weather on our writing, Lisa tells us how her own experiences have played out in her exciting thrillers:
death in Evidence of Murderin the blanketed, eerie silence of a copse of trees by the lake. Then there’s the snow–tons and tons of it, barreling down from the sky, turning to slush when the temperature warms and to ice harder than diamonds when it drops. We have Lake Erie to the north of the city and that causes ‘lake effect’ to influence the heavens, dumping feet on one side of town and only inches on the other. No one really knows what ‘lake effect’ is, but in Cleveland we blame everything that happens on it.
But then there’s spring. April showers continue through May, June, July…actually it never stops raining during the summer, one reason that farms in Ohio can do so well in a good year.
my husband was already in Florida and being the cheapskate I am, I refused to turn on the central air. It was 11 pm in an upstairs room with the windows open and a fan blowing and I had just showered, and yet I still remember the sweat rolling off me in sheets. I used this face of summer in Takeover, having started with a vision of my character crossing the sun-baked asphalt street toward the bank robbers, exchanging herself for her wounded detective fiancé.
on two days we had two. The August heat and the Christmas holidays might make people a little crazy, but I believe September does too. From the time we are small we start back to school at this time, the carefree days of vacation over. We’re stuffed back into a uniform and a schedule. The days grow shorter and the trees start to shed. Our bodies know that something is supposed to change come September, and when it doesn’t, we get antsy. For some, antsy gets out of control and shades into violence.
I love your summary of Cleveland seasons. I live in Vermont most of the year, and winter can stretch from November to April, although the brunt of it is in January and February, when it reach the -30 range. So I join you in Florida for those two months. Thanks for visiting Rogue Women Writers and I look forward to reading Unpunished.
What a terrific post, Lisa! It's fascinating how weather affects many of us so differently. I moved from Santa Barbara after several decades to … omg … Maine! And I love it here. Strange! Thanks for your wonderful anecdotes about how you used weather in your novels. Great examples!
Lisa – you asked about stories where the weather was an important character. That got me to thinking about certain movies (some based on books, of course.) You live in Florida so maybe you heard about or saw the re-run of the great old movie with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, KEY LARGO, where they and others are all forced together as a hurricane bears down on the scene. And when it comes to hurricanes, how about George Clooney in THE PERFECT STORM? Finally, I just thought about the story of Ernest Shackleton and how his ship with its crew got trapped in an ice pack in the Antarctic and what he did to save them. That's when the weather truly WAS a character.
Thanks for hosting me! Too fun!