Sunday, January 15, 2017

When It Rains . . .

We’ve had quite a bit of rain here in California lately. For the first time in years. Seriously, years. And in the past week that has meant flooding in the valleys and avalanches in the mountains.
Which got me thinking.
Weather is such a fantastic plot device. As the ultimate meteorologist, a writer can throw any kind of seasonal disaster at her characters. It makes things more difficult for them, which is exactly the point – especially in a crime fiction novel.
In The Branson Beauty, I use a winter snowstorm to help run a tourist showboat aground. And I use it to illustrate how out of his comfort zone my warm-weather sheriff really is.
Weather also is an integral part of setting. The heat of Arizona, the humidity of the Amazon jungle, the crisp cold of the Swiss Alps.
What books have you loved where the weather was a key part of the story?


Art Taylor said...

Sorry to hear about the flooding and the avalanches—yikes! But agree about the weather in fiction. Our Sisters in Crime anthology last year produced a collection with weather as its theme (CHESAPEAKE CRIMES: STORM WARNING), and it was impressive the range of weather we got: rain and snow, of course, but also a massive dust storm in the Middle East—a haboob, I think it's called—proof that even the same theme can spark the imagination in a variety of ways.

Claire Booth said...

Art, that is so true about sparking the imagination. I love the Middle East dust storm - I'm going to have to check out that story!