Tuesday, April 14, 2009

All this talk of spring!

I had to laugh when I saw all the flowers from across the country marking spring in those author's states.

It is spring in Montana. At least technically. Yesterday it was 65 and sunny. Today the weatherman is calling for possible snow showers before the day is over. That's spring in Montana!

I'm working on a book for next April right now. I keep telling myself that by the end of the month things will be greening up. Heck, the ice might even be off the lake. My heroine won't even be getting stuck in her driveway.

That is the fun thing about writing about Montana -- the weather. Need a character trapped in storm? No problem any time of the year. Getting trapped in my part of Montana is a regular occurrence -- especially in the spring when the roads out of town are often impassible.

But even my editor sometimes questions Montana weather. I remember in Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch she asked me about the January thaw. It can't be THAT warm in January in Montana, she said. Are you kidding? We live for our January thaws when a chinook blows in and we wake up to warm wind and no snow. It never lasts but it's a nice break.

Selling the weather in April even in books though is tough. No one likes gray days with no leaves on the trees, no green grass, nothing but that brown-gray color across the landscape. But by the end of April, there will be some green showing up on the rolling prairie. There will be lilacs about to bloom. There will be that wonderful blinding light green color on the trees along the Milk River.

I love setting books in a Montana spring. There is an excitement in the air, a feeling of hope, a promise that everything is going to turn out just fine -- once this snow shower blows through. :)

Whitehorse, Montana series book The Corbetts: Shotgun Bride, out today (yeah!), is also set in April. Only last April was much warmer so that book reflects that since I try to be true to the weather. :)

What's your favorite season? Also do you notice seasons in the books you read? Does it matter if you read a book and it's the wrong season?
B.J. Daniels


  1. But even my editor sometimes questions Montana weather. I remember in Crime Scene at Cardwell Ranch she asked me about the January thaw.Ooh, synchronicity - I've just finished reading that and loved it :o)

  2. Hi Caroline! I'm delighted you enjoyed Crime Scene. It was a fun book to write. The whole idea came from when I was a kid. We had a cabin in the Gallatin Canyon and I recall my parents talking about a gun being found in an old well. Of course I thought a body would have been soooo much better. :) I've always loved mysteries. I used to be a huge Trixie Beldon fan.

  3. I've always loved mysteries. I used to be a huge Trixie Beldon fan.
    I've just had to Google that - they look great :o) Wish they'd been around when I was a kid, but I don't think they were ever published in the UK. I grew up with Enid Blyton and devoured the Famous Five, the Secret Seven and the Adventure series.

  4. Oooo I loved Trixie Beldon as well as Nancy Drew. I think I got my love of mysteries from reading them. As far as noticing seasons in books, sometimes I do sometimes I don't. If I am familiar with the area and the seasons yes I do notice. But living in an area where "if you don't like the weather wait a minute" I also know weather can change instantly.

  5. One American series we did get over here was Alfred Hitchcock Presents The Three Investigators - I *loved* those.

  6. My favorite season is summer, I love hot balmy nights. BJ, you mentioned selling weather was hard in April because of the "gray days", I dunno......I loved Sherlock Holmes and it was almost always gray weather or fog! :)

  7. Great to hear there are some other Trixie fans out there -- and definitely mystery fans!! As for the weather...the snow missed us! Yea! It rained and got gray, good point about the fog and Sherlock Holmes. I just have a hard time writing when it's gray. :) Or when it's sunny. :)