Sunday, December 21, 2014

Heather A. Slomski Guest Post + Giveaway

Heather A. Slomski Guest Post + Giveaway

Heather Slomski is December's, Minnesota Author in the Spotlight here on BookSnob and she has written a guest post on how the weather influences her writing and is portrayed in her stories.  As I look out the window,  it is snowing and huge white flakes are falling on the brown ground.  Weather definitely affects my mood and influences authors and stories.  Read on.

On Weather

Today, after I put my toddler down for a nap, I looked out at the cold, gray afternoon and was reminded of something that, surprisingly, I only recently realized about my writing: my loyalty to the weather.

I am a fiction writer, and while my writing is certainly at times influenced by my life—the people in it, the things that have happened to me or to the people that I know—when I sit down to write, these people and events detach themselves from reality and become fiction. The more a story derives from reality, it seems, the more fictionalization it undergoes. This is not a conscious decision to “hide” the truth, but rather something I do naturally. I write fiction, not nonfiction. Therefore, if I’m writing about something that stems from real life, I have to give this “something” an imaginative life if I am to have any interest in writing about it. More precisely, the
imaginative life of the something real is what inspires me to write about it in the first place. One aspect of my work that I never imagine, however, is the weather.

Every story I’ve ever written (and I’m certain every story that I will ever write) takes place at the time of year when I wrote it. For example, my story titled “Iris and the Inevitable Sorrow, or The Knock at the Door” takes place on and around Valentine’s Day, and I wrote this story over the course of one particular February. “Before the Story Ends” begins in late autumn but takes place primarily between mid-December and New Year’s Day, and I started this story one New Year’s Day and finished the first draft by the end of January. And to give one last example, my short-short titled “Rescue” takes place at the end of summer, and I wrote this piece one August.

I’ve always been aware that setting is important to my work; it is often my main reason for writing a
story—to spend time in an imagined place or to return to a place I’ve left. Weather is an element of setting, so I suppose the connection I’m making here is rather obvious, but to me it’s a bit intriguing, because if I fictionalize almost everything else in my work, why not the weather?

I suppose the reason has a lot to do with mood. The weather outside influences my mood, and that mood (and weather) ends up seeping into my work. While it would make sense that I might want to write a summer story in the dead of winter in order to escape the cold and to “be” in a summer climate, or to escape the heat of summer by writing a story about a snowstorm, I’m just never in a summer mood in the winter or a winter mood in the summer. The moods I create in my stories stem from the moods I’m in while writing, and because my moods are influenced by weather, I’ve discovered that I’m a very seasonal writer.

By Heather A. Slomski

Thanks Heather!  If you would like to win a copy of Heather's Award winning book of short stories, The Lovers Set Down Their Spoons, please enter here:  The Lovers Set Down Their Spoons Giveaway

Happy Holidays!