Saturday, October 22, 2011

Writing Books around Seasons

By June Shaw

Have you written any mysteries around a holiday or season?

Have you picked up any books to read because they were centered around a holiday theme or a season?

Lots of books seem to come out each year centered around Christmas. Quite a few take place around Thanksgiving.

I've seen a number of books centered around Fourth of July. But what about Flag Day? Can you come up with an idea about that?

Mother's Day? Any story has to be filled with conflict. What conflicts could arise during that supposedly happy weekend?

Winter has attracted many mysteries with its imagines of things dying. So has snow which covers bodies. But what about spring? New birth? And a death or two?

Graduation--commencement--the beginning. I used that happy time to center my first mystery, Relative Danger.

Taking a cruise--yes--what pleasure--unless people you know start dying. And then there's your class reunion--what fun--unless one of your good friends is a killer--and you need to find out. I had so much fun with that concept with my newest mystery, Deadly Reunion.

While you're coming up with a place for your story to take place, maybe you'll want to give more thought to the occasion or season in which you set your story. Doing so can sometimes give it extra dimension.


Sheila Deeth said...

Interesting thought. Certainly I have picked up books because of the season, so that makes good sense. Thank you.

Mark W. Danielson said...

I'm currently writing a sequel to Writer's Block that deals with ghosts and is set around Halloween. It works perfectly because it occurs a couple of months after the summer season where Writer's Block ends. It also helps that there are plenty of decorations and television shows to keep the mood in my brain.

Jean Henry Mead said...

My latest children's book, Ghost of Crimson Dawn, has a cover that looks like Halloween but actually takes place around the summer solstice.

Earl Staggs said...

I've written two short stories set at Christmas time. They're great during the season, but hard to promote the rest of the year. Not a problem if they're promoted as "chilling mystery" and not "a Christmas story."

Carola said...

Mistletoe and Murder, Gunpowder Plot, and in my Regency days, not only Christmas and Guy Fawkes but Halloween and Valentine's Day. Can't remember any others.

Jaden Terrell said...

My first book has a July 4 celebration, and my second takes place shortly before Christmas. The third begins just before St. Patrick's Day, and someone at Jared's office building has strung plastic shamrocks around the porch railing. The holidays aren't in the forefront of the stories, but they are referenced, since people may be having parties, decorating for the holiday, or engaging in other holiday-related behaviors.