The Evolution of an Idea

Anthologies are always interesting. First you’ve got to come up with a theme for the overall anthology, and then you’ve got to come up with a story that fits for it.

When we started brainstorming for Seasons Eternal, we had a bit of a hard time coming up with a theme idea. We’d done winter-themed for last year’s Winter’s Night, so we didn’t want to repeat that, but we weren’t sure where to go. Did we want to pick a genre? And not just something like, say, steampunk, because everyone else does that sort of thing. Steampunk with strong heroines! Steampunk with strong heroines who happen to be airship pirates!

It was actually my husband who came up with the premise that would become Seasons Eternal, the world where the seasons had stopped. I think it appealed to us because it would be a shared world, so our stories could be more interconnected than just four people trying to tell stories that may or may not be anything like each other.

So, theme picked, we assigned seasons. The way scheduling worked out, I was assigned spring a little later than everyone else, and, hence, got to work after everyone else, so I went into my story having a sense of what everyone else was doing in theirs.

At first, I was stumped. I don’t know if any of you live on the west coast, but that’s pretty much how I picture an eternal spring. It never really gets cold or hot, there’s not a lot of inclement weather you need to worry about, and you can grow things year-round. Let’s face it–if the seasons were going to stop, Spring would be the one you’d want to get stuck in. (In fact, my biggest complaint about the weather when we lived in California was that there were no seasons and it made it hard to mark the passage of time in my head.)

(Californians will tell you that there are two seasons: wet and dry. To that I say: Bah!)

(Oh man, candy cane and cocoa taste terrible together.)

As Siri says, stories are about people. And unlike a summer where the heat never ends, or a winter where the snow never stops, Spring doesn’t really bring any hardship to the people. In fact, they probably felt like they’d been blessed, where everyone else had been cursed. Like they had been deserving, like they had been…justified.

And they wouldn’t want to share their good fortune.

I don’t think I can say more without giving the story away. Seasons Eternal: Stories of a World Frozen in Time is available through Turtleduck Press at your favorite e-retailer. (Just a reminder that proceeds from sales goes to UNICEF to make children’s holidays more joyful and bright!)

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