Friday, November 30

Out of season, out of time by Liz Flaherty

Duane and I were talking the other day about the ages of people I write. I said until a certain point, I always wrote about my own age or a little older. My first completed "book" was about a girl who was 10 when the story started, like I was, although she aged considerably as the story went on. With the romance field being what it is, I obviously don't write about people in their 60s now, but my newest H & H are mid-40s. We'll see how that holds up.

So, I told Duane (we were in the car--he had to listen) my voice never quite fits the people I'm writing. I've been blessed to have readers like my books, but a part of me does wonder if it's because or in spite of a voice that has aged right along with me. 

And then, speaking of out of season, I wrote my Christmas book in
spring, my autumn one in winter, and I've written summer ones with the snow flying. I can't really blame anyone for this but myself--I'm the one in charge of deadlines most of the time. If I had any sense at all, I'd be writing a Christmas book for next year right now, wouldn't I?

But no, I won't. Because I have these two 40-somethings in Vermont in September who want me to tell their story in my 60-something voice. 

Meryl Streep said once that “It’s good to live in the place where you are.” I think she's right, and I absolutely love where I am, but being writers allows us to spend times in other times and places. We can dance to music we don't understand, sing lyrics we would never sing, and wear bikinis when real life is all about it being cold outside and skin being crepey. 

It isn't odd to us to write Christmas stories in May or summer stories when we're snowbound or to write about people whose appearances and ages and thought processes are shockingly different from our own. We are, while perfectly at home in our own skins and in tune with our own drums, also very comfortable with being out of season and out of time. 


  1. I really enjoyed this post. That's the fun of writing, getting to burrow under the skin of whoever we decide to inhabit for a while. It's one of the reasons I had so much fun writing urban fantasy. I had magical powers and knew how to use them:)

  2. I have to admit I don't really even think about the season outside when I'm writing. We just got our first big snowfall of the winter and I'm writing a story set in summer. And I don't really think of age too much either. I hope I'm not getting too long in the tooth to remember what being twenty-five or thirty-five was like! I hope my writer's voice reflects that.

    1. I don’t know if I’d have noticed my “aging voice” if a review hasn’t mentioned that my writing was “old-fashioned.” I do think about the seasons, but they don’t bother me.