Swoon Author Alex Evansley: Feels Like Summer, Take Two
WHAT’S UP, GUYS. And happy summer! I hope you’re all through exams and/or on summer break and/or you’ve gotten summer hours at work and/or you have some awesome plans for the next three months that involve all of your favorite places and things.
I love me some summer. Not to get too corny on y’all straight out of the gate here, but no other season quite has the ~ * f e e l * ~ that summer has (Weezer has a great song about this, FYI). To me there’s something rebellious in the warmer weather and the longer days that makes me feel like I’m not fully expected to comply with the real world rules we have to follow from September to May. There are bigger possibilities—bottomless possibilities—in every night out with friends, every trip to the beach, every chance encounter with a cute stranger sitting in your row on an airplane…
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Naturally, summer is also the season that inspires me the most. Love Scene, Take Two began as a June baby (like me *shameless birthday plug*). I got the idea for the first half of the plot while I was spending a long weekend with my family on the lake (sound familiar?), and I can’t really imagine how—or even if—the story would have turned out if it didn’t have that right place, right time, spur-of-the-summer-moment inspiration backing it.
In fact, almost every story I’ve ever written has either been set during the summer, was inspired by something summer-related, or has summer-esque elements to it (not to mention I automatically gravitate toward any book or movie that takes place in the summer months). At first I thought it was because the seasonal setting is kinda easy to default to, since it makes such an opportune backdrop: the weather’s nice; there’s no school; people go on vacations, etc… Summer just holds so much promise, right?
Then it hit me.
Maybe my preference for summer backdrops has less to do with the actual season and more to do with that ~ * s u m m e r f e e l * ~ I was talking about earlier? Maybe all stories should have ~ * s u m m e r f e e l s * ~ to them, even when they’re not set during the summer? Especially when they’re not set during the summer?
If you think about it, fiction is fundamentally rebellious of the real world. It’s about bigger possibilities—bottomless possibilities—and whether we’re writing it or reading it, it makes us feel like we’re not expected to fully comply with the rules we normally have to deal with in everyday life.
So try to put some of those ~ * f e e l s * ~ into your own stories, even the ones that are set on top of Mount Everest in the middle of January during a blizzard. Reading and writing are an escape for us, yeah, but they’re also a manifestation of unlimited potential. Just like summer.