So, this weekend I caught up on an HBO show I’d missed, True Detective. Talk about somber and depressing. Like so many of the darker shows I perversely enjoy, the cinematography is beautiful in its starkness. Other cases in point: Hannibal, Penny Dreadful, The Killing (in which it never stops raining), and the merciless sun and isolating open spaces in Breaking Bad–just as effective as gloom and clouds.
Setting a mood in writing is tricky. I don’t want to bore the reader with too many details or paint in broad, cliche brushstrokes. Somewhere in the middle is the sweet spot, providing just enough in-the-moment sensory description to make the reader feel there, to not only see, but experience the place.
Summer and I were happy to have several critics point out that The Bohemian and the Banker was like taking a little Parisian vacation. The Paris we all imagine and probably nothing like the actual city was at the turn of the century. But hey, we sent our readers someplace and that’s good to hear.
Currently I’m enjoying the rainy, gray spring weather outside as it’s perfectly setting my mood to work on a gothic romance. The Tutor is kind of like Jane Eyre meets the Sound of Music, the Secret Garden, and every “true hauntings” show I’ve watched on TV. A young man, passing himself off as a tutor with forged credentials, travels to teach twin boys at an isolated estate. The kids are odd. The master of the house is moody. The servants are all a little off and the house itself oozes an aura of menace. Good times!
I really love spooky stuff, was weaned on Stephen King, and hated that the ghost of the week in Scooby Do was always some dude in a costume. I’m having a ball working on this story and hope I can really pull off the creepy atmosphere. Readers can expect it….sometime. Hey, maybe in time for Halloween. That would be cool.