This month we’re writing about sunsets, heat, and summer’s end. Two out of three of those happen to be my favorite things. I love sunsets. There’s a stillness and a magic to that moment when the sky is brushed with shades of purple, pinks, and gold as the sun slinks under the horizon. I’ve always taken pictures of sunsets, trying to capture a perfect image to enlarge and frame or use as screensavers on my phone and computer. Here are two recent pics. The first is Clearwater Beach, Florida – the Gulf coast of Florida is a spectacular place to watch the sunset each night. The other is Barnegat Bay at the Jersey shore, where I spend all my summers and chose to set my latest YA novel The Summer After You & Me.
Summer is definitely my season. All three of my books are set during the summer. I didn’t plan it that way, but it makes sense. Writing books set in summertime allows me to extend those hazy, hot, days and warm nights into the winter months. When there’s snow on the ground and the wind chill dips below zero, it’s still July as long as I don’t look up from my laptop. Growing up, especially during my high school years, summer gave me a chance to be someone else—someone besides the girl who no on paid much attention to at school. By setting my books in the summer, I’ve done the same for my characters. Out-of-school time gives them the most opportunity for change.
Summer’s end? It’s too soon to think about it. Right now, I’m in denial. I’m not even halfway through my summer reading list yet!! If you’re like me, and still looking for books to add to your beach bag, here are two you shouldn’t miss.
Map to the Stars by Jen Malone and Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler, have everything I look for in a summer read—fast-paced plots, spot-on dialogue, and very hot scenes between characters. Both also offer a backstage glimpse at Hollywood that will make reader feel like an insider.