Winter Blogfest: Ravon Silvius

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win a digital copy of The Storm Lords.

Christmas Without Snow 

Ravon Silvius here, author of The Storm Lords. You may have heard of it as that fantasy M/M romance that revolves around the weather. So today I want to talk about the weather a little bit, and how it can set a mood—even if it doesn’t quite seem to fit the mood at first glance.

I love Christmas time, but where I grew up, it was a little different from what you see on TV.  The iconic image of a Merry Christmas is a blanket of snow over everything, with a warm fire burning in the hearth and gifts piled under a pine tree. Check out most Christmas logos—chances are, they’ll have snow or a wintery theme. I distinctly remember an old cartoon where the child character was very worried that Christmas wouldn’t happen without snow. The episode resolved with a magical snowstorm that made it a white Christmas.

But it doesn’t snow where I grew up. In Northern California, we were lucky if it even rained. And there are plenty of places where the weather is far from Christmasy—I spent a week before Christmas last year in Mexico. The hotel had a huge Christmas tree in the lobby, but outside it was 80 degrees and there were cacti everywhere. People don’t ordinarily think of Christmas time as being good for a beach vacation, but it was certainly enjoyable!

In my writing, I love using the weather to set a scene and enhance the mood. It’s a fairly common thing for writers to do—after all, nothing makes a spooky scene spookier like a thunderstorm, and a nice soft blanket of snow makes everything feel cozy when two characters are intimate.  But sometimes, like a desert Christmas, it can be fun to have a setting not quite match the mood. The contrast can somehow, paradoxically, make things even more intense. A scary storm can make a few grabbed moments of intimacy feel even sweeter. Maybe there’s a nice layer of snow, but the angry conflict between two characters is hot enough to melt it. Having the setting not fit with the action can enhance the scene and make people pay close attention to what the character are doing and thinking.

Think of it this way—a family is opening gifts in a nice warm house and a roaring fire is offset nicely by snow falling outside the windows. It’s a picturesque scene that you’d find on a hallmark card. But what if outside the windows there was a bright sunny day, and the people inside opening gifts were wearing swimsuits after just getting back from the pool? That was my Christmas as a child. Its still a nice, happy family setting. But its unusual, and that can tell a story by itself and make readers take notice.

The heat took everything from Rowen: his parents, his voice when the local cure for heatstroke poisoned him, and the trust of his fellow villagers, who branded him a water thief. It would have claimed his life when he was deemed unworthy of precious resources and left in the sun to die, had not a strange man named Kristoff ridden in on the wind and told Rowen he had power.

Rowen works hard to become a Storm Lord, one of a secret magical group that brings storms to break the heat waves overtaking their world. But Rowen is starting his training at a disadvantage since he cannot speak and is much older than the other novices. The desire to please Kristoff inspires him to persevere even more than the threat of being sent back to his village to die should he fail. Still, he cannot gather rain, and when his abilities manifest, they are unlike anything known to the Storm Lords. Unless Kristoff can help him control his deadly powers, the entire world will be in danger.

Kristoff might be among the mightiest of the Storm Lords, but he’s never been a mentor before. For a chance to be with Rowen, he’s willing to risk everything.

About the Author: Ravon Silvius lives in a tiny apartment with two tiny cats in a tiny town in the United States. Despite the cramped living quarters, Ravon enjoys coming up with big ideas for novels, with some plots coming from Ravon’s findings as a neuroscience researcher and others coming purely from Ravon’s imagination.

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Comments

  1. I completely agree with you. I know quite a few people who live in climates that never get a white Christmas. It makes a lot of sense to write stories about Christmas celebrations that include rainy, dry, or hot and sunny weather.

  2. I’m from Southern Cal, so I understand completely about the disconnect with the winter scenes. It’s also fascinating to talk with folks in Australia, who are usually sweltering during the Christmas season. Happy holidays!

  3. interesting book

  4. Little Bear says:

    I am interested to read how other people celebrate the holiday season, especially if they have to cook less traditional foods as it could get a bit steamy in the kitchen if they do 🙂

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