With the summer solstice coming later this month, Katrina wants to hear about our characters' summer romances:
Have you ever written a summer fling? Or are all your fictional
relationships the deep, forever kind? If you did write one, how would it
begin (the meet cute)? Where would it be set? Give us a few paragraphs
I prefer writing about long-term relationships over summer flings; however, there is one character of mine who is the exception to this rule. Her name is Jenna, and appropriately enough, she's the Sola Sum in my Season Lords (which I may rename Season Avatars) fantasy series. Jenna serves the God of Summer and has plant magic. She is the most sensual of the Season Lords/Season Avatars. The first time I wrote about her, she was a farmer's daughter who'd grown up near the small town of Bull Rock and had had an affair with a youth named Ridley, the son of a local nobleman. The affair ended when Jenna became pregnant and Ridley refused to marry her because she wasn't of his class. (Technically, as a Season Lord or Season Avatar, Jenna is eligible to be ennobled in her own right and would actually outrank Ridley, but that hadn't happened at that point in the story. Ridley's rejection of her was based on snobbery for her low birth and Jenna's lack of social graces.) I've changed Jenna's background for Scattered Seasons, which will be the first book in the Season Lords/Season Avatars series, but since this affair is the closest thing I have to a summer fling, we'll use it for this blog post.
"Meeting cute" sounds too contemporary for a fantasy world loosely based on Victorian England. Ridley and Jenna would have been aware of each other as they were growing up, but Ridley would have noticed Jenna more as she matured. Jenna is tall and shapely, with red hair, green eyes, and an alluring smile. Ridley came back from a winter in Challen's capital city of Vistichia to his family's estate in Bull Rock to find Jenna working with her family in the field. Her plant magic would have brought her to his attention, and then her attractive appearance and flirtatious ways would have done the rest. Ridley couldn't bring her back to his family's house without creating gossip fodder for the servants, so they'd go for walks in the evening and find hidden places in the fields and valleys for their trysts.
Ridley and Jenna's love affair had ended by the time the story started, so all I have for a sample is a bit of the aftermath:
Her heart twisted as she looked at him, and his pleasant expression faded as she stared. All through the winter, she’d sat at her window with her melon-like belly and dreamed of him missing her in Vistichia. Now she knew why he hadn’t even bothered to write her. He’d been with other women, and she was just his summer lightskirt. Maybe she wasn’t even the one he loved best.
“Get out,” she said, her voice surprisingly hoarse.
“What?” he asked.
“You heard me, get out.”
“Don’t you even want to hear what I’ve planned for our son?”
“He’s not your son, he’s mine! You’ll never have him.”
He backed away, arms outstretched. “What did I do?”
“You can’t figure that out, you’re more stupid than a carrot growin’ upside down. You and your father always take and never give. Go find some other pretty face to lift her skirts for you for nothin’, I won’t do it again.”
Ridley's character didn't make it into the most recent draft of Scattered Seasons, but I'd always planned to say "good riddance" to him anyway. Unfortunately for Jenna, her luck with men hasn't improved.
For happier summer flings, check out Kate's post from yesterday and visit Christine's blog tomorrow. Please let me know if you prefer "Season Lords" or "Season Avatars" for the series title. Thanks!