I know what people think. Why on earth would anyone complain about summer? Especially a Canadian who's already made it perfectly clear she's no fan of winter? Simple. Heat and sun. I've discovered over the past couple of years, it isn't the weather, either cold, blowing snow and sleet, or hot, humid, angry sunshine beating down. It's the outdoors: I am just not an out-doorsy type of person.
I had a visit in the city of Toronto once, near Christmas a few years ago, and discovered the ultimate joy of being able to get from the apartment to the mall without ever stepping foot outside, thanks to the wonderful invention of the subway. Crazy? Possibly. But at twenty below, can you blame me?
When spring comes, I do get the bug to get outside. It lasts for about two weeks, and then when the heat really starts, I'm content to spend my days mostly inside where it's cool and comfortable.
What interests me about all this is the fact that, without really thinking much about it, I've mostly transferred this anomaly onto a lot of my characters. Not that any of them really ever state they don't like the outdoors, but for a bunch of guys, (and I pretty much write mostly men) they really don't spend much time enjoying nature. Cowboys aside, most of them are city dwellers who like a great view of the park form their high-rise apartments. I think over the years, I've written one gardener and a handful of horse men. The rest pretty much like their safe and sheltered homes, offices and studios. It makes me think. What other of my own ingrained perceptions about the world or my own penchants and habits do my characters share that I have never even noticed?
What do you other writers think? Do you consciously think about ways to make your characters different form you? Do you readers recognize trends in your favorite author's characters? Maybe that's why we're drawn to the books we are. Certain authors might, unconsciously, create characters with similar backgrounds and fundamentalism traits that draw us. Thoughts?