My publisher is based in America, and the majority of my readers are also based there. But my stories are not based there. Writing for an audience on the other wide of the world poses some challenges when it comes to our seasons.
My first book includes Christmas in Brisbane. And it’s summer. And it’s bloody hot.
To help my readers not read along and get caught off guard with the lack of winter, I have to reinforce the weather more than I normally would. It’s too easy for a reader to get caught up in the story then get caught off guard when the month you mention doesn’t match the weather they’re used to at that time of year. People automatically go to their one frame of reference for things like the seasons. Although Australians do understand how much winter is apart of Christmas in other parts of the world as the season is featured so prominently in festive marketing.
Right now, it’s winter (hence the winter theme for the month of June on Aussie Owned and Road). Winter where I live is quite warm. Most of the year, you can wear a singlet (tank top) around. We barely have a proper winter.
There’s also aspects of geography for anyone south of the equator that can cause confusion for people north of the equator in stories. So often in fantasies, going north means going to colder climates, and the southern areas are warmer. But in Australia and other southern continents it’s reversed. The further north you go the hotter it is and it’s the southern areas that are cold.
These are all things that needs to be taken into account when writing for audiences outside of Australia. Think about the differences between climates and geography and make sure you immerse your reader with your world building so that your normal because their normal too.
Sharon M. Johnston is a writer and PR specialist from sunny Queensland Australia, where it barely ever gets cold…except for right now. Except for right now. It’s freezing and she has three blankets on her bed.
She loves cats, unicorns and fluffy guinea pigs. She also takes a lot of silly selfies.
You can find out more about her novel DIVIDED here.