Autumn is my favourite season, and October my favourite month. Partially it's the weather: blue skies, a mix of mellow, honeyed sun and crisp air. Another reason I adore this time of year is pure nostalgia, because a lot of family memories, both sad and joyful, are associated with these last stolen days of sun and warmth.
In Canada, where I live, Thanksgiving comes in early October. I live in a
warmer part of the country now, but where I grew up on the prairies it could snow in September. The early Thanksgiving date makes sense, because the harvest comes sooner. In my family, holiday gatherings were huge, a strange mix of British formality and prairie hospitality. My grandma (who had smuggled liquor, lived in a sod hut, and worked as an air raid warden during the blitz in London) was the glue that held everyone together. Now, with the grandchildren scattered in separate cities, such gatherings are things of the past-but every October, I remember all the faces at the table way back when and treasure the few who remain.
Halloween is another memory-magnet. I remember going out as the
quintessential bedsheet ghost when I was about eight and feeling a bit
uncertain because the snow drifts were higher than my head. I recall
thinking that if I got lost, no one would ever find me! Another year, my
non-domestic mother stuffed cotton balls into the tail of the cat costume
she sewed for me. The result looked like a cat trailing a chain of
coal-black sausage links, but I loved that costume to bits because it was
the one time my mom-who worked outside the home-got fancy.
To this day, I love watching the elementary school kids parade around the
playground in their costumes. I always wonder about the story behind each costume, and wonder what their trick or treat haul will be like. Do they still have that disgusting black bubble gum that makes it look like all the children have hoof and mouth disease?
Halloween is almost as much fun for me as an adult. It's an excuse for
those of us addicted to vampires and werewolves to stock up on a year's
supply of ghostly kitch. I love dressing up. I love the zombie-finger
cupcakes and mugs with skulls because it's fun and silly, and who doesn't
need a bit of that? It's a chance to indulge the imagination and dream of
dark castles, hot supernatural heroes, love and adventure.
It's little wonder that I ended up writing paranormal romance. I think it's
my love of that Halloween vibe that inspired the Dark Forgotten series. Hot vampires, kick-ass heroines, dungeons, and good one-liners. A little bit spooky, a dollop of dry humour, and plenty of action and romance. It's the brew I like best. For anyone who'd like a taste, there are excerpts, videos and more at www.SharonAshwood.com.
What's your favourite October memory?
I'll give away one of my books (winner's choice!) to someone who leaves a
Disclosure: The giveaway prize is being provided by the author. All opinions expressed are 100% mine. If you purchase a book using my Amazon or Barnes and Noble link, I will receive a small portion of the purchase price.