Here are my TOP TEN REASONS for writing The Clouds Roll Away.
Reason #7: Winter
Despite preferring flip-flops to shoes, I still say winter’s my favorite season, perhaps because of my childhood in Alaska.
But the reason could run deeper. As painter Andrew Wyeth once said, “I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape—the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show.”
In The Clouds Roll Away, winter plays a starring role, and it was captured by the book’s cover which illuminates the magic of the season and the mystery it brings to Raleigh Harmon.
Here’s an excerpt where our formidable forensic geologist reflects on the Virginia winter:
Winter rode into Richmond on the chattering breath of the Atlantic. Each year the season blew itself into existence. The ancient elms crystallized and frost crocheted the birches into lace doilies.
On this particular December morning, with a bright sun overhead, I drove out New Market Road past fields that glistened like crushed diamonds. For this moment, my hometown looked cryogenically frozen, preserved for future generations to discover Richmond’s wide river, verdant soils, and the plantation lifestyle forged through generations—gone tragically, humanly awry.