This blog post has been written in response to a reader question about island life. I have a list of questions to work through, but it isn’t that long, so if you’d like to ask something, please do! Hopeless is and always has been a community project, and we’ll gladly explore whatever anyone is interested in.
Geographically, the island of Hopeless is somewhere off the coast of Maine, and gets something akin to Maine seasons, only it doesn’t really do summer. Summers in Maine can involve blue skies and warmth, but the island is always on the chilly side. Sometimes, if you look carefully, you can see a distant line of blue on the horizon, out beyond the island’s inherent malevolence. That’s about as good as it gets for islanders.
The best way to tell where we are seasonally is to look at the trees. Not the dead ones. Don’t look at the dead trees. Especially don’t look at the eyes on the dead trees…
Hopeless Victims (volume 3) is set in the autumn, and we do have some leaf colour – far more muted than the rest of Maine tends to go in for, but it is there.
The next book – Hopeless Optimists is set in the winter and there is snow on the ground, and Salamandra still isn’t wearing a coat.
Which means that the final book in the series, Hopeless Survivors, will be set in the spring. Because there’s nothing like juxtaposing extreme peril against signs of new life and hope.
I grew up in a small town on the edge of the Cotswolds. It is the place the rainclouds often first stop when they’re wandering up the Severn River. It is a place that is more often than not under a dark cloud. On foggy days – and there were plenty of those when I was growing up there – the landscape would fill with mist, turning the hills into small islands. Whether Dursley is quite as cursed as Hopeless I can’t tell you, but the climate is certainly plausible – regardless of whether you ascribe it to demons or not.