Friday, November 23rd, 2012

Guest Post by A.M. Harte: Above Ground, In Seasons

A mind is a terrible thing to waste, like using scotch to degrease an engine block, or polishing a commemorative spoon from Cleveland, Ohio with golden fleece. Not to say anything bad about Cleveland, Ohio, or commemorative spoons thereof, because I am the proud owner of one with such provenance.

AM Harte hates wasting scotch. Thanks to her keen, esteemable and occasionally infuriating skills as an editor, the work that you’ve seen has been of a much higher caliber than I could hope to produce going it solo.

So of course when she told me that she was preparing a blog tour for the release of her new book, Above Ground, the second thing that I said was “I would love to host a guest post!” The first thing I said was “sucks to be edited, doesn’t it” and then while I was cackling maniacally and twirling my mustache I thought I heard a shredder in the background but I’m guessing that was completely unrelated to any manuscripts of mine that I may or may not have sent in the past month.

On with the guest post! And be sure to check out AM Harte’s Above Ground and enter the giveaway!

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When one writes a guest post, it’s good form to write something that complements the blog owner’s personality. But what topic could be as whimsical and unpredictable as Greg X Graves?

A number of inappropriate topics come to mind, but there is only one possible safe option: the weather. More specifically, identifying which of the characters in Above Ground most relate to each season.

The idea was like a cheesy chain mail personality test: stupid and clichéd yet strangely irresistible.

So here goes: Above Ground, in seasons.


Lilith, the protagonist of Above Ground, is springtime. She’s young, full of potential and determination to succeed. As a human who has grown up underground, she is fairly naïve about the world above ground where werewolves and witches roam, but throughout the novel has the time to grow.

Lilith is also changeable, sullen and stubborn and passionate in turns. Her temper is quick-burning and her decisions are often impulsive.


Silver, the male protagonist, is summer. As a werewolf in his prime, he’s resilient and knows his mind. His temper can be fiery hot but can also burn slowly and fiercely, like those interminable summer afternoons where all you can do is lie in a daze.

He can be standoffish and aloof, seldom showing his softer emotions, but at his core he has a strong sense of responsibility and is, in his own way bad boy way, nurturing.


Emma, Lilith’s best friend, is autumn. Firstly, Emma makes me think of autumnal colours (she has dark red/brown hair) and of going back to school (given that she’s fairly studious).

But her connection to autumn runs deeper than that: Emma’s actions are a lot more considered than Lilith’s; she’s rarely impulsive and always tries to think ahead and prepare for the upcoming storm.

As the third protagonist, Emma is a good counterpoint to Silver and Lilith, because she’s the only one who takes the time to think and doesn’t by default fall back upon anger.


Here’s where I hit a block. Winter seems a villainous season: cold, uncaring, frigid, distant. But there are no real villains in Above Ground, and even Lilith’s father, who has an antagonistic role and displays cold calculation, doesn’t have the depth I’d expect from a winter personality.

After some consideration, I’ve settled on a minor character for winter: Zachal. Not much is revealed about him in Above Ground, but he is the character playing the longest game. Known commonly as the Snake, he is in fact a dragon of considerable age, and has the slow, enduring patience of winter.

The moral: never trust the weather.

Which characters (from any book!) would you relate to each season?

A.M. Harte writes twisted speculative fiction, such as the post-apocalyptic Above Ground and the zombie love anthology Hungry For You. She is excellent at missing deadlines, has long forgotten what ‘free time’ means, and is utterly addicted to chocolate. She lives in London, a city not half as foggy as some seem to think.