Guest Fox: Louisa Bacio

                                                  Welcome, Louisa!
                                                          By Jeff Salter 

            This week marks the beginning of our second full year here at Four Foxes One Hound.  So I guess that means I’ve hosted 52 Thursday columns, so far. 
            Can’t think of a better way to begin our new blog-year than to have as my Guest Fox the vivacious and talented Louisa Bacio.
            I no longer even recalled when or how we ‘met’ — so I asked Louisa.  She says we ‘met’ on the group mail of Chick Lit Writers of the World.  She was already a four-year-veteran by the Spring of 2010 when I first joined that chapter.  Louisa was very kind to this ‘newbie’.  Soon, we also became FB buddies and visited each others’ blogs.
            It’s understandable that I don’t remember when we met, however, because I feel like I’ve always known Louisa.  She has that kind of personality which could melt an iceberg.
            And my iceberg imagery is apropos … because our theme this week relates to weather.
            Be sure to read Louisa’s bio blurb at the bottom … and check out the links to her sites and books. 

                                             Stormy Weather Ahead
by Louisa Bacio 

            While in my undergrad studies, the concept of symbolism became ever so prevalent that I rebelled. Why couldn’t a story just be a story? How come every little thing had to mean something else?
            The situation came to a head during a creative writing workshop where my monster-behind-the-wallpaper morphed into an evil entity during the Nazi’s reign, and the victims symbolized those killed in the Holocaust. The interpretation stemmed from the choice of words such as “cobalt,” which I had no idea meant “goblin” in German. I threw my hands up, swore to take writing at face value and graduated.

            Then I read Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton, and the symbolism of atmosphere conditions hit me atop the head. In the classic tale, Ethan is trapped with an ill wife in a wintery landscape. Everything is dark and dreary. That is until his wife’s niece Mattie comes to live with them. When Mattie comes into a scene, the sun breaks through the clouds, and brings literal light into his life. Alas, their illicit love cannot be, and the novel comes to a tragic end.
            Such an overt use of the weather perfectly matched the tone of the story. One could say that the light suddenly went on for me. While stifled in his marriage, Ethan also succumbed to the bleakness of the environment.
            Wharton certainly isn’t the only author to tap into seasonal patterns. In Lynsay Sand’s holiday novella “The Bite Before Christmas,” small-town cop Teddy gets snowed in with a sexy vampire, who also happens to be his lifemate. Literally, there’s nowhere for Teddy to escape. Laura Kaye’s hot new ‘Hearts of Anemoi’ series ties into the elements, starting with the stormy North of Need.

            Gothic masterpiece Frankenstein by Mary Shelly also illustrates the union, using the contrast between the warmth and happiness, to the despair.
            “We returned again, with torches; for I could not rest, when I thought that my sweet boy had lost himself, and was exposed to all the damps and dews of night; Elizabeth also suffered extreme anguish. About five in the morning I discovered my lovely boy, whom the night before I had seen blooming and active in health, stretched on the grass livid and motionless: the print of the murderer’s finger was on his neck.”

Physical environment
            As a writer, part of setting includes that physical environment. What season does the story take place in? And, how does that potentially tie into the storyline? In my recent erotic paranormal, The Vampire, The Witch & The Werewolf: Chains of Silver, I used the elements to set scene and mood:
            “Mud caked underneath Lawrence’s fingernails, and the skin began to peel away. He worked in darkness. His vampire-enhanced eyes adjusting to the dim lighting. With a grim realization, he thought about all those vampires buried alive who tried to dig themselves out of a grave before they starved to death, and here he was attempting to crawl into one as if his life depended upon it.”
            Would robbing a grave in the brightness of a summer day have quite the same feeling? Probably not.

            So tell me, how have you seen atmospheric conditions used? Do you pick up on this sometimes subtle, and other times obvious, connections?

            Thanks for stopping by. Here’s a little bit about a recent release:
            The Vampire, The Witch & The Werewolf: Chains of Silver 
            Adopted at birth, Silver Ashe discovers her blood-brother Trevor Pack is a werewolf, with a vampire and witch for lovers. All her teachings about the evils of the paranormal Others come into question. She runs to a family friend, Nick, for help.
            Nick Stake takes his hobby as a vampire hunter personally. He strives to rid the world of evil bloodsuckers. When his best friend’s “kid” sister comes to him for advice, Nick discovers Silver’s more than grown up. He battles his growing desire for Silver and blindly holds true to his convictions.
            Once Silver reaches her sexual maturity, she’ll inherit her full genetic heritage and turn into a werewolf. When death comes calling, Silver and Nick must face their darkest fears in order to break free from the chains that bind. 

Available via Amazon, (
Ravenous Romance( and other Online retailers. 

The author
            Louisa Bacio enjoys soaking up the sun in Southern California, and spending time with her family. In her “other” life, Bacio teaches college classes in writing and English, and edits for magazines.

About jeff7salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Eleven completed novels. "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- scheduled for April 2015 -- Dingbat Publishing. "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- scheduled for June 2015 -- TouchPoint Press. "The Duchess of Earl" -- scheduled for 2015 -- Dingbat Publishing. "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 -- Astraea Press. "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 -- screwball comedy -- Dingbat Publishing. "Hid Wounded Reb" -- part of the Somerset Series -- Aug. 2014 -- Astraea Press. "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- screwball comedy -- Dec. 2013 -- Dingbat Publishing. "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 -- Astraea Press "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" (comedic romance) -- Oct. 2012 -- Astraea Press. "The Overnighter's Secrets" (romantic suspense) -- May 2012 -- Astraea Press. Two novellas published so far (both by Astraea Press): "Don't Bet On It" -- April 2014 "Echo Taps" -- June 2013 Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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35 Responses to Guest Fox: Louisa Bacio

  1. Laurie Ryan says:

    Hi, Louisa. Wow, you are VERY good at setting mood. Even in your blurb. I am a firm believer in setting, whether indoors or outdoors, being another character in a story. Being a bit of a weather junkie, I tune into the outdoor stuff more than the indoor, I think.
    (hi to Jeff, too!)

    • Louisa Bacio says:

      Grazie, Laurie! First commenter … Whoo-hoo. Do you have a favorite season?

    • jeff7salter says:

      LOL. Not only was Laurie first to comment, but she happened upon the site for the 10 minutes yesterday that I mistakenly had it posted for Feb. FIRST instead of Feb. SECOND. I was sure I put in the right date, but when I went back to the site to check something, I saw that my blog briefly had bumped the Cajun Fox, Danica’s. Hurriedly corrected it.
      Hope nobody realizes I made that mistake.

  2. crbwrites says:

    I’ll have to add “weather conditions” on the description checklist. Along with clothes. My characters are always running around in an amorphous landscape sans suitable attire.

  3. Janie Bill says:

    Intriguing excerpt where your vampire thinks about his kind who have been buried alive. It made them seem so human to have clawed at their coffins before starving to death, whereas only seeing them as bloodsuckers in the night separates them from humans. The darkness emphasized his anxiety about death.

    • jeff7salter says:

      Welcome, Janie. Glad to have you visit the Foxes and Hound. I’m here each Thursday and one of the Resident Foxes on the other week-days.

    • Louisa Bacio says:

      Thanks Janie! Glad you could stop by. You picked up on a lot in that short excerpt! My character Lawrence definitely possesses a conscience. He’s not “evil,” so I’m glad that comes through.

  4. And here I thought my need to insert weather phenomenon stemmed from my offshore experiences! lol In a story I once threw in the huge ball of St. Elmo’s fire –(it burns and snaps, but causes no real harm)– that rolled through one of my vessels, and received so many excited responses about it. Seems many people thought it an old sailors tale or superstition. Have to say it played well into the supernatural mood of the story.

    Love the excerpt, by the way! Sets the mood immediately and well! Found a new author to add to my must read list!

    • jeff7salter says:

      My father-in-law — born & raised in Possum Trot — and his young brothers once saw ball lightning literally ‘tumble’ across a 5 acre field which was right across the street from them.
      What’s not clear to me is whether they knew what it was at the point that they witnessed it … or if they were told later.
      In any case, it was quite alarming to see.

    • JillianChantal says:

      I had this phenomenon happen to me- in my office. AND I knew what it was immediately. It was spectacular!!

      • jeff7salter says:

        You mean INSIDE your office? I would have screamed like a little girl and run for the parking lot.

    • Louisa Bacio says:

      Wow. That sounds like a fantastic scene. In SoCal, we get the occasional rain and some wind storms — the Santa Anas, ;-) Seriously, those winds go upward of 70 mph.

      I appreciate your kind words. The book’s an erotic paranormal, but I do tend to have dark scenes.

  5. JillianChantal says:

    WOW! I didn’t know it had been a year already. I guess I should have, huh?

    Super guest post. Thanks for coming by. Your book sounds great!

  6. I saw ball lightning hit the ground and roll 3 times once when I was in 6th grade…I’ll never forget it.
    Nice to be introduced to yet another friend of yours, Jeff.
    Louisa, I think there are many ways to use weather subtly, and it is a great writer who can do so…surely it is often well used in movies…It doesn’t have to be as in-your-face as between Kansas and Oz! But surely, a light snow falling has a more uplifting atmosphere than a raging blizzard, but a thunderstorm can either be terrifying or can bring two people together who would not have been in the same place at the same time and be quite romantic.
    OK, so the fellow is a werewolf with a witch and a vampire for lovers…and his best friend is a vampire hunter? That is a loaded plate!
    Congrats to all of you on the second anniversary of 3F&1H…I have enjoyed your blog greatly, as youw well know, as I put my 2 cents in so often!

    • Louisa Bacio says:

      Definitely great points about weather in film. If you ever notice that it suddenly shifts from being bright and sunny, and suddenly the clouds come in, or the main character gets a shadow cast over him/her, you can usually read that as foreshadowing as something “bad” is going to happen!

    • jeff salter says:

      Thanks, Tonette. We love having regular visitors, like yourself, who take the time to comment and share our musings.
      Wish I could have seen that ball lightning you experienced during 6th grade!

  7. jbrayweber says:

    Great blog, Louisa! Great examples, too.
    For me, most of my books are set on a ship in the Caribbean sea. As the sea is quite temperamental, so are the romances. She can be smooth and gracious with bountiful winds and smooth waters or tempestuous with stormy gales and waves to swallow fleets whole. She may even be mysterious with sea fog and bleak with doldrums. But, oh, those beautiful sunsets on the horizon, they offer hope and happiness.


  8. Very insightful, Louisa. You gave us a lot to think about. I’ll try not to forget to use weather conditions when setting a scene.

    • jeff salter says:

      Susan, when I was writing a ‘trilogy’ of sorts which was set in this actual vicinity, I used to clip the weather charts every day. As I was writing, when it was needed to set the scene, I’d go to that date & see what the weather conditions were like. Didn’t always use what showed up, but it gave me some ideas.
      Thanks for visiting again.

    • Louisa Bacio says:

      Thanks Susan! Glad to help provide one more idea to add to your arsenal.

  9. Great post, Louisa! I love your style already. ;c)

    I write a lot of suspense, so I use storms and weather to set the mood … but I also use sunshine and crystal blue skies to bring stark contrast to an ugly scene. We sort of expect bad stuff in darkness (literal or otherwise) and it’s rather striking sometimes to have the opposite. I love using atmosphere to add another dimension to my work.

    • jeff salter says:

      Welcome back, Sarah. As busy as you are these days, I wasn’t sure if you’d be able to appear.
      I’ve told you this, already, but for the benefit of any others who don’t yet know you, Sarah — you write the best blurbs I’ve seen.

      • Aw, thanks, Jeff! I try not to miss your blogs (and guests) but every now and then my day gets away from me. ;c) And thank you so very much about the blurbs. I’m actually grumbling about having to write one for my April release. It’s part of the process. I complain to myself for a few days, then I spit it out. I guess as an artist of sorts, I get to have my quirks. LOL.

    • Louisa Bacio says:


      I definitely think that contrast would work. I also teach film studies and we’ve talked a bit about horror films that take place during the day, i.e. light. Some have mentioned “The Happening,” but I haven’t seen it.

  10. Laura Kaye says:

    Naturally, I loved your post, Louisa! Not because you mentioned my series (though that was awesome!) but because I am a complete and total weather nerd! I’ve always thought weather was a great mood-setter and metaphor for the emotion of a scene, and now in my series that’s literally true as the heroes’ emotions can impact the weather! I’m a visual reader and a visual writer, so I really appreciate knowing what everything looks like to fully enjoy a story!

    • jeff salter says:

      Please to have you visit, Laura.
      Weather has been in my stories more than I realized. Reading your note above, I remembered a short scene in my 2nd or 3rd novel ms.– both set in the same place, which is why I can’t recall which — in which a couple is hugging on the porch. In the distance they can SEE a rainstorm heading their way, like a ‘creeping barrage’. Shortly, a soft rain falls on top of the cabin. I actually observed that one day, from my front porch. It was fascinating and lovely.

    • Louisa Bacio says:


      When Jeff hit me up with the topic, I — of course — thought about your wonderful and relevant series, and that symbiotic relationship between the heroes and the weather. Thanks for stopping by, hon!

  11. jeff salter says:

    Well, I want to thank Louisa for being my Guest Fox all day yesterday.
    I’ve tried to bring in a guest fox each month and that’s usually my favorite blog-day of each month. The regular and semi-regular 4F-1H blog readers get to ‘hear’ a fresh perspective … and I get to see some new faces.
    Any friends of Louisa’s who arrive a little later — no problem. I’ll still be here!
    Thanks, Louisa!

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