This is a hard blog to write. I keep getting caught up in the feeling of atmosphere. That doesn’t do the reader a bit of good. Instead of writing about atmosphere, I’m lost in a swirling cauldron of emotion and feeling and setting. My mind is filled with images of dark nights, empty moors, forbidden and forbidding places.

Walk with me through the night. We’re in an alley, it runs between a series of storefronts and art studios. The moon is a silver crescent in the night sky. The stars wink on and off. Occasionally you see the red and green twinkle that means an airplane is flying overhead. You hear your footsteps. They echo off the empty buildings. There is no other sound. Nothing human. Can you feel the velvet touch of darkness on your skin? Are your senses heightened until each and every sound is distinct? What else do you feel?

Now, just for the moment, imagine a loud cacophony of sound. The crash metal cans and a loud wail breaks the silence of the night. Your heart pounds, sweat, dampens your hairline. You’re sure it’s cats fighting or mating. Until the shards of concrete slice into the side of your face. You taste the bitter, almost coppery flavor of adrenaline racing through your system. Warm liquid runs down the side of your cheek. You lift a hand and touch it. Your fingers come away coated in blood. You’re running, but you don’t remember moving your feet. Fear fills you with primitive responses. Get safe, stay safe. Your only imperative is to get away.

In the distance, a buzzing sound irritates you. You try to ignore it. It doesn’t go away. You push yourself to consciousness annoyed at the interruption to your self-preservation. The sound is your alarm. It was all a dream.

Atmosphere. It’s more than setting. It’s a mix of setting, character, emotion, and the key ingredient… imagination.

Kait Carson lives in an airpark in south central Florida with a pilot husband, eight tropical birds, and six rescue cats. By day, she’s a practicing probate and litigation paralegal, in the evening, legal pads give way to a keyboard, and she spins tales of murder and mayhem set in the tropical heat. Kait writes two series, the Catherine Swope series, set in Miami, and the Hayden Kent series set in the Fabulous Florida Keys.

Kait loves to hear from readers, check out her website at; follow her on Facebook at, on Twitter at @kaitcarson, or e-mail her at



Author: kaitcarson

I write mysteries set in South Florida. The Hayden Kent series is set in the Florida Keys. Hayden is a SCUBA diving paralegal who keeps finding bodies. Underwater, no one can hear you scream! Catherine Swope is a Miami Realtor with a penchant for finding bodies in the darndest places. I live in an airpark in Fort Denaud, FL with my husband, five cats, and a flock of conures. And oh yes, a Piper Cherokee 6 in the hangar!

11 thoughts on “Atmosphere”

  1. Very nice! Choosing the right words to evoke the emotional response in the reader gives this atmosphere business a partnership between writer and reader.


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