Kristan asked Amy Spector:

I have often heard of authors wearing sunglasses at night, or having others near them do the same so they can watch you breathe your story lines. Have you ever found yourself influenced by wearing your sunglasses at night? Or do you often find inspiration by having others wear them near you?

Amy Spector An amazing question, Kristan. Thank you for asking.

It is quite obvious to me that you are either a writer yourself, or spend a great deal of your time among the writing elite.

Wearing sunglasses at night, and surrounding oneself with others in sunglasses, is certainly a tradition among writers, that has some very surprising roots.

The wearing of sunglasses at night has long been rumored to be a left over superstition from the times of the medieval bard. Much like the origin of wedding attendants confusing evil spirits of the identity of the true bride and groom, the origin of wearing sunglasses in the evening has been said to be protection against a writer's muse. The muse, normally referred to in the feminine, was thought to be deceptive. The glasses used as protection while she's deceiving you, cutting your security, and getting control of you. The sunglasses a way of saying Don't switch the blade, on the guy in the shades. Don't masquerade, with the guy in shades.

While quaint. This is, in fact, not true.

The tradition actually only dates back to the summer of 1816, a summer in which Percy Shelly, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin and Lord Byron met in Switzerland, taking up residents in a rented house near the shore of Lake Geneva,

This meeting of great literary minds is credited for Byron's Hymn to Intellectual Beauty and as where Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, later Mary Shelly, conceived the idea for Frankenstein.

Over this summer that changed the face of literature, Byron was asked by the others to wear sunglasses, both during the day and throughout the evening, as George Gordon Byron had an irritating tendency to roll his eyes at everything anyone else said, and the sunglasses lessened the fistfights.

About Goodreads Q&A

Ask and answer questions about books!

You can pose questions to the Goodreads community with Reader Q&A, or ask your favorite author a question with Ask the Author.

See Featured Authors Answering Questions

Learn more