2017 covers

Finding Paradise
Secrets at Wongan Creek
Blood Kissed
The Black Tide
Silver Reaper
Kadin
Asher
Baron

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Magic Thursday: The importance of festivals


It’s all Tansy Rayner Roberts’ fault (and by the way if you’ve not read her Creature Court trilogy, get onto it – fabulous read).

Anyway, Tansy’s trilogy is full of festivals and events, because it was in part based on Ancient Rome and they were mad keen on an excuse to party. In a blog post, she talked about the fact that so often in fantasy, there’s very little in the way of festival, holidays, celebrations and yet it’s such a momentous part of our own lives.

I realised that I was guilty of that very thing. I’d created this full, intense, detailed world with my secret magical race, the gadda, but I hadn’t considered what their major celebrations would be.

So I created The Festival of the Star. Each year on July 18, the gadda celebration the codification of the rules and principles which guide their life, protect their power and help ensure their secrecy.

There’s a big festival in the headquarter town of Sclossin, with stalls and food and drink and laughter and fun. At night, there’s a mass concert. The bardria (the ruling council) spend a large part of the day sending gifts to those gadda who aren’t able to make it to Sclossin that year.

Kinda a combined Federation Day/Cinco de Mayo/Christmas thing.

The interesting thing was that once I created the Festival, supposedly as a backdrop to the story, it forced it’s way in. The final moments of the trilogy occur at the festival and in fact, the sequel novella is set there, as is evidenced by its name – The Festival. I even self-published The Festival on July 18.

The Festival became important to my characters (as these things do) and so it became important to me. Now, it feels like a very real thing – July 18 I kinda wonder what’s going on in Sclossin, even though the whole thing only lives in my head.

What about you? In your fantasy/sf/horror writing, what festivals/celebrations have you built into your world?

EDIT: Unfortunately there's a problem with the codes, and I can't guarantee that there will be copies of the trilogy available before Christmas. By way of apology, I'll send all commenters a copy of the sequel, The Festival. Don't worry - it makes sense without having read the trilogy :) Email nicole at nicolermurphy dot com for your copy.

Comment below and go in the draw to win one of THREE copies of the Dream of Asarlai trilogy in Apple format. You can keep for yourself or pass onto someone else as their Christmas present! Winner will be chosen and notified on Saturday.

14 comments:

  1. Hi Nicole, I've written a festival into my book, Bloodgifted (which is coming out early 2013). It's called The Ritual and occurs every fifty years.

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    1. That's really interesting, Tima. I'd imagine if it's only every 50 years it's a really big deal.

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    2. Hi Tima - can you please send me an email? nicole at nicolermurphy dot com. Thanks.

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  2. Thank you so much for the opportunity to win; this would make the perfect Xmas gift for me!

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    1. Hi Mich - I'm so glad to hear that. Unfortunately, it seems the codes I was going to use to give you the books are out of date, and I may not be able to get some more before Christmas. To make up for it, I'm going to email you a copy of The Festival, the sequel novella (don't worry - it makes sense, even without reading the books). Hopefully I'll have the codes for you after Christmas.

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    2. Mich, can you please send me an email? nicole at nicolermurphy dot com. Thanks.

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  3. Off the top of my head I can't think of any festivals or celebrations I've had in any of my stories. This is something I shall have to remedy when I go through to edit and expand on certain areas.

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    1. It certainly ads great opportunities for colour, excitement and fun. And if they are religious or politically based, a great place to add some tension and drama to the story :)

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    2. Danielle - can you please send me an email? nicole at nicolermurphy dot com. Thanks.

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  4. That's a great idea. I've thought of using festivals before, but I have never done so. I'll have to in a future story. :)

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    1. Thanks Jaime. They do add a certain colour to proceedings. If you email me, and tell me your favourite reading device, I'll send you a copy of The Festival for Christmas :)

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  5. Nice covers and post.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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