This month, we three Quills have selected the following topic: What unusual holiday celebrations (of independence or otherwise) do you use in your novels or writing?
Robin Lythgoe, the author of As the Crow Flies, has the following to offer . . .
I love the depth of creation behind world-building: the nitty-gritty, the if-this-then-that, the marriage of reality to imagination, the glimpses into the author's head. Adding holidays to a setting is a wonderful way to increase the dimension of our worlds, to help readers feel connected to the stories. Holidays (or days of observance) are uniquely human celebrations. In speculative fiction we have the freedom to broaden the baseline with other intelligent species . . .
Read more on Robin's site here.
Kristie Kiessling, author of Sanguis Dei is currently away, but you can learn more about Kristie and her work on her site, here.
Finally, my thoughts . . .
I so enjoy the use of holidays and celebrations in fantasy tales. The festive environment adds an interesting aspect to the world created. I've seen such events used as backdrops when close personal relationships are formed, or as a means for hiding the dastardly deeds in which some parties engage. Having said that, I've not used any holidays myself, though I did reference a "spring festival" in Oathtaker: Book One of The Oathtaker Series. To date, the closest I've come to a special event was "the feed" in Select: Book Two of The Oathtaker Series (coming soon!).
I had fun with "the feed" and in particular with a character I introduced solely for the event. You see, my two daughters have both, over the years, presented what I will call "animal impressions." I find their antics clever and insightful. I love to watch them mimic the facial expressions our beloved pet (an English Cream Golden Retriever), Flynn Rider (see below). They manage to catch the exact emotions he seems intent to convey. I took that idea and added it to the personality of a character in Select. The reference reads in part, as follows:
Holidays and special events are times that bring people together in unique ways. For many, they are celebrations - opportunities to connect with loved ones and sometimes to make new friends. Interestingly, they also can create dilemmas - particularly emotional ones - as those with a shared past rub elbows with one another - and not always in a loving manner. I will have to do something more with a festival in my next book in The Oathtaker Series . . .
Below, is Flynn Rider (being naughty). Isn't he lovely?