Status: Booksigning on March 17!
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
As you are reading this, I'm probably double-checking to be sure all is ready for a booksigning tonight to celebrate the release of A ST. PATRICK'S DAY TALE, written by Christine Young, C.L. Kraemer and me.
Our setting: a pub that is bringing a St. Patrick's Day celebration to Salem, Oregon.
Let me describe that setting using all the senses:
The sights: the wearing of the green.
The scents: corned beef and cabbage.
The sounds: a band following our booksigning.
The taste: green beer.
The feel: hopefully not hung over the following morning!
Using holidays as settings is nothing new for writers. Valentine's Day is perhaps the most stereotyped holiday for romance writers, as is Halloween for horror or paranormal genres. Christmas is also a much-used setting for writers and, of course, this year I am one of the authors using St. Patrick's Day as a setting.
In researching settings for this tale, I found some interesting trivia. Though the first St. Patrick's Day parade in the United States was in 1762; Ireland's celebration of St. Patrick was a religious observance until the mid 1990s, when festivities were organized as a draw for tourists.
The U.S. also seems to have originated the tradition of green beer, and a number of cities dye rivers or fountains green as part of their festivities. On the West Coast, San Francisco has had a St. Patrick's Day parade since 1852, and Seattle was recognized by CNN in 2009 as one of the "five places to get your green on" in America.
Whatever the reason to recognize St. Patrick's Day, it provided a rich setting for the three parts in our ST. PATRICK'S DAY TALE. The first part visits Ireland in the early 1800s, when feuds were common between Protestants and Catholics, and one of the major conflicts keeping two young lovers apart. The second part of this tale drops us into a war between good and pagan fae people, who were a large part of the folk lore of Ireland. A time machine links all three parts of the story together, spinning from historic Ireland to the Irish living in more modern days.
Holidays as settings also comes into play in the series I'm writing. It's a saga of a large family, so in addition to explosions and weddings and bringing villains to justice, how holidays are celebrated gives me many opportunities for conflict and character growth.
Obviously, I've discovered using holidays as settings is one more tool for writers. I know many of you have also used holidays in your stories.
But rather than share what holidays you've already written about, is there a holiday you haven't yet included in a story, but are really itching to try? Or, to open up even more possibilities, have you made up a holiday to include in a story?
P.S. If you want a listening or viewing treat, Google "Irish Tenors" or "Irish Dance" and take your pick of YouTube videos to enjoy. I have become a fan of Irish music!