World Building, Historical Style

  MerelysourcebksPat here: As readers, we probably started talking of world building in fantasy, where the monsters had to have their own society, their own faults and strengths, and the setting had to make them real.

But now, as series become more popular in other genres, we’re all engaging in some lengthy world building. When I first started writing about the Magical Malcolms about ten years ago, I was simply creating a world of characters with special psychic abilities. Yes, the era was Georgian, but the setting wasn’t as important as how the characters felt about being weird in a normal world.

About the same time, Jayne Ann Krentz started mixing her Arcane Society paranormal romances into her historical world. JR Ward turned vampires into contemporary romance, and suddenly, any kind of series was hot and could branch off in any direction as long as the reader could buy into the richly-created worlds they built.

I’ll admit, I love the world building, but it’s not easy when limited by history—or a related series.

Read more

Celtic History

LugobrujahouseI have just returned from a three week tour of what could be called the last outposts of Celtic settlement. (The term “Celt” comes from the Greek Keltoi—meaning barbarian. Since there is no soft “c” in Greek, the word should be pronounced with the hard “k” sound–unless you're a basketball team!)  I understand many archeologists disagree that these coastal communities descend from the same unique tribe, but I don’t draw dividing lines through the centuries. There are strong cultural, artistic, and linguistic links between the coasts of Portugal, Spain, France, Wales, and Ireland. (We didn’t go as far as Scotland, but those links to Ireland are well known) Standing stones abound in all these areas to mark ancient history, and the haunting music of the pipes and rhythmic foot dance might vary but have more similarities than disparities. (photo is a store that sells "brujas" –witches–in Lugo, Spain)

 

Read more