A while back, I started a second blog, one just for my renaissance fair novel, Blackthorne Faire. I’m combining them, because, well, it’s a lot easier to maintain one blog than two, and a lot of the topics I want to write about, like music in fiction (just to name one), fit equally well in both.
So I’m moving the Blackthorne Faire posts here. I hope you’ll stick around.
Here, if you missed it, was the first of the posts from that blog….
Welcome to Blackthorne Faire!
Cloaked in pre-dawn fog, the Blackthorne Faire Renaissance Festival waited quietly, an empty stage, curtain drawn and lights dim, a story waiting to be told. Empty pathways wound hither and yon around the plaster-stone façade of a castle and through faux half-timbered Tudor shop fronts with their sloping roofs of slate or thatch, hiding secrets and surprises the way a carnival does before the barker lets loose his first shout. Erin Winter loved it.
The hush would vanish soon; in a few hours it would melt away with morning’s gray mist. The cast, sleeping off the remnants of the past night’s revels in the employee campground behind the back gate, would whisper, giggling and moaning and sharing hangover cures as they washed the cottony thickness of bourbon’s sweet rot from yawning mouths and slipped into costume and character. And then, when the first guests passed the gates like tourists through a magic wardrobe, the air would ring with music, laughter, and carefully practiced (and more or less convincing) English accents. The guests would breathe deeply, tasting the wind of another time, heavy with the scents of beer and sun and roasting meat. The performance spaces would welcome jugglers, jesters, and musicians, and every stage would boast a marvel. Since this was the last weekend of the fair’s spring run, the crowds would be large and boisterous.
Soon, soon. But not yet.
Those paragraphs are from Blackthorne Faire, a novel I’ve completed recently. My literary manager, Mr. Peter Miller, the Literary Lion (believe me, he’s earned that title) of Global Lion Intellectual Property Management, is presently helping me shepherd it from manuscript to bookstores. It’s a new adult fantasy adventure with elements of paranormal romance, and it’s all set at a contemporary Renaissance festival.
I have a confession to make. I love Renaissance festivals. I attend the Georgia Renaissance festival just about every year. And do you know what? I’d probably go more often if I could. Turns out, I’m not alone. Here are some fun facts about Renaissance festivals that you might not know:
- More than five million people attended a Renaissance Festival in 2008 … twice.
- There are at least 57 Renaissance Fairs in the United States.
- There are many more Celtic, Old English, Medieval, and other closely related events.
- Approximately 13,680,000 people attended a Renaissance Fair in the United States in 2013.
- More than 65% of those people had previously attended a fair within 5 years and more than 37% plan to attend every year.
- Celia Pearce, a professor at Northeastern (formerly at Georgia Tech) likes to say that Renaissance fairs are the biggest business in America that’s not on anybody’s radar.
So it turns out … I’m not alone. My wife Carol and I attended the last weekend of the Georgia Renaissance Festival. As we were leaving, she smiled and asked if I was having a good time. I could only grin and say … “these are my people.”
More importantly, I think the community of people who love Renaissance festivals — English and history majors, fantasy fans, music and drama lovers, costume aficionados, and all the rest — have stories to tell.
In this blog, I’m going to tell some of those stories, and talk about the book, Blackthorne Faire, and its journey. To be honest, this is new to me. I’ve never blogged about a specific book before. I hope you’ll join me, and let me know what you think.