Tag Archives: Renaissance festival

In which I am interviewed on writing and marketing, I write about Renaissance fairs and setting as a “character” in a story, and prepare to write about the old pulp heroes of yesteryear

PirateShip

Setting can be more than just a stage where stuff happens. Place can shape and change us just as much as other people can. It can be, almost, a character in a story.

This isn’t really a blog article as much as it is a brief update.

First, there’s a new article up on my other blog, the one about Renaissance Fairs and my book Blackthorne Faire. In that article, I talk about Ray Bradbury, Pat Conroy, Renaissance Fairs, and setting as a character in a story. Please take a look and let me know what you think.

In other news, I was recently interviewed! If you have a minute, please check out my answers to 5 Questions with Fantasy Author John Adcox.

I’ll have a new blog up next week about the old pulp heroes … characters like Doc Savage, Tarzan, and The Shadow who were popular until Superman and his costumed followers replaced them in the public zeitgeist. I’m wondering … do those stories ever work as anything other than period pieces?

It’s an important question to me, because I’m working on a series of novels, Challengers, that are heavily influenced by the pulps, but are decidedly contemporary. My literary manager, Peter Miller, is shopping them as we speak.

I’d love to know what y’all think.

Stay tuned, folks. There’s more to come.

Did y’all know I have another blog, too?

Hey, did y’all know I have another blog, too? It’s about stories, writing, fantasy, mythology, and Renaissance festivals.

You can find it here: http://blackthornefaire.net

The most recent post is about Renaissance fairs, and the feeling of falling into a story. There’s a lot there about communities, too. I hope those of you who follow this blog will take a look at that one, too. I’d be grateful.

Thanks and huzzah!

IK

“Secret Voyage” by Blackmore’s Night

Listen to Secret Voyage by Blackmore’s Night

As anyone who knows me or my forthcoming novel Blackthorne Faire can tell you, I have a fondness for Renaissance festivals and the music you’ll find there that borders on the fanatical. I also have a love for Celtic, folk, and, of course, good old rock. For that reason, I was thrilled to discover Blackmore’s Night a few years back. Blackmore’s Night was born when Richie Blackmore (of Deep Purple fame) met Candice Night, and discovered their shared love of Renaissance music.

What you’ll hear on their latest album, Secret Voyage, isn’t exactly (or at least not entirely) Renaissance music—not even the kind you’ll hear at your local Ren fair. Instead, think of it as being invited to a cast party thrown by one of the best Ren fair bands you’ve ever heard. They’ll do some of the music from the fair, some originals, and even some old favorites. The point isn’t authenticity or thematic purity, it’s to make sure that everyone has a rollicking good time. Happily, when Secret Voyage is playing, we do.

Once again, Blackmore’s Night takes us on a journey through ancient times to modern. As always, Richie Blackmore’s guitar stylings are energetic and complex while Candice Night’s vocals are utterly bewitching. The merry band of minstrels that accompanies them are solid as always. The album begins with an instrumental, “God Bless the Keg,” opening with a harpsichord solo until other instruments join in, ending with a haunting, deep organ. That leads seamlessly into “Locked Within The Crystal Ball,” a song that echoes the darkest, most romantic fairy tales—with a beat that’s somewhere between fast Celtic folk and driving rock. Those two cuts provide a very strong opening.

The rest of the album is just as solid. Special favorites include the merry but wistful “Toast to Tomorrow,” the Renaissance-flavored “Peasant’s Promise” and “The Circle,” and the utterly charming “Far, Far Away.” There’s even a lively, fast, folkish cover of Elvis’s hit “I Can’t Help Falling in Love With You.” After all, you never know what the band will decide to play with when it’s their party. Just be glad you’re part of the circle and share the fun.

If you’ve heard some of the earlier Blackmore’s Night efforts, like The Village Lantern or Past Times with Good Company, you know what you have to look forward to. The Secret Voyage is neither a step back nor a tremendous leap forward. But like a reunion with dear old friends, that’s not really what you’re looking for here. You’re looking for fun, and a CD that you can listen to again and again … on its own, or as excellent company while driving, reading, or writing. The Secret Voyage is a party I intend to revisit again and again.

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