Ok, it's the last day of March, and my god, let us hope that Spring is right around the corner! I'm dead sick of winter, and have been chomping at the bit for a little spring action. Spring fever is actually a real thing, you know! The ancient Celts knew that! I happen to love the Celts. They're a really ingenous ancient people, and they loved festivals and sex! What could be better?
When Amanda McIntyre, Kristi Cook and I started thinking of an anthology idea, we all kind of hit on the Celtic people and their calendar of festivals. It all started with Winter's Desire. Spice wanted a Christmasy/Wintery type tale, but didn't want the proverbial Christmas tree and mistletoe type of thing. They wanted outside the box. So we thought about doing something kind of mystical, and non-religious, but in the spirit of the holidays and the season. The Winter Solstice came into being, and A Winter's Desire was born.
I think we had so much fun brainstorming this idea, that it naturally flowed into ideas for other anthologies. Which brings me to todays blog post--The Pleasure Garden, or affectionately known between us three as--The Beltane Anthology.
The Pleasure Garden does celebrate the rites of spring which was known to the Celts as Beltane. We might know it more today as May Day. It's the time of death to winter, and the birth of spring. It's about fertiility and liveliness and the frivolity of spring. It's about the flowering of plants and trees, and the growth of fruit and vegetables. It's the birth of animals, bunnies and rabbits, and calves, and those adorable spring lambs! The world is green and warm, and everything seems to hum with life! We knew we wanted to convey this feel, to make each story brim with passion and life, and the gift of a warm spring day.
Upon researching Beltane, and the ancient celebrations, we hit upon an old fable involving the May Queen and the Oak King. We liked how we could encorporate the image of the Green Man which is so rich in Beltane lore. So, we took the story of the Oak King and May Queen and tailored it to suit our premise. In the end. we have a cursed garden, and the Green Man sorrowfully looking out upon it. To make this garden grow, lovers need to visit, and make it flourish with their passion and love.
This idea is integral to Beltane. Villagers would run out into the woods, and chase one another. Lots of hanky panky out in the woods, and lo and behold flowers and plants and all kinds of other things start sprouting out fromt he ground. A bit basic in my outline, but essentially, that's the spirit of Beltane, and that's what we wanted to capture when we set out to write what we have dubbed, The Celtic Spice anthologies.
So, in hopes that spring comes soon, I decided to give you a little glimpse into the background of the book. Now, I'm off to see if my garden is perhaps hiding a man in the foilage!!