Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Story Behind The Story....The Pleasure Garden

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!!

Be Well!


VampFanGirl said...

Thanks for this behind the scenes post, Charlotte! I love reading about the inspirations for books. I have the same love for viewing behind-the-scenes footage for movies.

Spring in San Diego isn't really much of a season. Well, I take that back. We have gloomy, foggy spring months. I feel bad for folks that come to visit SD in the Spring thinking they're going to experience the warm, cloudless days when in fact April, May and June are months for layers. It's cold and foggy in the morning. This burns off around lunch time where there's three to six hours of 70-85 degree weather and then by 6 pm, it's back to the chilly gloom. It's a weird time really. But I digress.

I'm looking forward to THE PLEASURE GARDEN. Congrats on the release!!

Karen Erickson said...

I finished The Pleasure Garden a few days ago and I loved it! And it's sunny here today after a few weeks of rain soaked days. So thankful for the warmth - hope Spring visits you soon. :)

Anonymous said...

Worderfull post!! Really!! The pictures are very beautiful, evocative and send my immagination in Ireland for Beltane!! Thanks a lot! I'm reading Lust in this moment, it's amazing, I read few pages a day for not finish it so fast and lost the fascination, the magic, of the book in short time!! Another good book!! Now I wait THE PLEASURE GARDEN. Congrats on the release, of course!

Charlotte Featherstone said...

Hey VFG! Thanks for dropping by! i like doing these little behind the scenes. Most of books do have a little story about how they came into being. And as a reader, I like to know a bit more about the books I'm reading.
I actually had no idea that San Diego would be like that in spring. I was thinking all day sun and 75 degree weather! I do want to visit there, though. Everyone I know who has either lived there, or did travel nursing there loved it!

Hey Karen! Yeah, I'm wishing and wishing for spring! I can't wait for flip flop weather! Thanks for picking up The Pleasure Garden! SO glad you liked it!

Marta, thanks for coming by! Wow, thanks for telling me you're savoring Lust! I had fun writing that book. The end of May I'll be beginning Vanity's book, and his cover should be available soon! I'll share it with readers as soon as I get it!

Anonymous said...

I daresay, Beltane sound like a lot of fun!

I enjoyed your behind the scenes, especially since I just finished Pleasure Garden last night.

I adore scarred heroes. Yours was wonderfully written. Hiding in the shadows and yet, he's bitter to a point where he doesn't give a crap what anyone else thinks of him. Only the heroine.

Because her rejection would have killed any hope of life he held. And he was an underdog. You want so badly for them to win the gal.

Ugh, and as usual with your heroes he was so sensual, romantic and passionate. It was a beautiful story.

I'm starting Kristi's story tonight :)

Dalila G. said...

Wonderful post! :-)
Interesting background information, thanks! I'm going to dig up some history on Beltane.
You have me very curiuous now! LOL!

I can't complain too much on my weather, I live in the desert, we've been in the 80's for weeks now. :-)
I will complain about our foilage, there isn't any!! Only loads of cactus and they're very spiky!

Have a fantastic weekend!

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