BP: I would like to welcome Thea Harrison back to The Bookpushers! She has an Elder Races novella True Colorsreleased from Samhain Publishing earlier this week so we asked is she would like to do a guest post. Ms Harrison graciously agreed and also said that she would sponsor a giveaway. Thank you Ms Harrison! Please take a look at what she has to say and follow the instructions to be entered. The giveaway will be closed on the 23d and we will announce the winner of an eARC of True Colorson the 24th. Good luck!
As my Elder Races novella True Colors is released by Samhain Publishing this week, I thought it would be fun to do a blog posting on holiday traditions, both those I have enjoyed in real life and those I built into the Elder Races universe for the story.
In real life, when my daughter and I lived in England, we celebrated Christmas with friends we had made. There we were introduced to all sorts of wonderful things, like Christmas pudding, which was something I had read about in stories but had never actually tasted—it was far different than what I had expected! Here’s a recipe at Saveur: Christmas Pudding. We also enjoyed Christmas crackers, which are a kind of party favor and Boxing Day, the day after Christmas.
When my daughter was young, I also adopted what my English friend chose to do with her child, and I wrapped small presents to stuff into a stocking that I put at the foot of my daughter’s bed. When she woke up at five in the morning, crazed with excitement, she knew she could open the stocking presents right away, while the bigger, “real” presents were to be opened when everybody was present. This strategy was, I thought, a very clever way to gain another hour or two of sleep—and it worked! When we moved back to the States, we kept that tradition. To this day we still prepare stockings for each other.
Moving into the fictitious work of the Elder Races, I wanted to create a holiday tradition, but of course Christmas wouldn’t do, so I built a holiday around the winter solstice. So many holidays are based on religious traditions, and I brought that into the Elder Races world as well. The Elder Races have seven gods that they call the seven Primal Powers, and they consider these gods to be the linchpins of the universe.
There is Taliesin, the god of the Dance. Then there is Azrael, the god of Death; Inanna, the goddess of Love; Nadir, the goddess of the depths or the Oracle; Will, the god of the Gift; Camael, the goddess of the Hearth; and Hyperion, the god of Law.
These gods have faces, or personas. For instance, Azrael has green eyes, Taliesin is both male and female and Inanna is a golden woman, but those personas are masks for the real Powers upon which the universe is based. When the Elder Races celebrate their holiday tradition, the seven days before the winter solstice is a time of parties and get-togethers. On the night of winter solstice itself, they hold a Masque of the Gods, which can be anything from a splendid masquerade ball to a small house party. Usually a masque of any size holds a parade of the seven gods, the roles played by volunteers—or paid actors at the really lush celebrations—who wear traditional costumes and masks that identify which god they represent.
This is the holiday season in which True Colors begins.
What holiday traditions do you observe? Which one is your favorite? Comment for a chance to win an e-copy of True Colors!