In the #strongmanandthemermaid I use Polish and Slavic traditions to give shape to both plot and character development. I do this for two reasons–one is because there are so many lovely, rich events to take advantage of. Need to bring two characters together in order to have them fall in love? How about Shrove Tuesday?
Need to show the inner workings of an established family unit and how their decisions impact newcomers? Invite them to Shrove Tuesday! Shrove Tuesday (also Shrove Thursday THROUGH Tuesday), Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, and Pancake Day are all differently named traditions that mark the beginning of Lent–a time for quiet reflection and plain eating.
The second reason I am using traditions in my books is because when families moved to America from foreign lands they often flocked to areas of the country and cities where there were others from their homeland.
These clusters of Poles and Slavs, Italians and more were in search of the American Dream but they held tight to the rituals and beliefs that created an immediate sense of belonging in a new place.
I can’t imagine Strongman without these traditions as not only did they lend drama and weight to the book, they give it the authenticity that readers are looking for when they pick up historical fiction. Hope you’re having a wonderful day celebrating in whatever way you like! Fill us in on your traditions!