Hi, my name is Robin D. Owens and I write fantasy romance, fantasy with romantic subplot, and paranormal romance. I’ve been lucky enough to win the RITA® award from RWA, as well as other awards. Most recently, Heart Legacy was named one of the top ten romances of 2015 by Library Journal.
I’m most known for my stories featuring intelligent animal companions with attitude (a redundancy when applied to cats). And of the four series I’ve written, my readers’ favorite is the Celta HeartMate series, which is essentially a Regency society . . . with magic and Celtic traditions.
I also consider my writing light and humorous, however my comments below are more serious and about worldbuilding.
I chose this day to blog because it was the closest available to the Summer Solstice, which occurred yesterday in the northern hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere they experienced the shortest day of the year.
The planet Celta was colonized four hundred years ago by Earth people with psi fleeing from persecution. They decided they wanted a Celtic culture, and so I’ve written about people who celebrate the Divine Couple, the Lady and Lord. Most of the time the religion is far in the background, but this is also a culture that prizes nature and celebrates the seasons, which would include the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year.
So I’ve written rituals in several books. Some ceremonies are not particularly religious, but all depend on magic — psi power — which I call Flair. They’re performed in a circle with people linking hands. I DO depend on research to make these feel good and right — at least to me.
For these rituals I’ve mined my reference books, websites, and finally crafted my own exactly as I want.
The point is that I respect the culture and world I’m building, I try to add layers that will make Druida City on the planet Celta, seem real to my readers. I want people to accept the religion I craft as much as my characters do. It’s a backdrop for their lives.
But it can also be very important because, like the Summer Solstice, it is a holiday and time to work some magic in the world. The rituals should also be spiritually uplifting and give my characters some insights.
As I writer I use the rituals to help my characters grow, and I move the plot forward.
Sometimes I like researching and writing the rituals, sometimes I put it off because it isn’t writing that flows from my subconscious through my fingers and keyboard to land on the page.
The first ritual I have in my series is, I believe, was a Healing Circle in Heart Duel, number 3 (they all have “Heart” in the title, so it makes it confusing for folks). The latest I crafted was my first Wedding in my first self-published novella, Lost Heart.
Now, I’ve never done a Summer Solstice ritual in my work (maybe in Heart Sight, my work in progress), but I loved the Yule ritual in Heart Fate — complete with a goofy dog, Familiar Companion.
The hardest one to write was a “New Year’s/Samhain” ceremony (November 1), in the story Heart and Soul in the story collection of Hearts and Swords. I consider that ritual as the best I’ve written, and one of my best pieces of writing, too.
Writers, especially those of fantasy, emphasize different aspects of their worlds, I really want these rituals in my work to be special and memorable to my readers as well as fulfilling the needs of the story. And that’s why I blogged about them.
Merry meet, and merry part, and merry meet again!
For your information: As I said I recently released my first self-published work, Lost Heart, a Celta Novella. It’s $3.99 and about the size of a short book. Here’s the blurb:
Celta, a place of magic, telepathic animal companions, and romance . . . Lost Heart, a story rife with hidden agendas and dangerous secrets.
Barton Clover, Chief of Security for his large and noble family, is deeply aware of his responsibilities. When two young relatives repudiate the family and later disappear, he’s determined to find them and convince them to return. He has no time or inclination for love . . . but his family disapproves of his nothing-but-work life. They decree that he must visit a matchmaker or lose his position.
Enata Licorice, a revered librarian, has been doing research in a mysterious records vault . . . and is finding odd blanks in her memory. Lonely, she yearns for a good husband and arranges a matchmaking session of her own.
It’s love at first sight for Barton and Enata, but both are crucial members of their families. Clans who practice opposite lifestyles. And both families demand the couple’s time and attention, causing strife.
While trying to resolve their issues, Barton discovers Enata’s secret and they must work as a couple to resolve the puzzle that includes Barton’s missing relatives — if they dare. And if they fail, more than their own lives are lost.
My website contains excerpts and extras (notes on the worldbuilding and books)
I am extremely active on facebook, especially in discussions about my work and others’: https://www.facebook.com/
And my pinterest page has lots of images I use to visualize my work:
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