posted on November 9, 2022 by A.K. Wilder

Writing Fantasy Festivals and Celebrations

Thanks so much for having me back on the auspicious book birthday for Curse of Shadows (Amassia #2)!

To mark the celebrations, I’m giving away a signed copy (plus signed bookplates) of the first two books in this YA Fantasy series including (Crown of Bones, book #1 and Curse of Shadows, book #2. If you want to win, pop your name in the comments. I’d love to send these books to you.

And speaking of celebrating with me, did you know how good for our well-being these kinds of rituals are?

Celebrating milestones like book launches, holidays and seasonal festivals can give us a sense of belonging, a connection to our clan be they family, friends, or like-minded others. They become occasions to look forward to where we connect, engage, socialize, give and receive, not to mention they often involve an abundance of banquet style food.

But if celebrations are good for us in real life, they are excellent for our fiction. As authors. we can use rituals and celebrations to enhance the worldbuilding – the sights, sounds, smells, textures, tastes and history that make the fiction feel true. Celebrations in the story not only add atmosphere, they also help captivate readers by immersing them in the pages.

Fantasy festival like birthdays, weddings, seasonal celebrations, government holidays and religious ceremonies show the reader what the story-world is like. They can reveal a character’s beliefs, family relationships and outlook without having to tell the reader through dense descriptions and narrative.

These fantasy festivals might match ones we are already familiar with like the mid-winter solstice, Christmas, Hanukkah, birthdays, weddings, independence days, or they might be unique to the story world. In any case, they have the power to convince readers that the book is as plausible as our everyday real life.

As an example, below is a short slice-of-life excerpt from Curse of Shadows, a scene that begins as Ash readies for the mid-winter solstice eve festival.


I can’t wait to discuss what I’ve found with the others… which might be tonight. It’s mid-winter solstice eve, and we’ll all be at the feast, along with everyone else in Baiseen. Well, almost everyone. I pull Kaylin’s message out of my coat pocket and tuck it into a Sierrak dictionary. I remember where he is, off tracking Tann. I remember he’ll return soon, or so he promises. No need to keep the message on my person anymore like I do with other notes and reminders.

I dust my hands and slip in the greenstone earrings Piper loaned me, smiling at the fact that they are the color of his eyes—the ones I’ll be looking into again soon. Oh yes, I am recovering from this forgetfulness more by the minute. I smooth down my dress and smile at the mirror before going to meet my friends.

Samsen escorts Piper and me, one on each arm, into the great hall. I should say impromptu great hall. The actual building fell under Tann’s attack, but the pavilion they raised for solstice eve is spectacular. Candle lanterns hang in strings over the expansive dance floor. There’s an elevated platform for the musicians, and long tables so laden with food you’d never guess stores were in short supply. People are already dancing. Petén has gone all out and by the bones, he’s done a fine job.

I lean across Samsen to get Piper’s attention. He looks smart in his black riding pants and high boots, with a pale yellow shirt that matches his hair. There’s a dark gold waistcoat with a deep navy doublet over the top. Samsen’s outfit is a big improvement on his tattered savant robes, but Piper? She is stop-you-in-your-tracks stunning. Samsen can’t pull his eyes from her.

Her curtain of dark braids falls to her shoulders, the ends held tight with fire opal beads. And even though her outfit is not new, she has never looked better in the elegant mandarin orange dress with its high collar, snug fit, and finely embroidered long sleeves. … “Petén spared no expense,” she says, her tone neutral.

I wish Marcus had the same diplomacy. He’s livid about wasting stores and doesn’t try to hide it. On one hand, I agree, but as I look at the smiling faces of all gathered, the rich mixing with the poor, savants with non-savants, I can’t help but wonder. Was this such a bad idea?


Please feel free to share in the comments any special celebrations you have read or written about.

Giveaway reminder: Say hi in the comments to be entered to win a copy of Crown of Bones and Curse of Shadows along with signed bookplates.

Bright Blessings for the holiday season and the New Year of 2023!

Xx Kim (aka A. K. Wilder)

A.K. Wilder

A.K. Wilder

A.K. Wilder is a bestselling speculative fiction author with nine published novels in Australia. Originally from California, she lives on the far eastern coast of Australia with a house full of kids and one extraordinary spotted cat. Her favorite pastimes, besides daydreaming, include meditation, yoga, organic gardening, and weight training. Her novel writing is done in the early hours of the morning.

26 thoughts on “Writing Fantasy Festivals and Celebrations”

  1. Hey! Sounds like a good giveaway!

    1. Kim Falconer says:

      Wishing you good luck!

  2. bn100 says:

    nice cover

    1. Kim says:

      Thank you! the Entangled art Depo is amazing!

      Good luck!

  3. Kelly S. says:

    I’m so excited to return to this world! I’ve missed the gang!

    1. Kim Falconer says:

      Oh gosh! Me too, Kelly.

      I hope you love where the adventure leads!

      Good luck with the giveaway! 📖💙🙏🏼

  4. Hi! Great of you to offer these wonderful prizes!

    1. Kim Falconer says:

      Thank you. I’m so excited about this series!

      Good luck! 🙏🏼💙💦🔱

  5. Marilyn says:

    Ohhhh… I LUV your books… fingers crossed…🧡🧡🐸🧡🧡

    1. Kim Falconer says:

      Thank you, Marilyn! You’ve been so patiently waiting…

      Wishing you Good luck! 🙏🏼💙💦🔱

  6. Siouxane Martincic says:

    Awesome give away ❤️

    1. Kim Falconer says:

      Thanks, Siouxane! Good luck! 🙏🏼💙💦🔱

  7. Debra meili says:

    Thank you Kim
    Bright blessings to you too
    What a wonderfull xmas gift

    1. Kim Falconer says:

      Thank you, Debra.

      Bright blessings right back, and Good luck! 🙏🏼💙💦🔱

  8. Jenni Jones says:

    What a heart-warming excerpt, with a smudge of intrigue! Super excited for the release, I cannot wait to dive deeply into Amassia again!!
    Congratulations Kim. You must be getting very excited!!

    1. Kim Falconer says:

      Thanks so much, Jenni! It’s been wild… I mean, Mars Rx and Eclipse WILD!

      Deep breaths.

      And good luck for the win!


  9. Dreaa Drake says:

    Hi! Happy Thanksgiving! Ty for the chance! This cover is beautiful and I can’t wait to read it!

    1. Kim Falconer says:

      Thank you, Dreaa. I was so happy with the cover too!
      Good luck! 🙏🏼💙💦🔱

  10. Ann Poots says:

    Congratulations on the new book Kim.
    I can’t wait to read the next instalment.
    Thank you so much for a great give-away prize.

    1. Kim Falconer says:

      You are so welcome, and thank you too!

      Good luck! 🙏🏼💙💦🔱

  11. Tracy Willans says:

    I would love a copy of the new book. Must be time to reread the first one to catch up

  12. Kim Falconer says:

    I hope you love the next installment of the story!

    Good luck on the giveaway!


  13. Sam says:

    Very cool cover. Sounds like a good one. Thanks for the chance!

    1. Kim Falconer says:

      You are most welcome. Good luck!

  14. Amber says:

    Hi – if you haven’t picked a winner please toss my name in the crown. I love real books, signed even better!

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