Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Author Interview: Karen Heenan

Thanks for joining us today, Karen! First thing’s first, what inspired you to write Songbird?
I’ve been somewhat Tudor-obsessed since I was a kid, and I read a lot of Tudor history. This story was inspired by something mentioned in passing in a bio of Henry VIII, that he was such a music lover that he once bought a boy to sing in the royal choir. That character does exist in Songbird, but I came up with Bess’s storyline because I wanted to explore what it would be like for a girl to be sold by her parents—it gave her a better life, obviously, but as a child, that wouldn’t be your first thought.
Tudor history is definitely one of the more interesting periods. Are there any themes, symbols, or motifs in your story? 
Finding out where you belong is really a big part of the story. It’s important for everyone, obviously, to feel that they belong somewhere, but if you don’t have a family or a stable living situation, it’s more difficult to figure that out, and sometimes it leads to some bad decisions. At least on the part of Bess.
I think that’s a theme that many people will relate to. Let’s switch gears a little bit: Who is your favorite character?
That’s a tough one. Bess, because she’s my main character, and the story is told through her point of view (and because I see a lot of myself in her), but also Tom, because I put the poor guy through so much.
It’s hard to pick my favorite, but I’d lean toward Bess myself. Did you find it difficult to research for your novel?
More the opposite—I found it difficult to STOP researching, because there’s just so much out there about the period, and one tiny question can lead to books and websites and blogs and another book…well, you get the idea.
There’s definitely a lot of information out there! What about this time period drew you in?
This has always been an interesting period for me, but I hadn’t originally intended to write about it, because there’s a world of good Tudor fiction out there. Then again, there’s a world of Tudor fiction, and those of us who read it are always looking for new stories or points of view, and I thought I found a new way to look at the era without making it specifically a Henry-and-the-Wives book (though they’re in it, of course).
Henry VIII made the period feel a little more like Keeping Up with The Tudors compared to other periods. Do you have a favorite wife of Henry VIII?
I have two—Anne Boleyn, because if she hadn’t come along, Henry might have stayed married to Katherine of Aragon, England would have stayed a Catholic country, and all of Europe might have been different, and Anne of Cleves, because she kept her head and got a great life out of giving Henry what he wanted, which in her case was a divorce.
It’s hard to choose a wife, but I think my favorite would be Anne of Cleves for the same reason. But enough about history—if you can even believe I’m saying that—who are your favorite authors? 
Dorothy Dunnett is my absolute favorite—her Lymond Chronicles are a master class in historical fiction. I also love Mary Doria Russell, Barbara Kingsolver, Laurie Colwin, Libbie Hawker, and Margaret George. Mostly historical fiction but not all.
All great authors. I’ve got one last question for you before I let you go: What can we expect next from you?
I’m working on two different books at the moment. One is about two sisters during the Great Depression, set in coal country and Philadelphia. The other, which I just accidentally started, is another Tudor novel about a supporting character from Songbird. Your guess is as good as mine as to which will be finished first.
Both sound really interesting! Thanks for joining us today, and readers don’t forget to come to the launch party on November 2nd for your chances to win a free print copy of Songbird!





Songbird


By Karen Heenan

Bess has the voice of an angel, or so Henry VIII declares when he buys her from her father. As a member of the Music, the royal company of minstrels, Bess grows up within the decadent Tudor court, navigating the ever-changing tide of royals and courtiers. Friends come and go as cracked voices, politics, heartbreak, and death loom over even the lowliest of musicians. Tom, her first and dearest friend, is her only constant. But as Bess becomes too comfortable at court, she may find that constancy has its limits.

You can pre-order your copy here.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Tips to Take a Great Author Photo

Make your author profile look professional, even if you can’t afford a photographer!
B. C. Marine, CAO Authors 4 Authors Publishing
As authors in the age of social media, having the right image to represent you is more important than ever. Now, we writers tend to be solitary creatures by nature, so the thought of having your picture taken makes most of us want to hide. That’s okay! I’m here to help you with some tips and tricks to get you an image you’ll be proud to upload—or at least less embarrassed. There are many alternative ways to create a profile picture, such as a logo or drawn portrait. But the vast majority of authors use a headshot—and it’s what most readers expect—so today, so that will be our focus.
To provide some context and practical application, I’m going to use my author photos as an example. This is not because I think I look especially awesome but because I know exactly why I made the decisions I made and can walk you through them.

Get a photographer...or a friend...
Or at least a warm body. While you don’t necessarily need to hire a professional, your official author photo is usually not the best place for a selfie. Why? Even a zoomed-in or close-cropped image will not look the same as one actually taken within arm’s length of your face. When the camera is too close, it will distort your face, making whatever is in the center—usually your nose—look larger and rounder. Another person will be able to stand farther from you and get a more flattering angle.
In my case, I opted for a professional. My second son was only a few months old at the time, and I was still feeling deeply self-conscious about the extra baby weight, so it felt worthwhile to pay someone who get the right lighting and poses. However, as you’ll see, I saved money elsewhere. If you have a talented friend, are highly photogenic, or simply lack the funds, you can still get a good photo without a professional photographer, but I definitely recommend having someone to take your picture.

Choose an inspired background.

This is important to pick first because it will affect most of the other choices. What kind of author are you? Are you serious or whimsical? Do you write a lot of urban, historical, or fantasy? Your background can reflect that. An old barn door might work for a historical or ranch romance writer. An indoor photo against a plain background would be good to keep the focus on you. For me, the Pacific Northwest is a huge influence in my work, so it was important to take my photo in the forest.
Although the background is an excellent place to add some personality or flavor, be careful that you don’t overdo it. If your background is too busy, you can get lost in it. So for mine, we took pictures in just in front of things—a tree, a trellis, a pond—but if we’d tried to capture large sections of the garden behind me at once, it would have been too much.

Dress like yourself—mostly.

While it is important to look like yourself or make a statement, don’t get so hung up on that that you discard some basics. You want to be comfortable, because it will show in your photo if you aren’t, which means not wearing something you’d never normally wear…to a point. If you wear T-shirts and sweatpants every day, you’ll want to step it up a bit for a professional image.
Much like your background, simple clothing is better to keep the focus on you. A plaid shirt is a Pacific Northwest staple and essential to my closet as well, but I went with a solid-color sweater instead because busy or bold prints can be distracting.
You’ll also want to take into consideration your overall coloring when choosing your background and clothing. In my example, white or pale pink would fade into my skin tone, so they would be poor choices for me but might look lovely for someone else. And anyone who knows me well wouldn’t be surprised to know that green is the predominant color in my wardrobe and is usually flattering on me, but I didn’t choose it for my picture. Why? Because with a background of leafy plants, a green shirt would blend in and make me look like a floating head. Instead, I went with a rich burgundy sweater to complement both my coloring and the green in my background. Though not my all-time-favorite color, it was still a shirt that I liked and would wear—and do, in fact, wear fairly often now.

Make sure you’re well groomed.

This might seem obvious, but make sure your hair—if you have it—is properly styled, cut, and colored as needed. You don’t need to change your whole look, but if you have a couple inches of roots from a grown-out color or are overdue for a haircut, schedule to have that taken care of before you plan to have your picture taken.
Admittedly, this is where I had an advantage in saving some money. As a cosmetologist, I have the training, tools, and products to do my own hair and makeup, but there are some tricks to save money here for you too. If you get your hair cut or colored the day of your photo, it will be styled as part of the service. Even if it’s the type of salon that charges extra for styling, it should still cost much less than a blowout or shampoo and style on its own.
You can also get a demonstration or mini-makeover from a cosmetics store or department if you’re shopping for something. Granted, not every store will do this, and some will only do part of your face to discourage people from scamming makeovers. However, if you buy at least one of the products they use on you, you can make it worth the salesperson’s while.
Lastly, hair and makeup tend to diminish in front of the camera. You don’t need to look like you’re entering a 1986 Texan beauty pageant, but a little extra volume in your hair and slightly more makeup than you’d ordinarily wear will look normal in a photo.  

Take a gazillion photos and poses.

You’re not likely to get the perfect picture on the first shot. Try as many angles and poses as you can, including different facial expressions. In this digital age, it’s not like you’re going to run out of film! Sometimes, the best image will turn out to be the one you least expect. My favorite picture ended up being one of the last ones taken of me during my shoot.
When you pick out your official image from all the pictures you take, it can also help to have some input from others. Get someone you trust to be honest with you to take a look. Certain aspects like approachability or pensiveness can be difficult to gauge about yourself. You might think a photo makes you look serious when it actually makes you look angry or intimidating.

Remember that it’s a headshot.

The primary use of your author photo is for the back of your books and profile images on social media. These are usually teeny tiny pictures, the social media ones tend to be cropped in a circle now. You want to make sure people can see you in them. A traditional headshot is the best way to do that as it will have your face somewhat centered and taking up an ideal portion of the image so that you can be seen well without being cut off. For a larger picture like your author website, a shot from the waist up or even a full-body shot might work, but you’ll want to crop or zoom to no lower than mid-chest for a headshot. Further out than that, your face becomes difficult to distinguish in a profile picture.

Relax!

Pictures can be replaced, especially if you’re taking a lot of them. It’s not the end of the world if some of them don’t turn out. The more fun you have with your shoot, the more it will reflect in your expression. Remember how I said some of my best pictures were at the end? That’s partly because I was less stiff and comfortable with the process by then; my expressions were more natural. So relax and go with it!


I hope some of these tips will help you with your next author photo. Join us next week for our interview with Karen Heenan, author of Songbird.

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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

World Building: Why Don’t You Have Any Pants On?

This isn’t a nudist colony; put some clothes on your characters!
Rebecca Mikkelson, CBD Authors 4 Authors Publishing
Oh, Sweet Baby Jesus, congratulations to us. We’ve finally made it to the end of this worldbuilding series, and if you’ve read this whole thing, you deserve a gold star. Two gold stars, even. I wanted to make this my last post in my series because often, clothing is the last thing that authors think about for their characters. Poetic, right? I thought so.
What do people wear?
What we wear is a reflection of our personality, and what our wants are...most of the time. There are always exceptions to the rule, like having to wear a school uniform or living in a time period or country that has religious restrictions on the type of clothing people—women, especially—can wear.  
Names of certain types of clothes can be a little tricky. When you go into specific articles, you can either do a fantastic job of describing it so there’s no question as to what the character is wearing, or you can name it. For the latter option, I would highly recommend adding A Dictionary of Costume and Fashion: Historic and Modern into your library.
Is it era-appropriate?
This is mostly going to be for the people who are writing historical fiction or historical fantasy, but it can be useful if you’re making up your world and having it set in an era based on Earth’s history like myself. First, you’ll need to figure out what century your story will be set in, be it the late 1800s during the Victorian or in the Renaissance in the 1300s.
My recommendation for an amazing visual guide—sometimes you don’t know what you’re looking for until you see it, you know?—to putting realistic clothing in your world is What People Wore When. This book has served me, and others, very well. If you want the basics of what not to do in your fantasy world (or real-world Historical Fictions!), I’d give Medieval Underpants and Other Blunders: A Writer's (& Editor's) Guide to Keeping Historical Fiction Free of Common Anachronisms, Errors, & Myths a read.
Trends
Girl, that dress was so last season. 
Do your characters care about fashion trends? If they do, you’re going to need to figure out if they’re going to be the same fashion trends that we see in the real world, or if you’re going to be making them up all on your own. Maybe your fashion trend is going to be golden brassiers with flowing gossamer dresses that end in a cathedral train. Would it be ugly? Sure would. But beauty standards are determined by the masses following suit, not one person's opinion on how ugly a thing might be. And that’s also not to say that there aren’t ironic trends, where the wearing knows that the fashion is hideous but wears it anyway to fit in. 
Another thing you’ll need to consider about fashion trends is what happens if someone doesn’t follow them. Will they be a social outcast? Will anyone care? Only you can prevent forest fires decide.
Social Status
The richness of our clothes often reflects the wealth that the wearer has. So what are going to be some indicators in your world that someone is of a higher social class? Will they have lace collars that are made by nuns in the mountains who hand rear silkworms like they’re heaven on earth? Or will they have a jacket or dress made out of handmade velvet that can only be produced eight inches per day, costing $250 per yard? Do they have a dress dyed with the ridiculously rare and expensive ultramarine? Are they dripping with jewels?
On the flip side, how is someone shown as poor? Do they have holes in their clothes? Do they wear clothes made only of muslin? Is there a certain style of dress that the poor wear, such as plain day dresses rather than fancier dresses that require hoop skirts or bumrolls? Something as simple as length of fabric is a big indicator too since more fabric means a greater cost. Certain types of fabrics that are affordable to the masses? Do they only have simple silver or gold wedding bands when they marry instead of lavish precious stones—or have no jewelry at all?

Traditional Dress

I left this out of my talk about culture in You’re Not From Around Here, Are You?  so that I could talk about it here. These are going to be outfits that people wear at religious ceremonies, like a white robe at a baptism or a lehenga at an Indian wedding. 
So what traditions will you have a specific dress for? Will you have coming of age ceremonies where a teen becomes a woman and wears a wedding dress for all to see she’s marriageable—similar in a way to a quinceaƱera. Will you have solstice celebrations where men and women have certain clothes to wear and certain ways to do their hair? Do your religious orders have ceremonial robes that they were day-to-day or only on high holy days?
Knowing your traditions and what people wear for them will help make your world richer and more relatable to our everyday lives. 
Uniforms
This is also something that I left out in another blog post—This Means War! in case you were wondering—because it was already astronomically long, and it would fit better in this post anyway. However, this section isn’t going to focus solely on military uniforms, but uniforms in general. 
So what do people in your world need uniforms for? Do you have schools that only wear uniforms for their everyday wear so that all the students have to think about are their studies? Does your military have all one uniform, or do they have a daily working uniform and a dress uniform? Several dress uniforms? What colors are they?
Does your police force have a certain uniform, or do they wear normal clothes to do their jobs with a pin indicating their profession? Do your sports teams that have uniforms? What about prisons? Though, for some of these, it’s less a matter of whether they exist, but whether you need to mention them in your story.


Thanks for sticking it out with my worldbuilding series. Join us next week when we give some tips on taking an author photo. 

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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Author Interview: Madison Wheatley

Thanks for talking with us today, Madison! Shall we dive right in? What inspired you to write Ambrosia?
Well, not surprisingly, I thought of this story while at the gym. My husband and I had recently joined a local YMCA. It was winter break, and we didn’t have much else to do, so there were days when we spent hours at the Y without intending to. Exercising was hard to start, but once I got into a “groove,” there were times I didn’t want to stop. My mind wandered a lot while I was in that state, and while running around the track, I thought, “What if I couldn’t stop working out?” So as I worked out that afternoon, the pieces clicked together for Ambrosia. I started planning a story about a girl who gets sucked into a magical gym and gradually loses her memories of the outside world. 

I think the gym is one of the best places to brainstorm—especially if you forget your earbuds. Are there any themes, symbols, or motifs in your story? 
Different themes will stand out to different readers. For me, though, the strongest theme in this novel is that of the consequences of burying one’s past. Crystal, the protagonist of Ambrosia, carries a load of regret and shame on her shoulders, especially when it comes to her ex-boyfriend’s death. Since his last words to her were a dig at her weight, she blames all of her pain on her body. This self-hatred is what causes her to obsess over Mount Olympus in the first place, and it’s what she must overcome if she has any hope of escaping. 

As for symbols and motifs, water is prevalent throughout the novel. I was a swimmer throughout childhood, and some of my favorite memories have involved water, so water shows up in a lot of my fiction and even some of my poetry. No surprises there. There are other symbols in the novel as well, but I’m not going to go over them. I’m an English teacher, after all, and if I start talking about symbols, before you know it, I’ll have typed a five-paragraph essay in MLA format, complete with works cited page. I’m more than happy to talk with readers about any symbolism they find interesting, though! 
We can be the same way when you get us on a subject. Let’s switch gears a little bit: who is your favorite character?
I’ve grown to love Crystal. I didn’t always feel that way. There were times I wanted to grab her by the shoulders and give her a good shake. I mean, it drove me crazy how she sabotaged her own happiness. However, beneath Crystal’s cynical exterior is an undercurrent of hope. Throughout the novel, this hope flickers and wanes, and at times, Crystal tries to snuff it out entirely. But it’s there all the same. I mentioned themes earlier, and the power of hope is another theme that ties the novel together.

I had fun writing the secondary characters, too. From Sasha—the over-excited receptionist at Mount Olympus—to Rory—the charming fitness enthusiast whom Crystal crushes hard over, each character has some little quirk that makes them fun to work with. 

Speaking of Crystal, she struggles a lot with self-confidence. Is this something you struggle with? 
Yep. I didn’t always struggle. As a kid, I had no shame; I was boisterous and rambunctious and didn’t care what anyone thought. As I transitioned into my teenage years, though, things changed, as they often do for teens. For a variety of different reasons, I became hyper-aware of myself. The opinions of my peers meant a lot to me, and it seemed that no matter what, I couldn’t seem to measure up. I was anxious, bigtime. 

I’d like to say that that anxiety has gone away, but it hasn’t. I’m working on it, though, which I know is something a lot of people my age can relate to. Crystal has gone through a lot of issues that I haven’t experienced, but her insecurity? I get that. Writing Ambrosia didn’t “fix” my self-confidence issues, but it did help me to explore them, which was cathartic in its own way. I hope that it will do the same for readers. 
We hope it can do the same for the readers, too! The gym is named Mount Olympus, and they have a drink called Ambrosia. Do you have a love of Greek mythology?
I find mythology in general fascinating; it’s something that my husband—a huge history and mythology nerd—love to bond over. Before I wrote Ambrosia, I didn’t intend to reference Greek mythology as much as I did, though. At first, only the concept was connected to it; the story was loosely based on the tale of the Lotus-Eaters in The Odyssey—an account of how Odysseus’s men were entranced by a magical flower that kept them from wanting to leave the island where it bloomed. But then, one thing led to another. I thought, “Ambrosia is a good name for this magical beverage.” By that point, naming the gym Mount Olympus seemed like the perfect way to tie it all together. 


That certainly does tie it all together. Tell us, who are your favorite authors? 
First, let me get a little nostalgic. As a teenager, I devoured novels by Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti. They instilled in me a love of thrillers, and without them, I’m sure I wouldn’t have written Ambrosia in the first place. 

Throughout adulthood, there have been many authors that have inspired me as a writer, authors whose work boasts complex characters and strong themes. Some examples include Neil Gaiman, Blake Crouch, Tomi Adeyemi, Toni Morrison, Patrick Ness, and Gillian Flynn. 


Last question, and we’ll go ahead and wind this down. What can we expect next from you?
I’m working on a modern fantasy novel. It tells the story of a naiad-like creature—here I go again with Greek mythology!—from another universe who’s trying to learn the truth about her magical origins. I’m currently in the pre-writing stage, and I’m looking forward to knocking out a full draft during NaNoWriMo 2019! 


That sounds really interesting; we’re looking forward to it! Readers, don’t forget to join us for the launch party this Saturday for an opportunity to win a free print copy of Madison’s book!

If you can’t wait, you can get your copy here.



Ambrosia

By Madison Wheatley

Two words have haunted Crystal for years: fat pig.

So when a handsome and athletic stranger promises that his gym will change her life, how can she say no? With its cutting-edge facilities, beyond-friendly staff, and endless free samples of Ambrosia, their signature energizing sports drink, Mount Olympus seems too perfect to be real—and maybe it is. Crystal needs it all, but is she willing to lose more than just weight?

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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

World Building: It’s the Arts, Darling

Art and entertainment within your world
Rebecca Mikkelson, CBD Authors 4 Authors Publishing
Art is an expression of who we are as people at any given time. It is how we communicate with others, through song, brushstroke, or poetic prose. There’s a huge variety of what can be used for the purpose of entertainment. So what will that look like in your world?

The Arts

All art isn’t just paintings from old dead men hanging up in museums. Sure, you’ll have that, and you’ll need to know what styles they're painted in, the kinds of colors are typically used, and other mediums art can be made in, like plays, operas, television, and movies. 
Physical arts
Your physical arts are going to be your paintings, sculptures, monuments, etc. Essentially, anything that is made by physically doing. What is this going to look like in your world? 
Let’s talk about paintings first. Some colors are extremely rare or dangerous to make, so what will your artists do in those situations? Will they have patrons to provide for them, or will it be added to the cost that they charge their clients for their work? We’ve had many different periods and styles of art throughout history, my favorite of which is during the Baroque period when Caravaggio uses Chiaroscuro. So, in your world, will you have art from bygone eras that your artists will strive to be like, or will everyone paint how they want, when they want?
Next, let’s talk about sculpture. It’s equally as old, if not older, than paintings. There are two kinds, though: additive and subtractive. Subtractive will be your carvings in wood and stone. Totem poles are one example, beautiful works of art that tell the history of people. Your additive sculptures will be works made out of clay, where layer upon layer is added, or parts of the sculpture are attached or enforced with metal.
But with either of these mediums, how are they going to be taught? Will artists only be true and respected if they’re members of a prestigious art society that abides by certain rules of creativity and style? Does it matter how one learns as long as they’re good at what they do?
Media arts
You might argue that visual media isn’t art, but it’s an art form in and of itself. Creating a scene in a TV show or a movie that evokes feelings is a powerful thing. In your world, will you have people who specialize in this? Trained actors who entertain the masses? Cinematographers who study for years in order to achieve the perfect shot?
Another thing you’ll want to think about if you do have actors and filmmakers is how they’ll interact with the general population. Will paparazzo hunt down actors to show pictures of their everyday life just because someone wants to see it? Will they just be everyday people whom everyone appreciates for their skill but doesn’t harass? 
Performing arts
These are going to be your plays, musicals, and operas, all of which need a lot of skill to present. So how will your performers learn? Are there drama and performing arts schools? Music guilds to teach the ways of song making? Are composers taught what they know, or do only prodigies create music for your world?
Also, who can see these types of performances? Are operas only for the rich, or can every social class enjoy them? Do opera singers come regularly to perform at great houses or palaces? Do the poor have their own troupes that tour the country and make a social commentary about what’s happening in the political sphere so the common people can understand what’s going on through comedy? If you do have these troupes, does the government allow them to make social commentary at the politicians’ and/or monarch’s expense without fear of reprisal, or do they have to bring news to the people at their own risk?

Other forms of entertainment

There are other forms of entertainment that aren’t happening en masse as the above arts. These are going to be things like reading, playing chess, cards games, etc.
Reading
Clearly, this is going to be an important topic for you. You’re here because you’re writing a book and want to know a little bit more about worldbuilding. But is reading popular in your world? Are your books going to be mostly histories written by scholars? Are you going to have fictional works in your world? Long-form fiction hasn't always been prevalent as it is today because of the sheer expense of owning a book. Before the advent of the printing press, books were made by hand. Depending on the setting of your story, only very few will have the finances and privilege of owning a book of any sort.
Games
Games help us pass the time, and, depending on the game, hone our minds. Sometimes, the games will even be pertinent to the plot and how it works, much like in Kristen Britain’s Green Rider series. Karigan eventually has to win a game of Intrigue in order to save her own life and the lives of others. 
Video Games 
These types of games will feature more in your sci-fi or sci-fi fantasy works that are set in a time period where video games are viable forms of entertainment.  These can either be used to unwind or be professions as they are in today’s world. There are many who professionally play video games and even get sponsorships the same way you would in the world of skiing and other single-player sports. 
Gambling
How many people have we heard of who have gambling problems? Well...probably not a lot, but books, TV shows, and movies do have characters who are down on their luck because of a gambling problem. Now, you don’t have to have an unsuccessful, down-on-their-luck gambler in your world, but it is definitely a historied form of entertainment. These will include everything from card games and dice to betting on which team wins in whatever game someone is watching. 
So, what kind of games, if any, do you plan on having in your world? Something entirely new that you’ve made up? Familiar card games like Go Fish, or strategy games like chess? Who will play them, and will they be period specific?
Bread and Circuses
This is a slightly different beast but deserves mentioning nonetheless. Bread and circuses, according to Merriam-Webster, is a palliative offered especially to avert potential discontent. In other words, an appeasement by the government in giving food and entertainment to avoid any violence and uprising. These would be things like gladiator games where the poor were given bread so they had something to eat and keep them entertained or free public jousting tourneys where food and beer were plentiful. 
Go, Team!
Oh, look, the person hit the ball thing and people are cheering! How, uh, sporting?
Normally, this would go under games, but it really does tie into the idea of bread and circuses very well. Sports, such as football or the ancient Mayan game of Pitz, bring the masses together in a camaraderie unlike anything else. They provide structured and controlled outlets for natural urges toward violence and tribalism. Older sports were also used to keep warriors in peak mental and physical form since they usually involved martial skill and strategy.
What also ties into the bread and circuses is all the food that’s sold or made at these sporting events. These are things quintessential to some sports. Take baseball for example—you can’t go to a baseball game without getting a hotdog to enjoy while watching your favorite team play. And at football games, tailgating is almost a sport in itself to see who can make the best ribs or have the most fun at their pre-game bash. 


Join me next week for my final post in this worldbuilding series when I talk about clothing.

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