Today’s guest blog post, on the topic of an unusual location, is brought to you by Marion Grace Woolley.
All The Fun Of The Fair
Who doesn’t like a circus?
From The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern to The Trapeze Artist by Will Davis, there is something darkly seductive and sinisterly suggestive about a carnival. They are places of possibility, where the fantasies of childhood outweigh our adult rationale, where the smile of a clown can brighten or frighten, and where deviations of all description are celebrated.
Those Rosy Hours at Mazandaran is set in the mid-1800s, where travelling circuses roamed as far as Europe and the Middle East, combining their wonders with local folklore and superstition, playing on a thirst for sights never before seen.
The book opens with the Shah of Iran listening to the story of a fur trader who has travelled from Russia with a troop of gypsies. Among them is a magician as ugly as sin, yet possessing the voice of an angel. Intrigued, the Shah offers a reward for the whereabouts of this circus, that he might bring them to Iran to entertain his daughter on her eleventh birthday.
The challenge for me was to create a circus that would enchant my characters, living in a world long ago, and my readers, wise to the tricks of Derren Brown and Dynamo.
To begin with, I drew upon my own memories.