The story is very Celtic in nature and I took the inspiration for it from an instrumental on Loreena McKinnett's Parallel Dreams album called Beltane Fire Dance. That song begins with deep, mysterious, pagan chants that suggest dark, cold nights filled with mists, the smell of distant fires, and glimmers of jack-o-lanterns. It slowly builds in tempo, backed by a rhythm of sheepskin drums, then adds fiddles and melody until it invites dancing and celebration. I tried to mimic that musical evolution in the scene where my protagonist, Brian, trudges through the woods towards a flicker of bonfires through the trees. It's also a picture of his struggle through fear and doubt towards hope.
Listening to McKinnett's song, it was easy to imagine the ancient Celts dancing around the twin bonfires of their Beltane (May Day) celebration. Old agricultural societies worked hard and coveted their times to take a day off and celebrate anything. I expect they filled tables with the food they grew, and their bellies with the beer they brewed. Their fire dance would seem strange to a foreign visitor, though he would appreciate the celebration, once he were welcomed.
I wrote Fire Dance last year (2011). Besides expressing my Celtic inspiration, I wanted to put out something good in a paying publication with a readership to gain some exposure for my work and see if I could get some kind of feedback. It took me eight months to get through two rejections. That reminded me why I self-published on Smashwords in the first place: the traditional publication process takes too long, and the feed back is too slow, and I'm too old for all that. I think it's better for me to use computer technology and the Internet, while both are viable and available, to directly and quickly reach readers.
So I put Fire Dance on Smashwords this past Tuesday, and downloads began immediately. They've continued steadily since. One person was even kind enough to rate it with four stars and say some good words about it in a review. Others thought enough of it to save links to it in their Smashwords libraries. Such little encouragements prompt me to carry on. They are a flickering light in the distance.
You can download Fire Dance for FREE on Smashwords at: www.smashwords.com/books/view/175950.
You can find Lorenna McKinnett's Parallel Dreams album, including Beltane Fire Dance, at: www.amazon.com/Parallel-Dreams-Loreena-Mckennitt/dp/B000000LXF