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Writing About the Forgotten #folklore #mythology #amwriting

Last week we looked at what I write: Dark Fantasy. This week we’re looking at what features in my writing.

Once upon a time I wrote about what folklore is and why folklore is important. I wrote about how we embrace it in our Disney movies and young adult novels – disguised as fairy tales.

And I even looked at the different aspects of folklore and how I like to use any form to inspire a story.

Today, though, I want to look at the places the folklore I use come from.

Norse mythology

Valkyries – warrior women who bring the fallen heroes to Valhalla in preparation for Ragnarok. Odin – god of wisdom and king of the Norse pantheon. Thor – warrior of the gods. Loki – fun-loving trickster god.

I’ve used the Valkyries in “Black Moon”. I used Odin, Thor and Loki in “Breaking the Habit” which is part of the Grumpy Old Gods anthology.

The pantheon is much larger than just those I’ve mentioned and there are loads of stories yet to come that will feature gods/goddesses and creatures from Norse mythology.

I have used the Duergar – a type of dwarf – in my writing (especially in “Once… Tales, Myths and Legends of Faerie”). You can see more about this creature on my Origin of the Fae page and the linked folklore page dealing with this interesting creature.

Greek mythology

Furies – avengers of the wronged and they collect souls to fight for them when the world ends. Charon – accompanies the dead to their place in Hades. Sirens – beautiful women who lure sailors to their deaths and then feast on their bodies while they are in their half-bird, half-woman form.

I used the Furies in “Black Moon” as the antagonists the Valkyries have to face. I used Charon in “How You Remind Me” which is part of the second Grumpy Old Gods Anthology, to show how death deities from different pantheons can work together. I’ve used the Sirens in various short pieces in my Faery Tales series.

There’s an entire pantheon – Zeus, Hades, Poseidon and those under their dominion – to still write about. I’m especially interested in Persephone and doing a whole series about her… I have used various nymphs in my writing (dryads, other tree nymphs, water nymphs, etc.) and they can be viewed on my Origin of the Fae page and read about in my Faery Tales series.

Egyptian mythology

Anubis – god of funerals and accompanies the dead into the afterlife. Osiris – god of the underworld. Horus – warrior god. Set – loves disorder and a bit of mischief, war god. Ra – sun god and king of the Egyptian pantheon.

I used all of them in “How You Remind Me” which is part of the second Grumpy Old Gods anthology.

I haven’t used the Egyptian pantheon much in my writing thus far, though I am working on a series (shh!).

Roman mythology

The Roman pantheon is much the same as the Greek one and filled with interesting characters that can fill books. I have used some of their creatures, though I haven’t made them main characters.

Celtic Faeries

I get most of my ideas from Celtic Faeries. It is where my interest in faeries came from in the first place. There are various fae – far too many to mention in this post – but they can be viewed on my Origin of the Fae page. My favourites to use are the Cù Sìth (faery dog), Caìt Sìth (faery cat), Gancanagh (faery lover), Leannan Sìth (faery muse), the Cailleach (queen of winter), and Barguest along with Dagda (they work together in the Underworld).

Stories involving them are in “Once… Tales, Myths and Legends of Faerie”, “Dark Desires”, and my Faery Tales series.

African Faeries

I have done folklore posts about the Jengu (African mermaid), Tokoloshe (type of goblin), Obayifo (type of vampire), Werehyena, Sasabonsam (ogres), Yumboes and Kishi.

I have used the myth of the Werehyena in my Faery Tales series, but the rest are in another series you’ll just have to wait for!

European Faeries

Vila, Domovoi, vampires, werewolves, elves, imps and many more feature in my writing. These fae all have their own hierarchy and differ from region to region. I’ve changed them to work better in my own version of Faerie and have used them in various books. The Vila, imps and others feature in my Faery Tales series, while the Domovoi are strongly represented in “Once… Tales, Myths and Legends of Faerie”.

Asian Faeries

Mostly dragons and the yokai from Japan are what fascinate me. I’ve used these worm-like dragons in my Faery Tales series along with Yuki Onna and Tsurara Onna. I’ve also done various folklore posts regarding them. I’m still researching the yokai and I’m having a marvellous time.

I have found many creatures/beings to write about from all over the globe in my fairy books, but some seem to still be part of living religions. I steer away from those because I’d rather not anger anyone on the basis of religion: my themes (especially the hot button issues) seem to take care of that already.

Do you have a favourite folklore creature? Do you enjoy folklore? Do you have a favourite type of folklore you like to read about? Are you more clear about what you will find in my books? Remember to click on the links to learn more about the fae and the books they appear in!

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