Thursday, April 29, 2010

Guest Blogger - Helen Scott Taylor

Celtic Mythology

My current series is contemporary fantasy and one of my favorite parts about writing fantasy is creating the world and especially the characters who populate the world.

Living in the UK, I concentrate on Celtic mythology as I have so much real Celtic history right on my doorstep. In each book of my series, I take my characters to different parts of the UK where they get involved with different types of fairy beings.

The home base for the characters in my stories has so far been Cornwall, mainly because I live in South Western England near Cornwall, which has long been my favorite part of the UK. When I searched the local folk law for a unique Cornish fairy race, the Cornish piskies stood out as the most fascinating. Existing stories describe piskies as small, but I used some creative license and made them human sized.

In the Magic Knot, the first book in the series, my characters had to face the cantankerous Irish Fairy Queen, who is Tuatha dè Danaan. These noble Irish fairies are trooping fairies who live in a group, and are described as tall and beautiful, descended from Greek gods—an ideal bloodline for my heroes! But I couldn’t visit Ireland without including leprechauns. So just to make sure the heroes of the first two books in my series aren’t too cocky, I gave them some leprechaun blood to deal with.

In The Phoenix Charm, I sent my hero and heroine to the beautiful rural corner of the UK called Wales. Welsh myth and legend contains tales of a Welsh Fairy King called Gwyn ap Nudd, who as well as being a fairy king, is also the King of the Underworld. The Welsh fairies called the Tylwyth Teg are tall with pale blonde hair and a nasty reputation. People believe they steal human children from their beds and replace them with changelings.

I also introduce an Arabian djinn character into The Phoenix Charm to add another element of mythology. I love layering in different types of mythology to enrich my fairy world.

For more details or to read an excerpt of The Phoenix Charm or The Magic Knot go to http://www.helenscotttaylor.com/

58 comments:

flchen1 said...

Helen, thanks for sharing about your series and the settings! I haven't had a chance to read these yet, but am adding them to the TBB--I love the sounds of your magical creatures!

Robin K said...

I have both the books and am eagerly waiting to read them!

Melanie said...

These books sound really good I will be adding them to my growing tbr list - so many authors to start reading from this week.

nmulder81 said...

This sounds very interesting! I will be adding them to my TBR list for sure! I watch Tinkerbell with my 5 yr old and often think...Tinkerbell needs a BF lol...then I think, oh yeah, this is a cartoon for kids.

Pamk said...

love the first one and the second is in my tbr pile. need nightshade's book now. Hope I remembered the name right it's been awhile since I read the first one.

Michele said...

Hi Helen, thanks for stopping by :)

I have read both of your books and LOVE THEM!!! When is the third one coming out???

Stephanie said...

Wow! The research you must do for these characters has to be amazing. I love mythology like this and you've created another fan for this series! Thanks for sharing with us today. I'm going to be adding two more stories to my TBR pile.

Thediscoera said...

I love it - the storylines sound so fascinating - this is what makes a book - interwining all sorts of fantasy with mythology and of course romance. Thank you for writing such stories. I am sorry I have not read any of your books yet, but it is never to late - LOL

Jan said...

Looks like a new author for my wishlist!

sonya said...

very nice
another book on the tbb list

Diana (Book of Secrets) said...

This sounds like a great series. I love to find stories set in Wales. I my family roots are Welsh, so it has always been an interest of mine.

Deb830 said...

Hi Helen -

I've read Magic Knot and really liked it. Unfortunately I still haven't gotten around to reading The Phoenix Charm. I love Celtic story lines and look forward to reading your book.

deb ;0)

SiNn said...

Helen I have both of ur books and they are Amazing i am totally hooked whens the next book coming out or a new series whats in the works?

mountie9 said...

Thanks it sounds like a good story. I enjoy books with a celtic story. One of my favs was Bertrice Small's A Moment in Time (also set in Wales)

Helen Scott Taylor said...

Hi everyone, thank you for stopping by to read my small contribution to Lucy's fab Readers at home Conference. For those who asked, Nightshade's book, The Ruby Kiss, will be out on December 28th. I also have a novella called The Crystal Crib in an anthology called A Midwinter Fantasy due out at the end of September. This novella is set in my Magic Knot world and, although it has a new hero and heroine, I reveal a lot more about Troy. (Who I have to admit is my favorite character.)

rhianona said...

Celtic Mythology has always been an interest of mine so it's great to see someone writing about it. I look forward to trying your books out.

erahime said...

It is always fascinating how dif. regions have such dif. folk tales/myths/legends/etc. Each bring such variety to a diverse and colorful world that it makes it more interesting to learn.

Bringing your own flavor to the tales makes it more unique. That's why your books have been so interesting to read, as other readers have already pointed it out here.

Please spread more myths for readers to know in your future books, HST!!!

s7anna said...

I haven't started this series as yet but it's already on my wishlist...I'm looking forward to reading it soon.

hugs,
Anna

LM's Drama Queen said...

Ooooh, I love books that incorporate elements of fantasy, especially fairies! I think it was so clever of you to make them human-sized. That is such a fun concept. I bet your books are a wonderful read!
Happy writing, Helen!

XOX
~*DQ*~

Lillie said...

I loved The Phoenix Charm and can't wait to read more of that world!

Eva S said...

The first book in this series was wonderful and the second is on my wishlist. I do hope there will be many, many more books to come!

Andrea Becraft said...

Oh your book sounds lovely! Thanks for blogging with us!

Jane said...

I would love to visit Cornwall someday. I'm also looking forward to reading your series.

Refhater said...

Very interesting. Thanks for visiting with us.

Cathy M said...

Great storylines, I have both on my wish list.

Lucy Monroe said...

Helen...I love Celtic mythology - what a cool sounding series! Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing time with readers at the RAH Conf. ~ Hugs, Lucy

Valerie said...

I really enjoy the world of mythology. It was one of my favorite classes when I was going for my bachelor's. I've always been particularlly fascinated by Norse, Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Celtic and Anglican myths. When I was still playing with Barbies (you know a few years ago, haha!) I named each of them after a God or Goddess and they had Mythic adventures! I even made out a list with a character sheet and cross referenced by powers/beliefs etc. Wow, I was OCD even then! LOL

I am looking forward to reading your book and exploring your world.

Elizabeth Amber said...

Interesting, Helen! I love that you layer different mythologies to make the world you create your own.

Elizabeth Amber
Dane, The Lords of Satyr

WK said...

Sounds like a great read!
hugs,
WendyK

Katy M said...

The books look great - I love books about the Fae! I'm adding The Magic Knot to my wish list. I look forward to reading it!

Helen Scott Taylor said...

Thank you all for stopping by to read my guest blog. Hope you enjoy the rest of the great blog posts today. I'm off to bed now as it's past midnight in the UK.

Cynthia Eden said...

I just love your cover!

Toni said...

Loved The Magic Knot and am looking forward to reading The Phoneix Charm. At least as soon as I get through finals.

Sherry said...

I haven't read either one of your books yet. I have the first one in my TBR pile though.

sstrode@scrtc.com

Nancy G said...

I am itching to get this book. I love the paranormal world, because anything is possible, and no one can say "that can't happen" because there are no hard and fast rules.

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

Cover lovely and story sounds fascinating.

mariska said...

I haven't read any of your books yet :) And really i would like to read this book !

LDee said...

Love the settings for your books. I'd really like to have like six months to just explore. And, in books like yours I can.

Lavada

Maria said...

Thanks for sharing about your books, have always been interested in Celtic Mythology and will definitely look these up!

Natasha A. said...

This series sounds awesome! Fairies, and djinn? oh yes!!!

Linda Henderson said...

I have always enjoyed magical beings and mythology so I'm sure I would enjoy this series. I can't wait to read them.

seriousreader at live dot com

robynl said...

I like the layering of different mythologies. Gives some very interesting reading.

Raonaid Luckwell said...

Ooh I loved The Magic Knot and The Pheonix Charm! They were also! I just can't wait for Nightshade's story

Sue A. said...

I'm discovering a lot of new authors here, thanks!

Lil said...

I am really enjoying the way fairies, leprachauns and goblins are being portrayed in fiction, nowadays. Look forward to reading your work.

Denise said...

Hi Helen! I loved your book. I had to get and its so interesting that you added so many mythological elements to it. I look forward to more of your work. Good luck to you and thanks for talking about your book!

http://denisealicea.com
http://thepenmuse.com

zina seawitch6464@yahoo.com said...

I love Helen's books, I have even won one- The Phoenix Charm, now I have to get the first one, anal about series if I like it.
Zina

donnas said...

Thanks for sharing today. I love mythology and your series sounds very interesting.

Rhea said...

Very interesting Helen. I look forward to reading your books.

Kerrin said...

OOh Helen the fey are very provoking reading! looking forward to your story. I really enjoy Karen Marie Moaning's work and though i don't read others to look for the same because all authors are different and unique i look forward to your take on the fey world!

Lady_Graeye said...

Thanks for being here today. This book has been on my wish list for quite sometime now. It sounds so good and the setting is surreal. I can't wait to buy it.

booklover0226 said...

Ever since I've won The Phoenix Charm, I've had The Magic Knot on my to buy list. I can't wait to read both books.

Thanks,
Tracey D

Margay said...

I love reading about the mythology in your books, Helen. You capture it so well and make me believe in it.
Margay

Carol L. said...

Loved The Pheonix Charm and have just got to get The Magic Charm. I love the mythology and everything Celtic.
Carol,L.
Lucky7450@aol.com

Armenia said...

Hi Helen, just stopping in to say I loved the Phoenix Charm. Celtic mythology is one of my favorite subjects to read.

Amanda said...

Realy starting to get into fanrasy. Would live to read this!

Kammie said...

Both of your stories sound terrific!

lrwirum said...

sounds like a great series. Very interesting characters. :-)

Larena