So, as you may know from my last post, my novella, Beneath Blair Mountain, is being published as part of the Summer Writing Project 2015 Collection. The Summer Writing Project is an annual joint venture between 1888 and JukePop, which you can read more about in the link above (or here and here). And isn’t that a damn fine cover? Mariya Suzuki did a fantastic job on all three books in the collection, but I do admit to being slightly biased. Just look at those mountains! If those can’t spirit you away into the pages, the fey folk might as well pack up and go home.
Beneath Blair Mountain straddles the line between Horror, Urban Fantasy, and Historical Fiction to tell a story of New World ghosts and Old World horrors. You can read a longer description, along with a quote from my editor, Rebecca Johnson, describing me as “subtly haunting” here. Beneath Blair Mountain comes out this month and I can’t wait to see what y’all think. To stay up to date on when and where the book is available, check out the BBM Facebook page.
As the book was set largely in Appalachia and Boston and I am a myth major, I drew on a lot of lore to make this story feel both authentic and spine-tingling. For a glimpse into the folklore behind it, here’s a few articles that may be of interest (especially with Halloween and Day of the Dead fresh in our minds).
“Halloween in Irish Folklore” – Apparently I was spot on combining elf spiriting away stories with the dead walking the earth on All Hallow’s Eve, since I stumbled across this a couple weeks after my final edits on the manuscript. Validation, ho!
“The Last of the Granny Witches” – A unique glimpse at Appalachian witchcraft and its Celtic and Cherokee roots.
“Halloween 2014: The Origins of this Ancient Christian and Pagan Festival” – A quick taste of the complicated history surrounding Halloween and its various traditions and lore. I grew up celebrating Gate Night (my town is wacky and does Trick or Treating on the 30th) and have been aware of its veil-lifting lore since before I can remember, but I realize that not everyone is aware that Halloween isn’t just about candy and licensed costumes and used to be a lot more like Day of the Dead.
“The coming of the Christmas Visitors…Folk legends concerning the attacks on Icelandic farmhouses made by spirits at Christmas” – This article from Medievalists.net is what first got me interested in Icelandic elf/Huldufolk legends and echoes Irish fey folk legends. Despite being set on Halloween, I drew on many an Icelandic Christmas story for Lara’s plight.