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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Brenna Yovanoff on Celtic Myth

Hi everyone!  In honor of the Deranged Booklovers mythology event, I’m here to talk a little bit about the folklore in my book The Replacement. 

I always tell people that when I first started working on The Replacement, I never meant to write a faerie story. 

Which, when I step back and think about it, is totally ridiculous, since from the very beginning I knew I was writing a book about changelings.  And most of the mythology surrounding changelings comes straight out of faerie lore.

But when I first started The Replacement, I was entirely focused on the idea of the changelings themselves, and not at all on where they came from. Because I wanted to tell a modern-day story about a creature that people had pretty much stopped believing in by the time Queen Victoria was in power, I was entirely focused on how that creature’s life would look in contemporary society, where so many things are made of iron or stainless steel, which is toxic to the fae. 

It wasn’t until I’d gotten a few chapters in and started thinking about the larger implications of babies being switched in the middle of the night for other babies that I knew I’d need to talk about the faeries themselves.

I’ve always been fascinated by the strange and unsettling, and I knew the world I wanted to write about was one filled with people who were not only fantastical, but frightening in their own right.

The inhabitants of the House of Mayhem aren’t what one might immediately picture when thinking of faeries, but they take their roots in the same folklore.  The dead girls who wander Mayhem are direct adaptations of the Sluagh—what Celtic mythology refers to as the spirits of the restless dead.

The Sluagh were a perfect jumping-off place for the town of Gentry and the kind of world I wanted to create.

Brenna Yovanoff's debut novel is The Replacement, a story about a boy who was placed when he was a baby to substitute a human baby. Visit her HERE and HERE!


Vivien said...

I never really knew that much about Celtic myths. So fascinating!

In Julie's Opinion said...

I love Celtic mythology! I'm really excited to read your book, even more so after reading about how you came up with the idea and how it evolved from your original idea :)
jwitt33 at live dot com

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