A big welcome to Ryan Graudin who is here to telling us about The Mythology of All That Glows and celebrating the release of All That Glows (published on February 11, 2014 by Harper Teen). Want to win a copy? Enter via the widget below.
The Mythology of All That Glows
The mythology of ALL THAT GLOWS was heavily influenced by the legends and lore of the British Isles. I decided that if I was going to set a fantasy in Britain, that most of the fantastical elements should be rooted in actual folklore from England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and the surrounding islands. For example, every one of the soul feeders is actually based on a real spirit.
The Green Women – In ALL THAT GLOWS these are beautiful blonde spirits who dress in green and seduce men in order to consume their souls. Just before they feed you see the vicious, gray, withered creature beneath their beautiful veneer. I actually based these creatures on the Baoban Sith of the Scottish Highlands. They are evil female spirits who appear to men as gorgeous women clad in green. These spirits lure men into isolation, turn back into their demon form and devour the mortals.
Banshees – In ALL THAT GLOWS these spirits are women drawn to sites of death—morgues, funerals, graveyards, etc—and who can kill a person with their scream. They spring from Celtic Irish tradition. The Banshee in folklore are spirits whose distinct wailing foretells death. It is said that if you hear their cry your time on this earth is limited. In ALL THAT GLOWS Banshees also have the ability to shapeshift into hooded crows, stoats, hares and weasels, just like their folklore counterparts.
Black Dogs – Like Banshees, the presence of a Black Dog is a sign of impending death in English folklore. These spirits (which predictably appear as large black dogs) haunt moors, gravesides and are said to guard treasure. In ALL THAT GLOWS, Black Dogs are scavengers which only hunt at night. Like Banshees they’re drawn to sites of death (funerals, graveyards, etc).
I also used local and national legends for other parts of Emrys’s story:
Herne the Hunter – In ALL THAT GLOWS Herne the Hunter is a powerful spirit who dwells in and protects the shrinking woods around Windsor Castle. He appears with great antlers on his head and can command the Wild Hunt on the nights of the full moon. The actual Herne the Hunter is much the same. To see him and his wild hunt is said to be a portent of disaster.
King Arthur and Camelot – The legends of King Arthur are always swelling with magic, so I knew I had to integrate Camelot into the history of ALL THAT GLOWS. It appears mostly as backstory, explaining why Emrys and the other Fae are obligated to guard the modern day British royals. (Though more of this angle is explored in the sequel. But I say no more! *Spoilers!*)
Tower Ravens – This is perhaps my favorite of all the folklore I allude to in ALL THAT GLOWS. According to superstition, if the ravens of the Tower of London leave it, the crown will fall and the kingdom with it. I learned this while touring the Tower of London as a teenager, and I started wondering what would happen if the ravens left. And what if they chose to leave? In ALL THAT GLOWS the tower ravens are actually spirits with the gift of foresight. The Fae take their prophecies quite seriously.
These are some of the best examples of the British Isles folklore I used to create the mythology of ALL THAT GLOWS.
Ryan Graudin grew up in Charleston and graduated from the College of Charleston with a degree in Creative Writing in 2009. She is the author of All That Glows and The Walled City. She resides near Charleston with her husband and wolf-dog. You can find her online at www.ryangraudin.com.
Her work is represented by Josh Adams of Adams Literary.
Check out the other tour stops on the ALL THAT GLOWS blog tour!
2/10/2014- Fiktshun– Guest Post
2/11/2014- Two Chicks on Books– Guest Post
2/12/2014- All Things Urban Fantasy– Guest Post
2/13/2014- Kindle and Me– Excerpt
2/14/2014- IceyBooks– Intervie
2 signed copies of ALL THAT GLOWS and 2 tins of tea
ALL THAT GLOWS by Ryan Graudin
Available on February 11, 2014 by Harper Teen
Emrys—a fiery, red-headed Fae—always embraced her life in the Highlands, far from the city’s draining technology, until she’s sent to London to rejoin the Faery Guard. But this isn’t any normal assignment—she’s sent to guard Prince Richard: Britain’s notorious, partying bad boy and soon-to-be King. The prince’s careless ways and royal blood make him the irresistible for the dark spirits that feed on mortals. Sweet, disheveled, and alive with adventure—Richard is one charge who will put Emrys’s magic and heart to the test.
When an ancient force begins preying on the monarchy, Emrys must hunt through the London’s magical underworld, facing down Banshees, Black Dogs and Green Women to find the one who threatens Richard’s life. In this chaos of dark magic, palace murders and paparazzi, Emrys finds herself facing an impossible choice. For despite all her powers, Emrys has discovered a force that burns brighter than magic: love.
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