A big welcome to Colleen Halverson who is here to telling us about The Legend of Black Annis and celebrating the release of CHILDREN OF THE VEIL, The Aisling Chronicles #2 (published on October 24, 2016 by Entangled Select Otherworld). Want to win a copy? Enter via the widget below.
The Legend of Black Annis
So many Celtic legends and folk tales inform my work on The Aisling Chronicles, but for my second book in the series, CHILDREN OF THE VEIL, my biggest source of inspiration came from the legend of Black Annis. She is often described as a crone or a witch who wanders the countryside in search of little children to eat. Some folklorists say her origins go back to the goddess Danu, sometimes called Anu, and still others say she might have derived from the stories surrounding a medieval nun of the name Agnes Scott (aka Black Agnes) who once lived in Leicestershire.
For me, though, I first encountered the tale of Black Annis in a song performed by the traditional Irish band, Solas. The song is originally by Icelandic folk singer Antje Duvekot on her album Little Peppermints. “Black Annis” is a haunting song about the secret terrors of childhood. One line in particular was a huge source of inspiration for this novel:
“When Annis built this cage, I saw the blueprints on the table
But I was too young to run…”
For me, these lyrics speak to the ways in which we are born into certain prisons, the blueprints of which we might glimpse as children, but won’t recognize them as cages until it’s too late. No doubt the parents of Leicestershire used Black Annis stories to keep their kids in check. Behave or Black Annis will get you! But these tales have their own origins in the perpetual terror of parenthood, the constant, haunting fear that there are forces beyond our control which, at any moment, could snatch our precious babies away from us. The irony of it all is that our children inherit this fear from us, this little prison, and at some point have to find a way to break free.
CHILDREN OF THE VEIL is about a lot of things, but much of the story explores the origins of Elizabeth’s parents, the cages they built for her before she even came into the world. I often say at its core, beyond all the magic and the romance and the Faeries, this novel focuses on the story of coming into one’s own power, and for Elizabeth, battling the spectre of Black Annis turns out to be integral to that journey.
If you would like to listen to the song “Black Annis” that inspired this book, I hope you’ll check it out on my Children of the Veil playlist on Spotify:
As a child, Colleen Halverson used to play in the woods imagining worlds and telling stories to herself. Growing up on military bases, she found solace in her local library and later decided to make a living sharing the wonders of literature to poor, unsuspecting college freshmen. After backpacking through Ireland and singing in a traditional Irish music band, she earned a PhD in English with a specialization in Irish literature. When she’s not making up stories or teaching, she can be found hiking the rolling hills of the Driftless area of Wisconsin with her husband and two children. CHILDREN OF THE VEIL is the follow up to her debut urban fantasy novel, THROUGH THE VEIL.
The CHILDREN OF THE VEIL tour giveaway!
The CHILDREN OF THE VEIL tour giveaway includes a signed copy of THROUGH THE VEIL and a signed copy of CHILDREN OF THE VEIL, a selection of stickers and pins from www.creepycompany.com, and a $50 Amazon gift card.
Enter the giveaway via the widget – Open to US Only
CHILDREN OF THE VEIL by Colleen Halverson
Available on October 24, 2016 by Entangled Select Otherworld
Elizabeth Tanner has one goal: to find her mother in whatever dimension she’s imprisoned. But to do that, she has to face her estranged father, and to do that, she needs a shot of whiskey…or seven. But after an attempt on her life and the return of her lost love, she wakes up with one hell of a hangover and a whole barrage of questions.
Finn O’Connell doesn’t know why the Fianna want him to aid Elizabeth in her search, but he’ll take any excuse to be near her again. Together, they dive headlong into the shadows of her mother’s secrets and find themselves embroiled in a Fae rebellion that will test Finn’s loyalties and their love.
With the Faerie realm verging on chaos, Elizabeth and Finn will embark on a quest that will lead them from the streets of Chicago to London’s seedy Fae underground. But rescuing Elizabeth’s mother means journeying to a place Finn can’t follow, and Elizabeth is forced to make a choice between finding her at last or saving her own soul.
The Aisling Chronicles are best enjoyed in order.
Book #1 Through the Veil
Book #2 Children of the Veil
Read an excerpt
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