You may have noticed the question or the requested comment that I’ve asked you, dear readers, to answer for me as part of this Bizarre Giveaway. What is your favorite magical creature? Dear Varla, why-ever do you want to know?
I’ve been working on a series of e-book only books for my publisher, Weiser Books, on the subject of Magical Creatures and we are very pleased to pre-announce that one creature in particular is making it to print early next year. And more will likely be on the way. So your comments are serving as more than a mere factoid–they are helping me help the publisher pick from my menagerie of banshees, werewolves, mermaids, phookas, and other crazy, creepy, cute, crawling creatures of mythical and magical proportions. So stay tuned, weigh in, and write to me about your favorite freaks! And in the meantime, buy my digital books!!
Ah, the Vernal Equinox. A time for gathering round the fairy ring and dancing two by two, drinking the dew from the Lady’s Mantle for eternal youth and beauty, lying in wait to capture a Brownie, or a Pixie, or if you are lucky, enslave a little Gnome.
The nature of the folktales of Ireland and Wales, collected widely throughout the latter part of the 1800′s by the likes of W.B. Yeats and William Wirt Sikes, were not always the “fairy tales” they’ve morphed into today. Like the Grimm brothers, Yeats and Sikes spent time traveling the countryside and writing down what had always been an oral tradition.
These beasties and beings, though not always evil or menacing, are always portrayed with an air of warning about them. The creatures of the Fairy Kingdom are working to trick you but if you get to them first you will have riches untold. The stories also serve as a warning: mainly to children and drunks to mind your manners and stay off the roads late at night.
Check out these collections of Welsh and Irish folklore I’ve curated as part of the Magical Creatures collection for Weiser Books.
The Occult Power of Goats
The Goblins of Electricity
The Malevolent Banshee
The Mermaid’s Prophecy
Merry meet and Happy Spring!
One of the books from the Magical Creatures collection I have been curating for Weiser Books shares this wonderful title: The Occult Power of Goats (And Other Welsh Tales of Goblins, Fairies, Gnomes and Elves). A wonderful collection of stories from the fairy kingdom by a collector himself: William Wirt Sikes
An American journalist, born in the 1830s, William Wirt Sikes lived in Wales at the end of his life (and died there). I like to picture him sharing a spot of tea with an old grandmother who shares with him a tale from her mother’s mother. Or perhaps smoking a pipe with an old farmer who’s seen with his own eyes some of the creatures who inhabit these pages and knows “for a fact” that the stories are true.
Remember too that in the rural parts of England and Wales, as well as Ireland, the people were not so removed from what now are thought to be mere stories. Though cynicism was setting in (you can detect notes of it throughout these works with the more clinical approach to “first-hand accounts”) many people lived their daily lives with a certain understanding and appreciation of the other realms. So these stories straddle the world of the invisible and the visible, the known and the unknown. Here you will find changelings, hobgoblins, pookas, dwarves, and fairies: night fairies, mountain fairies, water fairies… What’s a pooka, you say? You’ll have to buy the book to find out!
Available at Amazon and B&N and Sony and anywhere else you can get e-books for your silly little devices!
Today marks the launching of a new venture, so get out those lady luck candles and send your good vibes to Varla! Weiser Books has created a series of electronic books and yours truly is the official curator of the Magical Creatures and the Paranormal Parlor series. I’ve been combing dusty stacks and virtual archives to find lost and forgotten freakery for you lovers of the creepy, the curious, and the so old-its-new modern era of digital books. Each story or book features an intro by me. Not only are the stories interesting but the “back-stories” and author’s bios lend an element of appeal that can’t be planned! Think Lord Byron’s physician and a children’s author does horror, for starters…
Magical Creatures includes fairies, goblins, pookas, mermaids, mummies, vampires, werewolves, ghosts, devils, elves, and more! Basically all of the creatures you might find if you were to open up the cobwebby closet of my mind. I am completely and utterly thrilled and honored to be working on such an exciting project. It truly is a Brave New World!!
These books are available today on Kindle and will be available this week on other digital readers. I’ll send links when those go live!