Monday, September 19, 2011

My Fairy Fae

What images does your mind conjure when you hear words such as 'dark fae'? How about 'faeries'? Or even 'fairytale'?

Most of us, when we hear the word 'fairy' tend to think of pixies or sprites, little winged faeries. There's nothing strange or scary about them. Often they're just tiny beautiful women with butterfly wings. The same way that angels are depicted as lovely human-sized women with white, feathery wings and gold halos.

This has driven me crazy since I became old enough to look up faeries for myself. I discovered so many variations from so many cultures, it made my head spin! There is more to faeries (the fae, the sidhe, the Good Neighbors, the Fair Folk) than Tinkerbell.

While they're only a myth, they're such an interesting myth that it's a shame to present only one aspect of them in books. Lately I've discovered some great adult and YA fantasy novels that breathed fresh air into the worn-out concept that all faeries are tiny, winged women who grant wishes. The fae in these stories were seldom tiny, seldom had wings, and only granted wishes if it would do nasty things to the wisher. That's when I officially fell in love with the fae.

I discovered that 'fae' included anything magical and often connected with nature. This meant fauns such as Puck in a Midsummer Night's Dream, the Lady of the Lake in the Arthurian legends, and even Jareth the Goblin King from the movie Labyrinth. Yet, popular culture still persists in depicting faeries in a single scope.

This is why I decided that my novels would include faeries - not Tinkerbell faeries, but faeries of all sizes and types. Good faeries, bad faeries, goblins, faerie fiddlers, royal fae, tiny fae, and hairy-legged goat fae. There are just too many myths withering away not to take advantage of them.

The novels that made me fall in love with faeries include:

The Dreaming Tree, by C.J. Cherryh

The Stolen Child, by Keith Donohue

The Replacement, by Brenna Yovanoff

What about you? What are your impressions of faeries in pop culture? Do you have any favorite faerie books?

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