Please join me today in welcoming debut author Lydia Dare! Yesterday, I had the pleasure of posting my review of her novel, A Certain Wolfish Charm. Today, she's visiting with us to discuss the always fascinating topic of legends... Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of her novel, A Certain Wolfish Charm. (2 winners, US and Canada Only)
Research is a funny thing, especially when dealing with history. I’m never quite sure what I’m going to find – which is actually why one researches, but I digress. Since my novels merge the genres of Regency and Paranormal romance, the type of research I have to do has changed. In fact, my Google searches would probably scare someone if they ever sat down at my computer and went through my browser history.
Legends of werewolves, vampires, and other creatures have been passed down for centuries, and they so resonated with those who heard them, they’re still talked about today. And since we readily accept vampires and werewolves in a contemporary setting, logic would only dictate that they existed in the past as well. At least that is the basis on which I build my world.
Still, I wanted to use local legends where I could, and that ended up being a bit more difficult than I’d initially anticipated. The last three books in this series (so far) are set in Scotland in 1817 and the heroes are honorable, gentlemanly vampires. Eastern European vampire lore was well established by this time, but finding something of Scottish legend was an exercise in futility, even for the most dedicated researcher. Apparently the Scots had enough legends of their own, and they didn’t feel the need to pilfer any from their continental counterparts. The only solid creature I could find was the Baobhan Sith, who were beautiful, seductive, fairy-like women. After nightfall they would entice men to dance with them and then drain them of their blood.
Thinking about the origins of this legend makes me giggle. I can just see some ancient Scot trying to explain to his wife why he didn’t return until the morning. He couldn’t tell her he’d been out all night drinking whisky. And he couldn’t tell her who he actually spent the evening with. So the Baobhan Sith was born. “It’s no’ my fault. I was on my way home, bringin’ ye the flowers I ken ye love, and the fog came up and this creature appeared and I couldna move. And then it started dancin’ and before I could run, it had drained me of most of my blood. I only barely got away, but I lost yer flowers in my escape.”
I am teasing of course. It was probably the other way around. Scottish women must have created the myth to keep their husbands and sons at home, and sober, where they should be. “Doona go out at night. The Baobhan Sith will get ye.”
Needless to say, that bit of research will go un-used by me. I can’t envision my vampire hero dancing like a seductive fairy to capture my heroine’s blood and then her heart. But the image does make me laugh. For some reason the movie trailer for Tooth Fairy with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson just popped into my head. That’s so not the image I want to base my hero upon. I chose to stick to the more commonly-known vampire myth we all know and love with a few twists of my own thrown in for good measure.
What about you? Have you ever wondered about the origins of any myths or legends? And if so, what did you come up with? Did anything truly surprise you?
Lydia Dare is an active member of the Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, where she sits on the board of directors. She lives in a house filled with boys and an animal or tow (or 10) near Raleigh, North Carolina. Visit Lydia: http://www.lydiadare.com/
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