Thursday 17 January 2013

Rhiannon Paille on the Mythology of The Ferryman and the Flame

You know how much I love mythology, right? Well-Surrender looks like it has A  LOT of mythology and bits of story from multiple cultures. Here's Rhiannon to tell us more...

Surrender is such a unique story, where does all of that originality come from?
Hahaha. I’d love to say it comes from my genius mind, but it really doesn’t. I have a penchant for studying obscure things like Celtic and Norse myths, Buddhist, Hindu, Pagan traditions, witchcraft, metaphysics, parapsychology, ecopsychology, fairies, sacred geometry, sacred places, etc. I actually own a copy of the Bhagavad Gita, which is basically the Hindu bible.
I think that because I’m eccentric, my writing reflects that.

Why did you choose to name places, and people the way you did?
Avristar in its early days was Istalindir (which was a rip off of a Tolkien word). Before that I called the island Avalon (which was a rip off of Marion Zimmer Bradley) At some point I decided that to be original I had to be original. Still, if you read Mists of Avalon, or any Arthurian myth, you will notice a lot of correlations between Avristar and Avalon. One of the reasons I also changed the name was because I didn’t want to have the responsibility of tying my Avalon to the Avalon people are familiar with today. I was afraid critics would tell me my Avalon was inaccurate because it didn’t feature King Arthur or Morgan Le Fay or the Lady of the Lake.
In regards to the people, I went with the names that seemed to suit them the best. For some of them I took words from the Tolkien dictionary (Atara, Istar and Mallorn) but for others, they came to me with their names in hand. (Kaliel, Krishani and Pux.) I didn’t go into a lot of thought, when I needed a name, I chose one that sounded like it would suit the land. (Eurida, Rueann, Luenelle)

What is a Flame? (and where did that idea come from?)
The Violet Flame was something I stumbled across when I was eighteen. It was an accident. Further inspection into its life showed that current myth seriously misunderstands The Violet Flame, painting it as a thing, not as a living, breathing being. It’s traditionally from Eastern tradition, and people in the Middle East and Asia still meditate on the Violet Flame.
This was the starting point for my story centered around The Flames. At some point in my journey down the rabbit hole I found a reference to eight rays, which were related to the Violet Flame, though texts always called the Violet Flame the ultimate spiritual energy. It then listed off things the Violet Flame can do (erase karma, transmute energy) and because it sounded like a genie in a lantern (St. Germaine carried it in a lantern) I thought it would be interesting to craft a story around it.
That’s essentially how Kaliel became Kaliel.

Why a Ferryman? (and where did that come from?)
For the longest time, Krishani was simply Kaliel’s love interest. I knew I wanted it to be a tragic love story based on a girl who is a Flame (therefore hunted because of how rare she is.) and all she wants is to be normal.
Krishani didn’t out himself as the Ferryman until later. Sure, I was writing about his nightmares long before I put it together that he follows death, means he’s a Ferryman. I used to call him a Watcher because he was watching death . . . then it suddenly came together . . . Ferryman, Grim Reaper, Davy Jones, taking souls to the other side, etc. etc.
I don’t explore what Krishani is in Surrender because my focus was more on Kaliel. In Justice however, that’s when I began learning just how crazy being a Ferryman really is.

Who, what, why and how did Pux end up in the story?
Pux is actually Puck from a Midsummer Night’s Dream, and I have no idea how he got there. In the original first draft, Kaliel’s best friend is Luenelle. When I did my second rewrite there was this cute feorn hanging around my head all the time that was a trickster, na├»ve, young, and who ended up becoming Kaliel’s best friend.
Pux basically wrote himself into my story and then he took all the best scenes and all the best lines. (imho) In my version I made him a feorn, which is a half wolf, half man like creature. I suppose he’d be a werewolf in some cultures, but for the purposes of my series I called him a feorn.
I’ve had half a mind to ask Julie Kagawa how Puck ended up in her Iron Fey series or into Lesley Livingston’s Wondrous Strange series.

Why do Kaliel and Krishani have to marry the land?
In the early days in Ireland, Kings married the land as to honor that land and solidify their sovereignty. I took the idea from there and made it similar. Kaliel and Krishani marry the land because Avristar is a living being, as well as an island. It’s similar to the way nuns marry God. 

What other stories do you have in the works?
Wow . . . well I have . . . outlines for 17 other books. I’ve written and released three short stories in my Last City on Earth series, and I plan to put out three more stories for that one. Besides that I have a lot of first person urban fantasies outlined. One is about aliens, the other is about a doll. Either way I have enough to keep me busy for many years to come.

I really need to get round to reading this soon. But there's no excuse not to! Today. Surrender is FREE!!!! It's available for kindle on and for today only. We're trying to get it to 10000 downloads. Good luck! 
Rhiannon can be found on her blog, twitter, facebook and goodreads!

1 comment:

Thanks for taking time to read this!
Comments are much loved.
Nina xxx

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