Monday, July 22, 2013

Mythical Monday (19)

It seems there are many books based on or influenced by Myths and Mythological Beings.

There are so many different Mythology and Mythological Beings recorded. Some are very popular and well known, others not so much. There are many similar beings, yet different depending on the culture it’s based in.  The definition of Myth covers about anything in the Urban Fantasy/Fantasy realm to me.

I’ve invited authors to share briefly the Mythological being or Myth that influenced their character(s) or story, or what their character(s) are based on influencing their books.  Hosting here, one author and being or myth per week.

This week we have:
Fantasy author Jon Sprunk
Talking of Fae and Shadow.

Mythological Creatures: Fae and Shadow

Hello everyone. I’m Jon Sprunk, author of the Shadow Saga from Pyr Books. I want to thank Melissa for this chance to tell you about a mythical creature I used in my books: the Fae, as embodied by the character Kit.

Kit is eternally young, beautiful, curious, and a little strange. She can fly and doesn’t require nutritional sustenance. She’s also completely intangible to everyone except the main character, her best friend and the frequent target of her mischief. I actually didn’t plan Kit. She just appeared in the first chapter as I was writing, and she was so entertaining that I kept her in. And she’s been quite the happy accident ever since, playing a pretty major role throughout the trilogy.

As the name implies, my Fae are derived from the faerie world. Ever since I was a child, I’ve enjoyed stories about faeries and other fae creatures. They exist beyond human control, and as such they are inherently mysterious. My favorites were the stories with a decidedly dark tone. Kit is never evil or wicked (although she is frequently naughty). However, there is another side of the Fae coin: the denizens of the Shadow Realm. In my books, the Fae and the Shadow co-exist in the Other Side, a mythical realm beyond the ken of most humans. And while the Fae are generally life-loving creatures, the Shadow folk are corrupted by power and dangerous. If the Fae came to me through tales of faeries and sprites, the Shadow folk came from a darker place, the monsters under the bed and beyond the edge of the map. And like all truly horrible monsters, they come in human form (mostly).

The backstory of my series is that an exiled tribe of Shadow folk have entered the mortal plane, threatening to remake the world in the twisted image of their homeland. Enter the main character, Caim, who is half-Shadow and half-human.

Now, obviously, the Fae and Shadow are an allegory of the eternal struggle between Good and Evil. I think I was drawn to that overarching idea because the books, as seen through the viewpoint of the main character, don’t drawn many good/evil, light/dark divisions. These mythical beings became my moral lodestones, drawing me (and my characters) in either direction. Whenever Caim is wavering and unsure of his purpose (feeling the pull of his Shadow ancestry), Kit is there to remind him of his humanity. But she also exists as an example of the mystical world, the higher plane of existence which is the birthplace of our dreams and visions.

As a fantasy writer, the faerie tales of our Western mythology are a rich mine for ideas, and I’ve been proud to make my own small contribution to those tales.

Author Bio:
I grew up in central Pennsylvania. The eldest of four children, I attended Lock Haven University and graduated with a B.A. in English in 1992. Athough I had always been an avid reader of speculative fiction, it was during my college years that I developed a broader passion for literature and began my first awkward forays into fiction writing. Encouraged by my professors and peers, I set out after graduation to become a “Serious Writer.” Unfortunately, I had failed to notice the specter of Reality stalking at my back. When my disastrous first fantasy novel failed to find a publisher, I bent my knee to the Real World and sought gainful employment. Crushed, I thought my dreams were over.

Over the next decade I married (twice), changed jobs (numerous times), and after much soul-searching, returned to writing. Like most writers, I suspect, I tried to go it alone, seeking to pound my head through the glass ceiling of my innate talent through sheer willpower and effort. Finally, after many more rejections, I joined Pennwriters and attended their annual conference in 2004. I am both proud and ashamed to admit that I learned more in those two days about the business of writing than I had in the previous ten years. I was also getting the first inklings of why my fiction had not yet made me a household name. Up till then, I hadn’t known how to fashion a true story.

So, I did what any Serious Writer would do. I joined a writers’ group (Pennwriters, to be exact). And I read about the art of writing, a lot. I started to admit to myself that perhaps I could use a little help, that the next Great American Novel wasn’t going to spring from my head, full-grown and ready for world acclaim like some literary Athena.

Since then I have seen some success. I’ve had several short stories published and in June 2009 I signed a multi-book contract with Pyr Books. Best of all, I have the love and support of my wife, and that makes all the difference in the world.

Find Jon Sprunk:
Site:  Fantasy Author Jon Sprunk
Twitter:  @jsprunk70

The Shadow Saga books:


  1. Sounds really fascinating... Thanks for sharing this post!

    1. Thank you for stopping Silvia. I have to say I loved Kit in Jon's series. She is such a trip and fun. :)

  2. Very cool. Fae have fascinated me for years, in all of their different presentations throughout history and various cultures.

    1. Bibliotropic, I've always had a soft spot for Fae as well. They can be in any form or personality. :) So neat. Thank you!

  3. Yay :) I miss this series, i hope his new one comes soon

    1. Oh Blodeuedd, yes! And the new with ships! :) I got a small reading at Balticon. Hehehehe. ;)

  4. I like different takes on the fae. I also like the allegory. Oh so need to start this series.

    1. Melissa (B&T) I completely agree with you. I love the different fae. And yes, Hope you get to enjoy this series. :)

  5. Loving this take on the Fae and the other side of their nature.

    As always, great post. Loving Mythical Monday quite a bit!


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