Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Mythical Monday (24)

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 Celine Kiernan
Talking of Ghosts.

So many thanks to Melissa for inviting me to participate in Mythic Mondays. I am so so very sorry for being late with the post though! I swear I meet myself coming in these days - I've become the ghost haunting my own life!

I chose to write about ghosts today as they feature in many of my books and short stories. I used to believe in them, very much so, and come from a family where ghosts and ghostly appearances were recounted with absolute sincerity (I still believe in the sincerity of those accounts today ) Since my father's death I've become more ambivalent about my belief in an afterlife and so my actual believe in ghosts has declined. This doesn't mean I'm not open to any and all possibilities though, and certainly as a literary device they still fascinate me. (and probably never will considering my plans to write a children's novel in which a ghost plays a major role)


Ghosts: sentient echoes of the hidden past.

I have always been fascinated by the stories people keep from each other: the things we won’t tell and the histories we don’t discuss. I'm most especially fascinated by silences that are maintained (or enforced) out of the belief that forgetting is the best for everyone - as if ignorance of the past can ever help ensure a better future. These self -imposed silences exist everywhere. Mankind is always suppressing its own history-- or reshaping it in the telling. On a domestic level, many people go about happy lives blissfully unaware of the family dramas that have preceded them, the memories of which have been purposefully and tacitly consigned to silent cupboards and 'forgotten' by those involved.

Photo By: Adventures in Photography by Grace Kiernan,
But silencing the past doesn't always kill it. Sometimes the past seeps up through the cracks, like pollution in the ground water, often to the discomfort and despair of later generations. Emotional residue, social tension, instability: regardless of whether their origins are understood or not, these things can remain.

Ghosts are like walking scraps of such unwanted history. Pressing themselves into the world of the living, they intrude into the silence of the older generations. Unignorable and unavoidable, they force us, for better or for worse, to face our past. They demand that things long broken be fixed, or maybe just that they seen, recognized, and accepted as true.

In my books, this forced unearthing of buried conflict or pain can often come at a price for the innocent members of the present generation. It can be uncomfortable, even damaging, to be made fully aware of the truth. The age-mellowed grandfather or kindly mother may have - in other, younger, circumstances - been less than gentle, and worse than ruthless. The deeds performed, in war, in poverty, the sadnesses lived through, may indeed have been be better left alone. But - in my books - ghosts have no choice about telling the truth; they are nothing but the truth. They are the past crystallized, the very essence of never having moved on. Regardless of the consequences they cannot help but drag everything out into the light. Sentient echoes of the hidden past they will continue to sidle and creep and badger and wail, until the living are forced to turn and look and - for better or for worse - recognize them for what they are.

Author Bio:
Celine Kiernan is the author of the award winning and critically acclaimed The Moorehawke Trilogy, a dark, complex trilogy of fantasy YA books set in an alternative renaissance Europe. The three books of The Moorehawke Trilogy are The Poison Throne, The Crowded Shadows and The Rebel Prince. First published in Celine’s native Ireland in 2008, the trilogy has since been published in 15 different territories, and as of this typing has been translated to 10 different languages. In 2009 the first book of the Moorehawke Trilogy, The Poison Throne, won The Readers’ Association of Ireland Award for best book, it was included in the White Raven Collection and short listed for the 2009 Irish Book Awards in two categories (best newcomer and best children’s book snr catagory). In 2010 it was long-listed for an Australian Silver Inky Award.

Celine’s forth book, Taken Away (aka Into The Grey) – a YA ghost story set in 1970′s Ireland – is the winner of the 2012 CBI Book of the Year (formerly The Bisto award) and the CBI Children’s Choice Award. It is the first book to have won both categories.

Celine lives in rural Ireland with her husband and two teenage children. Her next novel Resonance - A supernatural/sc-fi which her publishers are calling ‘metaphysical gothic’ – is set in 1890′s Ireland and is due for publication in 2013.

Find Celine Kiernan:
Site:  The Writing of Celine Kiernan
Blog:  All Things Moorehawke and Otherwise
Twitter:  @Celine_Kiernan


Paul Anthony Shortt said...

Great post, Celine. I'm very much a beliver, and I'm fascinated by any and all accounts, as well as ghosts in fiction. There's something so beautiful, but sad, about the idea of a person's essence being powerful, or injured, enough to linger after death.

celine said...

Thanks Paul. I do wonder if I'll ever truly believe in the after life again - maybe I will. It's possible some part of me has just gone numb for a while :)

Paul Anthony Shortt said...

I believe in regularly questioning my beliefs, or lack thereof. I feel it helps ensure that I'm still holding the faith that's right for me, and not just following habit.

So, maybe your beliefs will change again, or maybe not. What I believe matters most is that your beliefs are the right ones for you.

Blodeuedd said...

I do wonder about ghosts...and a lot of other things

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I think it is fascinating and I like the exploration of the ghosty topic. :) Great post!

Melliane said...

I so love ghosts stories! I'm reading one right now, and would love to read more of them.

JezzebellJC said...

I love hearing ghost stories! My sister couldn't wait to move out when she turned 18 because she swore the house we lived in at the time was haunted. A crazy thing happened where the lady that had lived next door years before died in her house and then we burned it down. A week later our house burned down. She said we couldn't do it until she left like she knew something awful was going to happen. I definitely take all ghost stories with a grain of salt because they would freak me out if I turned my belief into them. Love the post! Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven.

Ryan said...

I adore ghost stories and never get enough of them. I like haunted houses even more, but I think they are two different things.

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Hi Paul Anthony Shortt, thank you for stopping by. I found this post fascinating as well. Glad you enjoyed it. :)

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

I always wonder on ghosts as well Blodeuedd. I really do believe in them...and other things too. :)

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Ghosts always attract my attention too Melissa (B&T). Thank you for Visiting! :D

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Melliane, I'm really looking forward to reading this one. :) Thank you!

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Oh my goodness Jaclyn Canada! That's awful for your sister. Sorry to hear the ghost bothered her to the point she couldn't wait to leave. WOW! Thank you!

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Ryan, You are the ghost story lover. :) I remember that! :D Hope you are well friend. :) Take care and thank you for stopping!