Monday, September 30, 2013

Mythical Monday (27)


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 Resa Nelson
Talking of the Hidden People.

The Legend of the Hidden People

Many years ago when I was doing research for my Dragonslayer series, I spent a couple of weeks traveling around Iceland. I’ve always been a fan of Viking culture, partly because I have a bit of Scandinavian heritage. I found it thrilling to visit places where real Norse men and women had lived. But one of the stories told by my tour guide surprised me: the legend of the Hidden People. What follows is my recollection of this legend.

The story goes like this: Eve had many, many children. One day when she was in the midst of bathing them, she found out that God was coming to visit. Embarrassed that about half of her children weren’t yet clean and presentable, she told them to hide and stay quiet.

Adam and Eve presented the clean children to God, and they had a nice visit. However, Eve forgot that God sees all. At the end of the visit, God asked if there were any more children to meet, but Eve lied even when asked again. Now angry, God told Eve that because she felt so ashamed of her own flesh and blood and had lied about their existence those children that she’d hidden from God would be granted immortality but would be doomed to remain hidden forever.

My tour guide explained that Hidden People live in rocks and hills, but are mischievous. If you catch sight of one, you must keep your distance so that you don’t disappear and become hidden, too. Some recent definitions I’ve found of the Hidden People include fairies, elves, dwarves, and trolls. (A surprising fact: today there are even Hidden People tours offered in Iceland!)

What struck me about this story is the fact that in the year 1000 Europeans forced Icelanders to convert to Christianity by threatening to stop all trade with them. Because Iceland is an isolated island in the far North, this kind of boycott at that point in history would have brought a lot of hardship and possibly death to its inhabitants. Iceland agreed to the conversion, although the Europeans who forced it agreed that the Icelanders could keep their pagan beliefs as long as they did so in secret. I wonder if many Icelanders still do so.

I began to wonder. What if the story of the Hidden People had been changed to make it easier for Christians to hear? What if the woman hadn’t been Eve in the original story but a Norse woman instead? And what if God had been Odin or possibly a group of Viking gods?

Then I started thinking about the warnings that the Hidden People might make themselves known to you and maybe even try to kidnap you. One of the many places I enjoyed seeing in Iceland was the Dark Citadels, an astonishing natural formation where tourists can easily get lost, allegedly sometimes never to be heard from again. All of these ideas came crashing together, and I wrote a short story called “The Hidden People” (published by Buzzy Magazine) that you can read for free at this link: http://buzzymag.com/the-hidden-people-by-resa-nelson/ And if you’ve read any of my Dragonslayer novels, you might have noticed that a different version of the Hidden People crop up in one of those books!


Author Bio:
Resa Nelson has been selling fiction professionally since 1988. She is a longtime member of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) and is a graduate of the Clarion SF Workshop.

Resa was also the TV/Movie Columnist for Realms of Fantasy magazine for 13 years and was a contributor to SCI FI magazine. She has sold over 200 articles to magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Her first novel, The Dragonslayer’s Sword, was nominated for the Nebula Award and was also a Finalist for the EPPIE Award. This medieval fantasy novel is based on a short story first published in the premiere issue of Science Fiction Age magazine and ranked 2nd in that magazine's first Readers Top Ten Poll. The Dragonslayer's Sword is Book 1 in her 4-book Dragonslayer series. Book 2, The Iron Maiden, was published last December, Book 3 was published in May, and the final book in the series is scheduled for publication in November.

Resa's standalone novel, Our Lady of the Absolute, is a fantasy/mystery/thriller about a modern-day society based on ancient Egypt. Midwest Book Review gave this book a 5-star review, calling it "a riveting fantasy, very highly recommended."

Resa lives in Massachusetts.


Find Resa and Links:
Resa’s website:   http://www.resanelson.com
Free “mini” ebook of Dragonslayer short stories:    http://www.resanelson.com/files
Facebook page:    http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Resa-Nelson-The-Dragonslayers-Sword/122200661871
Twitter:    http://twitter.com/#!/ResaNelson
Email:   ContactResa@aol.com




And two short stories that started the world for Resa, in one place:


8 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Blodeuedd, this one really caught my eye. I loved hearing about it. :) I'm loving the old myths I'm learning and didn't even know.

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  2. I like that old mythos. I think I've heard other versions of hidden people. Not as fairies but as "hidden people". Interesting.

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    1. Melissa (B&T) I'm not sure if I have heard of the "hidden people" but I might have and not realized this was who they were. But it is interesting. :) So loving learning these.

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  3. Old myths are always powerful and “The Hidden People” sound really interesting!

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    1. Silvia, very true! I really loved learning of the Hidden People too. :) Thank you!

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  4. This sounds so interesting. I, too, am fascinated by Vikings and Norse mythology so this really peaks my interest. Thanks!

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    1. Thank you for stopping Ashley! Glad to see it was a myth that caught your attention. :)

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