Monday, October 28, 2013

Mythical Monday (30)

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:
Urban Fantasy &Fantasy author
Kelly A. Harmon
Talking of Selkies.

Selkies are fairies of the sea. Their true form is that of the seal, but they can shed that skin, take on a human appearance, and come ashore: often seducing or marrying humans, before returning to their ocean homes. They’re long-lived, easy going, and love the sea more than life.

Although selkie stories are “fairy tales,” they’re more often romantic tragedies rather than the happily-ever-after sort.

The most common tale is that of the poor fisherman who sees a beautiful woman emerge from a seal skin and dance on the beach. Enraptured, he steals the skin, thus having power over her. She can’t return to the sea as long as he holds the pelt, so she marries him and bears his children. Years later, she finds her skin and returns to the sea, abandoning her land-bound family.

Tales of selkie men are less common. The males are generally portrayed as erotic, seducers of women: the love ‘em and leave ‘em types.

Selkie stories are unusual that their roots can be traced back to the Orkey or Shetland Islands of Northern Scotland, although they occasionally show up in an Irish tale. Traditionally, you don’t see them anywhere else, although they’ve enjoyed some recent popularity. It was this “exclusivity,” if you will, that drew me to write Selk Skin Deep, a story of a Navy SEAL, Cade Owen, who’s also a selkie.

I liked the idea of an attractive, selkie male, but I wanted his attractiveness to be based on something more than his beauty. I chose strength: both physical strength and that of his convictions.

Cade is bored with his nearly-immortal life, so he turns to humans to make things more interesting. He joins the Navy SEALS – a newly-minted group of soldiers under the direction of President Kennedy – and finds himself on an aircraft carrier on its way to Vietnam. Living among them, Cade finds that humans live life intensely, compared to the selkies, and he doesn’t understand this passion.

And now those humans are embroiled in a war. How can there be anything worth fighting over—dying over—when all things circle back in the ebb and flow of life?

Author Bio:
Kelly A. Harmon used to be a newspaper reporter.

She found reporting to be by turns exciting (covering a murder trial) and excruciatingly boring (covering itty-bitty town council meetings). Most other stories managed to fall in between those extremes on a sliding scale of interesting.

Eventually, she moved away from full-time reporting. Stories were still interesting, but the rote mechanics of the job became anathema.

Nonetheless, she still writes non-fiction…because she can’t seem to leave it alone.

When not crazed with the need to freelance, Ms. Harmon writes fantasy and dark fantasy with the occasional science fiction piece. Her short story "Lies" short-listed for the Aeon Award and her novella, "Blood Soup," won the Fantasy Gazetteers Novella Contest.

Find Kelly A. Harmon:
Twitter: @kellyaharmon

Book Description:
Kennedy never envisioned a Navy SEAL like him.

1967. Vietnam. Fat-boys and comp-B bombs explode aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Livingstone killing thousands. Everyone dies if the carrier sinks, unless one SEAL – one selkie – puts the lives of humans ahead of his need to keep his secret.

Inspired by the true story of the U.S.S. Forrestal fire of 1967, award-winning author Kelly A. Harmon weaves alternate-history and fairytale into this action-packed and emotionally charged story.

Pick up Selk Skin Deep by Kelly A. Harmon at:


Silvia said...

What an interesting post, those fairies of the sea sounds intriguing...

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I think that is why I don't usually like selkie stories over mermaid ones... the man usually has power over the woman. However, I do like the retellings and yours sounds very interesting. Love the twists. Very curious about it!

Alexia561 said...

Great post! I didn't realize that the legends were mainly Scottish. Very interesting!

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Silvia. I love the sounds of them being blended with Navy. :) Thank you for stopping!

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Melissa (B&T), yes. Kelly's story sounds great. I like seeing woman that have some power too. :) Thank you!

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Alexia, I'm with you. That is in part why I enjoy these posts so highly. :) I learn something new with each one.