Monday, May 26, 2014

Mythical Monday (51)

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 author 
Bethany Herron
Talking about Nickar.

Bad-Ass Faeries: Nickar

"With the dawn of refinement, and progress of education, many innocent creeds and sweet associations have passed away; and we are of those who deeply lament that this change, not for the better, has come over the spirit of nations."
- Fairies, by Miss M.L. Beevor, from The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction (February 2, 1833)

I graduated from college with a Literature degree... which was not super helpful when I got a job driving a freight train. It made sense at the time. I wanted to write, and I decided I'd be more successful if my day job was as far from writing as possible. On top of that, there was an anachronistic bent to it that greatly appealed. Trains (and train engineers) seemed as far removed from modern day as stovepipe hats and corsets, and equally romantic.

Miss Beevor's words on faeries sparked that same olde feeling. Her article popped up as I was searching for my next story, and I was immediately drawn to her description of the nickar, "...fairy of rivers and lakes, where, like the Scotch kelpie, he raises storms and derives a savage satisfaction from the wreck of human life."

I probably shouldn't admit this on a Mythical Monday, but while I love pulling inspiration from mythology, I'm a firm believer in tweaking the myths to meet my story. After all, the actions of humans have always had a bearing on faerie; our belief, or lack thereof, has the power to create or destroy entire races of fae. Still, the fact that a water faerie was trying to jump into my railroad world (a world full of fire and steel) surprised me.

The more I researched the nickar, though, the more it made sense. They are quite a bit like mermen, but nastier: fish-tailed faeries who delight in destruction and mayhem. In this day and age, what mean old water faerie wouldn't try to take out a diesel-breathing steel monster who encroached on his territory?

Pashi, the nickar in my story Fairyland Local #2413, has an even stronger motivation. Pashi's been alone, for ages, and making trouble is the only form of entertainment the faerie has. Until Jones, a bridgetender with a bum knee, shows the nickar another option. (And introduces the lonely Pashi to a thriving fae-hobo underground, but that's another story.)

Would the traditional bad-ass nickar found in Teutonic mythology actually hop a freight train and take up the hobo life? Probably not. But times change and myths evolve, and Pashi is going to fit right in.

Author Bio:
Bethany Herron has always straddled strange worlds, working as a freight train conductor, non-profit fundraiser, and mad scribbler. She lives and works out of Oakland, California.

Find Bethany Herron:
Twitter: @BethanyHerron

Book Description:

Bad-Ass Faeries: It's Elemental
The Bad-Ass Faeries are back and they are in their Elements!

Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Spirit...It's time to get down to basics, for the fae answer to a natural order.

In L. Jagi Lamplighter's On Rocky Ground, Mab, Mephisto, and Erasmus go to the mountain to pay a debt, but can they pacify the earth before the mountain comes down around their ears? In James Chambers' The Flying Rock, Daniel seeks to give his son and daughter a taste of childhood magic before they grow too old to embrace such things, but the winds blow as they will and he soon wonders will his children even see another day. In James Daniel Ross's The Legend of Buck Cooper and the Child of Fire it only takes a spark to start a fire, but what will it take to stop one? Buck Cooper and the brigade must stave off the flames of a war most don't even realize is being waged. In N.R. Brown's Melia's Best Wave an oceanid decides she's ready for bigger things, like tackling the deadliest stretch of coastline anywhere. Will she conquer the Mavericks or wipe out for all time? In Jody Lynn Nye's Fifteen Percent Marcel Dorner learns it's best to get into the spirit of things when your literary agent is a filandiere, or more than just your career might not survive...

Joined by Kimberley Long-Ewing, Judi Fleming, Danny Birt, Peter Prellwitz, DL Thurston, James R. Stratton, Patrick Thomas, Bethany Herron, Keith R.A. DeCandido and Lee C. Hillman, these authors make it clear why one doesn't mess with Mother Nature...or Bad-Ass Faeries.

Purchase At:


  1. I did a quick search of the nickar after reading this and didn't find a whole lot of information, but what I did come across was really interesting. Thanks for the great post. Hopefully I can read this soon.

    1. Right? There's not a lot of source material out there - all the more fun to play with. Hope you enjoy it!

    2. Addicted2Heroines, I didn't know what these creatures were called. I had thought I'd heard of them before, but no real history to them. Lots of room to play with. :) Thank you!

  2. I love learning something new :)

    1. Blodeuedd, this was so neat! I really enjoyed hearing about these from Bethany. :) Thank you!

  3. This story sounds very interesting. Thanks for sharing the mythology of the nickar.

    1. Any time! I think they're fascinating, and would love to see more authors take them on.

  4. I love it when authors change things to fit the story. I've heard of a lot of river fae, but not specifically of nickar. Great post!

    1. This is exactly why I love this meme Melissa (B&T). The way things are turned around and worked into stories. I just love it. :)

  5. Sounds fascinating! The mythology of the nickar is very interesting and it's new to me. Thanks for sharing! :)

    1. Silvia, I love this myth as well. So neat to learn a new one, or an old one that is not used often. :) Thank you!

  6. oh I love the cover and the book sounds fun, another to add to my list!

    1. So glad to hear Lily. :) I love the sounds of all the stories in this one.


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