Monday, June 23, 2014

Mythical Monday (53)

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 
T. Eric Bakutis
Talking about Fae.

On the Subject of Fae

For a long time I had very little interest in fairies. I knew them as pleasant, often chatty winged women who wore matching outfits of red, blue, or green. They spent their time flitting about singing catchy songs or bopping things with their wands (yes, I watched Sleeping Beauty many times). While they certainly seemed nice enough, they weren't nearly as awe-inspiring as luck dragons or skeksis or Jareth and his goblin horde. They just didn't have any bite.

As I grew older I came across the more classical interpretations of fae, or faeries (I prefer the more archaic spelling). Those old myths and legends were what caught my attention. The faeries in these tales were not the sympathetic benefactors sold by Disney. These were tricksters and monsters, dangerous creatures one must avoid or appease, and their powers ranged from simple mischief to terrible curses and unimaginable harm.

More than anything, it was their mercurial nature that intrigued me. They would aid you, torment you, or completely ignore you based on unpredictable whimsy and inscrutable motives. In those cases where you did catch their interest, they might creep up while you slept and steal a prized possession. They might tickle your feet or tie your hair in knots. 

Or they might poison you. Or they might paralyze you. Or they might lure you into a river and drown you, curse you with painful boils, abduct you and imprison you forever. They were even known to steal innocent newborn babies and replace them with changelings. 

In all the tales about their mischief and misdeeds, only one common element was present. One did not trifle with the fae folk. That, for me, made them very interesting. 

I've now written several short stories involving faeries (the uncaring or malicious kind) and they were also the inspiration for one of the many perils that Kara and her friends face in my first book, Glyphbinder. The Five Provinces that make up Kara's world are home to rare but dangerous creatures known as Shifters, and the illusions they create are impressive indeed. 

When it suits them, they can make day look like night or solid buildings look like open fields. They can fabricate terrifying images of giant spiders or charging beasts, make enemies look like friends and friends look like enemies. They can even communicate using illusions, though only to gloat or threaten, and there is an undeniable beauty in the chaos they create. 

Every illusion is a work of art. Every pleasant image is a calculated ploy. They are a natural disaster that knows right where you're hiding and very much wants you to come out and play. 

The thing I enjoy most about Shifters, as antagonists, is that there's absolutely no animosity in what they do. It's not personal. They're just playing with you, like a cat that repeatedly pounces, mauls, and tortures a helpless little mouse. Just until it stops moving. Just until they get bored. 

All we are to Shifters are their playthings. If you happen to be injured or killed due to their illusions, they probably won't notice and certainly won't care. I find their casual, indiscriminate malice far more frightening than a rational enemy with a clear goal and a known agenda. 

To tweak a common quote of the day, some monsters just want to watch the world burn.

Author Bio:
T. Eric Bakutis is a game designer and author now living in Maryland. His first book, Glyphbinder, was a finalist for the 2014 Compton Crook Award, and its sequel, Demonkin, is due in late 2014-early 2015 from McBryde Publishing.

His short fiction has appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies (with more on the way!) and he's a regular member of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society's Critique Circle, a group of talented authors who consistently make his work much, much better.

In his spare time, Eric plays many video games, hikes with his wife, and walks and is walked by his excitable dog. He's been writing since he was old enough to hold a pencil and making games since he got his first computer. He feels incredibly fortunate to have now published his first game and his first book, and looks forward to releasing more of both in coming years.

You can learn read excepts from his novels and short stories, check out art inspired by his books, and learn more about his video game projects at

Find Eric:
Twitter:  @TEricBakutis
Goodreads:  Glyphbinder and Author T. Eric Bakutis

Purchase Glyphbinder:

Barnes & Nobles


  1. What an interesting post! Part of what makes the fae so fascinating for me is that they're so dangerous and unpredictable. Nothing like the Disney fairies at all! And you're right, we're just playthings that they couldn't care less about, which is more than a little terrifying!

    1. Alexia, I agree with you! I like that there is danger in the fae, even when they are being nice there is something going to happen. lol. Thank you!

  2. I love stories with fae in them. One of my favourite series is Wicked Lovely and those have some evil fae in them. Def. adding the book to the growing wishlist. :)

    1. Nina, Glad to hear! Oh, I've heard of Wicked Lovely, so glad you loved it. :) And hope you enjoy this one! :)

  3. I do like the Fae, big, small, evil and good

    1. Blodeuedd, they always make for an interesting read, not knowing what they'll do. :)

  4. Wow! Not a fae you want to mess with at all. :) These do sound like interesting fae and I wouldn't mind meeting them in these pages, but not IRL! :D

    1. Melissa (B&T) lol. It sounds that way! But makes me so curious. I'd want to find out about the fae. :) Thank you!

  5. Fae are fascinating but their stories prove to be tricky sometimes. This one sounds interesting, though! Thanks for sharing :)

    1. Silvia, They can be very tricky, and that makes it all the better reading fae. :D Thank you!

  6. The unpredictability of even "good" fae has always both fascinated and unnerved me, and there are so many wonderful books that deal with the fae. One of my favorites, The Perilous Gard, leaves it entirely up to the reader whether the "fae" within its pages are actually supernatural, or simply the descendants of pagan humans who withdrew from the world into caverns ("under the hill") as Christianity advanced. Either way, they share the unpredictability and the sense of total superiority; normal humans are like animals to them. The book is a YA re-imagining of the Tam Lin story, and it's terrific. I highly recommend it.

    1. Oooh, now you've shared a book I'm going to have to look into Lark. Thank you!


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