Hi guys, we have August Li, Brandon Witt, J. Scott Coatsworth, Skye Hegyes stopping by to celebrate their new release the anthology Myths Untold: Faery, I asked the guys where they got their inspiration for their stories so check out their answers. Enjoy the post <3 ~Pixie~
Myths Untold: Faery
August Li, Brandon Witt, J. Scott Coatsworth, Skye Hegyes,
Faeries are part of mythology the world over, past, present, and future. Called elves, brownies, the fae, and more, they evoke a sense of wonder and a little danger. Faery has its own rules, and humans enter at their peril.
In this spirit, we bring you the first book in the Myths Untold anthology series—four stories from the land of the Fae: a homeless man in Cardiff and the luck that could destroy him; the trans man in future San Francisco who falls for an elf; the village boy who has always been a little different; and a faery prince whose birthright was stolen from him.
Welcome to Faery.
The Pwcca and the Persian Boy, by Gus Li
Despite beauty and luck, something about Glyn makes everyone uncomfortable. Homeless on the streets of Cardiff, he has nothing to keep him going but his friendship with Farrokh. Through stealing and fortune’s occasional favor, Glyn keeps them alive. But then homeless youths begin to disappear, and when Farrokh goes missing, Glyn begins to discover the reasons behind both his luck and the way people react to him. Determined to save his friend from a danger he never imagined, he enlists the help of Lleu, who might be an ally, or might be manipulating Glyn to achieve his own goals.
The Other Side of the Chrysalis, by Brandon Witt
In a species that values beauty above all else, Quay looses both his freedom and his birthright as prince of the fairies. Lower than an outcast, he watches over his younger brother, hoping against hope that Xenith’s rebirth will provide safety and positions that has slipped through Quay’s grasp. Though he expected kindness from no one, Quay gradually starts to trust that there is more to life, even for the likes of him, as sexual encounters with Flesser, a fairy barely accepted himself, turn from lust to love. Quay knows having forbidden relationships will be his undoing, but he is powerless to turn away.
Changeling, by Skye Hegyes
With his pointed ears and a tail, Tyler’s always been different than the other children, but until Marsh, a brownie tells him he’s a changeling, he never thought he wasn’t human. Now he will discover what faery life is like, and just how being a changeling could change his life. On the way, his ties with his mother will be pushed and prodded even as his friendships grow and his love life blossoms. However, in a village of God-fearing people, those who are different are spurned and Tyler will discover how much trouble a fledgling changeling can get into.
Through the Veil, by J. Scott Coatsworth
In the not-too-distant future, San Francisco has been swamped by rising sea levels caused by global warming, and has only survived by building a wall to keep the water out of the heart of the City. Colton is a trans man barely getting by on the canals outside the wall. Tris is an elf who has come to the human world on his journey to become a man. Fate brings them together, and everything changes for Colton when he sets out with Tris to find the elf’s missing brother, taking Colton behind the Wall for the first time.
Where did the inspiration come from for your story in Myths Untold, Faery? Is it like anything else that you have done?
Skye Hegyes: While I’ve never really had an intense fascination about faeries, I have had a curiosity about changelings and their legends. I wanted to explore that fascination in “Changeling”. I also drew inspiration from Christina Rossetti’s poem, “Goblin Market” found here: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/174262. The result was something unlike anything else I’d ever written about before.
J. Scott Coatsworth: It was a bunch of things, really, the first of which was to decide with Gus what this anthology was going to be about – we’d originally talked about a sci fi theme, but we finally settled on stories about Faery, and set about recruiting a couple other authors.
I’d wanted to write a transgender character for some time. I am cisgender, so I had no personal basis to do so, but I really wanted to do Colton justice, so I recruited a few trans friends to help me get the details right. I also like mixing genres, so I decided to do an urban fantasy that would let me pull in both future sci fi elements and the magic of Faery.
And finally, I had to decide where to set it. The San Francisco Bay area was a place I had lived for a long time, and one that I was very familiar with, so SF it was. But not the SF of today, but one about fifty years in the future—when the birds of climate change have come to roost. And to get THOSE details right, my husband Mark and I drove down to the City from Sacramento one day and walked the path of a lot of the story, collecting some great details that I really think help make the story feel more real.
Ultimately, whether it works, and whether this hodge podge of inspiration comes together to make something great, will be up to you!
Gus Li: I kind of do have a fascination with faeries. There are a lot of layers to them: cultural things, societal things, thematic elements like humankind vs. nature. Then there is a wealth of characterization to explore. Add to the the potential for world building, and it’s just fun–but also a challenge.
Aesthetically I have always been drawn to characters who are sort of unsettling and eerie as opposed to classically attractive. One common thread in faerie lore is that no matter how hard they try to mimic a human appearance, there’s always something off about them. That really appeals to me… and I used it in my story. Writing the descriptions of the characters and the settings–striking that balance between beauty and things being disquieting was very enjoyable.
Brandon Witt: The inspiration for this story came from my larger series, Men of Myth. Men of Myth follows men of different species and dives into their cultures and tells how they interact with each other. Most of my time is spent there on demons, vampires, withes, and mermaids. However, one of my favorite characters in that series is a fairy. I asked my boyfriend what species he’d want to be, as he was going to be one of the main character’s love interest, and he chose a fairy—a species I wasn’t really even planning on having in the series. (Schwint, for those of you who might have read those books.)
In this story I wanted to explore the hierarchy and royal family of the fairy species, which is something I didn’t go into much in my series. I also wanted to give into my tendency to write dark, and this story is very dark. It is completely a stand-alone, though. There are no overlapping characters, it is just set in the same world with the same rules. Although, there are characters in this story that I hope to bring back in a future Men of Myth book one day.
August (Gus) Li is a creator of fantasy worlds. When not writing, he enjoys drawing, illustration, costuming and cosplay, and making things in general. He lives near Philadelphia with two cats and too many ball-jointed dolls.
He loves to travel and is trying to see as much of the world as possible. Other hobbies include reading (of course), tattoos, and playing video games.
Brandon Witt’s outlook on life is greatly impacted by his first eighteen years of growing up gay in a small town in the Ozarks, as well as fifteen years as a counselor and special education teacher for students with severe emotional disabilities.
Add to that his obsession with corgis and mermaids, then factor in an unhealthy love affair with cheeseburgers, and you realize that with all those issues, he’s got plenty to write about…
Dragons, wolves, and sharp objects are commonplace in Skye Hegyes’s home in North Carolina. She spends most of her time between writing and working. When not doing either of these things, you may find her making crafts or adventuring with her family, which consists of her husband, two daughters, two birds, and three cats… and a partridge in a pear tree…
J. Scott Coatsworth
Scott has been writing since elementary school, when he and won a University of Arizona writing contest in 4th grade for his first sci fi story (with illustrations!). He finished his first novel in his mid twenties, but after seeing it rejected by ten publishers, he gave up on writing for a while.
Over the ensuing years, he came back to it periodically, but it never stuck. Then one day, he was complaining to Mark, his husband, early last year about how he had been derailed yet again by the death of a family member, and Mark said to him “the only one stopping you from writing is you.”
Since then, Scott has gone back to writing in a big way, finishing more than a dozen short stories – some new, some that he had started years before – and seeing his first sale. He’s embarking on a new trilogy, and also runs the Queer Sci Fi (http://www.queerscifi.com) site, a support group for writers of gay sci fi, fantasy, and supernatural fiction.