ALL the Red Riding Hood – Part I

In going through twitter and Instagram promoting my version of Little Red Riding Hood, I’ve come across many others.  I thought I would do a few blog entries to provide links to them.  If ever finish editing my book and have time to READ a book, I’ll have a handy list of Red Riding Hood adaptations.  I’m not specifically recommending any of them, I’m just providing the list.

Let’s kick this post off with a link to National Geographic’s article about the varied origins of Little Red Riding Hood.

Just click on the covers to go to the websites.

LRM

terrypratchettwa

sisters-red

RRHblakelycwbookcover

gilliancross

LRRRRLD

darkestdesire

sss

bolt

Studying for Book 2 – Red Archer

Archer_2016Promographic_250wide

I took archery class last year from a guy named Doc who is an ex-Navy Seal.  It was fascinating, and the most surprising part is that I wasn’t awful at it.  In fact, I was pretty good for a first-timer.  Even won one of Doc’s coveted “Eagle Talon” awards – which I have yet to string onto a cord to wear like a warrior queen, but I WILL!  The reason I bring this up is because when I started Red August I was writing bits about August Archer and archery.  And I could have actually used only what I found in my written research to write about those things.  But I did find that connecting to the activity gave me a fuller range of language and tactile experience to help me to better write about the experience of nocking an arrow, for example.  Sadly, I didn’t make it to this year’s class because I was working so hard on the book that every scrap of spare time was sucked up by it.  But once we get it launched on August 19th, I’m hoping to take a break of a couple of weeks from writing and then start fresh with Red Archer.  I’ve already started it, and I might not actually be able to stay away from it, but I am feeling pretty worn out at this point.  Below are photos from my archery class.

archery

While Will was editing Red August during the last round of editing, I was reading On Writing by Stephen King, which I highly recommend to anybody considering a career in writing stories.  My friend Kristen, who I consider a brilliant person, recommended it to me, and it did not disappoint.  On Writing made me feel both encouraged and excited about the gears of writing.  That was a first!  I have a whole list of other books I need to read about writing, but that was the the bunch that were suggested, and I loved it.

One of the things about writing a story that isn’t straight make-believe is that there tends to be research involved.  Now, you could argue that there is no need to research werewolves because they are not real, but if I want to honor the tradition of folklore, I need to–at the very least–honor certain rules about werewolves that have been established.  For example, werewolves are partly man and partly wolf.  I can fiddle around with how they look when they change, where they originated from, how much of the creature is a man and how much is a wolf and so forth.  But there are basic elements that I feel I have to respect if I hope to keep the interest of people who like werewolf stories.  The same goes for fairy tale traditions.  Red Riding Hood needs to have some familiar elements to make it Red Riding Hood, or at the very least a Red Riding Hood homage.

With other elements of the story, I need to be more careful about the origins.  The internet has made research so much easier than it was when I was younger.  I remember sitting in the local library as a kid studying lightening and its various incarnations.  That was when I learned about ball lightening.  As you can imagine, even with two or three books about lightening in front of me, the information was limited compared to what you can get on the internet, PLUS videos.  At your fingertips!  Of course the internet doesn’t replace all forms of research, nor should it.  Fortunately I have a library two blocks away.

Here are some links that I am finding useful for my Red Archer research.  Though reading about things is great, whenever possible I try to experience them.  I would love so much to visit some of the places I mention in books, but even if I was a full time traveler, that might be hard.  One of my favorite new ways of experiencing a place I am writing about, when I can’t actually go to it, is to use Google and their feature where you can drive around a place.  If it has a public road, you pretty much can go there on Google.  I’ve also found Pinterest to be helpful in certain aspects of story writing.  This is my Pinterest if you’re interested in following me and looking at the boards that relate to the stories I’m writing.

Below is a video that is extremely interesting about Irish/Gaelic language.  Last year I was learning a bit about Spanish and Arabic – just enough to say the most basic conversational things, because I work with people who speak those languages.  I often wish somebody had plopped me into language immersion classes when I was in third grade.  Anyway – language fascinates me.  I am going to go back and see if this guy has more videos.  Things like this are so helpful to me and I am grateful for them.  In part, because I’m writing a story from scratch at 70-100k words and I don’t have the time to research every single thing that I write about, and of the things I do research, I need them to be easy to get through, otherwise the books would take five years to write instead of one or two.  Incidentally, Red August is just shy of two years in the making–which makes all of this book writing stuff more nerve-wracking.  I expect book 2 to go a lot more quickly because all of the main characters are fleshed out.

The links below are some examples of the things I’ve been using to research Red Archer.  I have no idea how my book would do within the culture it pays homage to, but I think if nothing else it would help show things from the perspective of an American of descent from that culture.  If there’s one thing I’ve found to be true, it’s that people’s tastes and interests vary widely.

Now that Red August is about to be published, I’m both excited and nervous.  Doing this type of research helps me feel a bit more steady, not to mention it’s all fascinating!  Also, I’m a lot more familiar with the wildflowers of Scotland, which I can’t be the least bit sad about.


blbss

http://www.blbsscotland.co.uk/history.htm


algonquinlink

http://www.tolatsga.org/alg.html

Native American Tribes of Maryland

Maryland Native American Resources


celtichistory

http://www.joellessacredgrove.com/Celtic/history.html


celtic_runes_history

http://www.celtic-runes.org.uk/

Keeping The Company of Wolves

Lookie what has come to a local (for me) bookseller!  Daedalus always has great prices on books – I mean, you can get every gift you need for an entire year at this place, but I am pretty excited about this bad boy.  This shall soon be mine!

Here is the blurb from the Daedalus site:

A storytelling sorceress, Angela Carter has often been named as a literary godmother to Neil Gaiman, David Mitchell, Audrey Niffenegger, J.K. Rowling, Kelly Link, and other masters of supernatural fiction. Along with her James Tait Black Memorial Prize–winning novel Nights at the Circus, she is most often recognized for this pivotal collection of stories, from 1979. The Bloody Chamber mines some of our most enduring fairy tales—”Red Riding Hood,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Puss-in-Boots,” and “Bluebeard” among them—and includes the story that inspired Neil Jordan’s 1984 film of the same name, “The Company of Wolves.” Carter extracts hidden themes and parts of the tales that went untold, giving them new life in a gorgeous prose style steeped in the romantic trappings of the gothic tradition. “Since I first came across The Bloody Chamber, I have kept a copy with me wherever I have been living,” writes Link in her introduction. “Reading Carter, each time, was electrifying. It lit up the readerly brain and all the writerly nerves…. The girls and women in The Bloody Chamber remake the rules of the stories they find themselves in with their boldness. And Angela Carter, too was bold. I have tried to learn that lesson from her.” This handsome trade paperback edition celebrates what would have been the tragically short-lived author’s 75th anniversary.

“Sex isn’t a subtext in The Bloody Chamber, but the text itself…. Carter produced … fiction that was lavishly fabulist and infinitely playful…. Salman Rushdie, who became her friend, described her as ‘the first great writer I ever met.’ Yet her legacy has been a slow and stealthy one, invisible to many of the readers who have benefited from it…. Most contemporary literary fiction with a touch of magic, from Karen Russell’s to Helen Oyeyemi’s, owes something to Angela Carter’s trail-blazing.”—Salon

“She was, among other things, a quirky, original, and baroque stylist, a trait especially marked in The Bloody Chamber—her vocabulary a mix of finely tuned phrase, luscious adjective, witty aphorism, and hearty, up-theirs vulgarity.”—Margaret Atwood
bloodcover

Fairy Tale Fortnight Event and Giveaways

I posted a few posts back about an event by The Book Rat and A Backwards Story – Fairy Tale Fortnight.  It’s pretty much just an awesome online celebration of fairytales.  Please go by and see what they are featuring, which by the way includes some contests for free stuff.

fairytalefortnight

Which also includes a contest to give away five e-copies of my book Red August, which is coming out in August.

Go directly to that part of Fairy Tale Fortnight HERE.  That page features a Safe For Work excerpt from Red August that can only be found at the Fairy Tale Fortnight page.

Below is the book synopsis or blurb.

HLBrooks_RedAugust_blurb

Song List for Writing Werewolves

writerscouple

Today I am writing on the second book of the Red August series and behind me, my lover is editing the first book. It’s nice when he’s here I can work at my desk writing, and he can sit behind me at the table, writing.

We have officially reached workaholic status, though.  All day yesterday I was making artwork for my store website (which is set to launch May1).  Last week I split my time between writing, making items for my online store and making a Cafepress shop.  Which is still very much NOT DONE.  But off to a good little start.

Anyway, at first I was playing a music list with no lyrics.  Then I ended up putting on my Fairytale Writing Mix – Red August which is on Spotify.  You can follow it, if you like and you use Spotify – I am under “Heather Brooks.”

I take several approaches to listening to music while writing.  If I’m in an easily distracted mood I will put on instrumentals.  I have a list that is almost all instrumental called Myth, Magic, Faeries & Mermaids.  I may even just listen to coffee shop sounds on Coffitivity.  Other times I like having some music with lyrics happening – and usually it’s because I want something that gives me the atmosphere of what I’m writing.  In the case of Red August I made a list that has a lot of sexy, ethereal stuff on it.  Also, since the book is set in the early 1980s, I listened to some of the stuff around then.  Retrojam is good for that.

So, here are probably my top five favorites (in no particular order) from my Fairytale Writing Mix – Red August:

HowlFlorence + The Machine
Exiles (The Wolves of Midwinter) – Mary FahlBorn to DieLana Del Rey
Ride – Lana Del Rey
My ImmortalEvanescence

If you have suggestions for good songs that fit the haunted, werewolf, wolf, hunter, huntress, archery theme, please leave me a comment!

 

 

 

 

Red August

Coming this Summer

HLBrooks_RedAugust_blurb

 

What if you found out that you were descended from a long line of clandestine fighters, and that your family was still at war? Or that the love of your life was something other than human? August Archer thinks she’s a normal teenage girl—even though she has been having disturbing and erotic dreams about wolves lately. Still grieving over the loss of her bookish, charming father, and wondering over his final gift of a red hooded cloak, August is uprooted from her New York City apartment to a tiny town in Maryland, and the rambling Victorian house where he grew up. There she meets a wise woman with a gift for herbal medicine, the gentle old man who keeps the house in repair and the grounds thriving, and her new neighbor: an enigmatic, irresistibly fascinating man who refuses to talk to her, yet who seems to know her better than she knows herself, and fuels her most intense romantic fantasies. But it’s when August begins to coax her feisty Scottish grandmother out of her self-imposed catatonia that a strange tale of werewolves and hunters emerges—one in which the man of her dreams may be her family’s oldest enemy—in this modern-day telling of the Red Riding Hood story.