‘Ask anyone and they’ll tell you their favourite fairy tale….’
Today I am delighted to welcome Irish writer of the Paranormal and Fantasy, Amanda Evans to my blog. Do you still believe in fairy tales? Do you have a favourite? Amanda has incorporated the Banshee from Irish folklore into her latest novella, Hear Me Cry, just released May 2018. You can find out how the Banshee came to exist in this dark fantasy retelling of an old Irish myth.
In the meantime Amanda has written a post for us all today about her earlier experiences with the Banshee and how it came to be central in her new book.
I’ll hand you over to Amanda now….
Adults Still Love Fairy Tales
by Amanda Evans
Ask anyone and they’ll tell you their favourite fairy tale. From Cinderella to Alice in Wonderland, everyone remembers them and the cherished moments from their childhood the stories bring.
In recent years there has been a surge in modern fairy tale retellings. From dark and disturbing retellings like Alice, Red Queen and Lost Boy by Christina Henry, to modern romances like The Vixen and the Vet (inspired by Beauty & the Beast), Never Let You Go (inspired by Hansel & Gretel), and Don’t Speak (inspired by The Little Mermaid) by Katy Regnery. Even Disney themselves have seen the popularity and released a collection of adult fairy tales. Once Upon a Dream and As Old As Time the first two books with more to come.
One of my favourites for 2018 so far has been The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert and it also has the best first line I’ve seen in a book in ages. “My mother was raised on fairy tales, but I was raised on highways.”
It seems there’s no shortage of retellings and I love reading them and seeing the different ways that writers interpret them. For me as a writer, my chance to do a retelling came in 2017 and although perhaps not a fairy tale, the Banshee from Irish folklore is something I have really enjoyed twisting.
A Modern Take on the Irish Legend of the Banshee
The legend of the banshee is something that takes me back to childhood and the terror this creature instilled. We were warned that hearing the Banshee cry meant that someone was going to die. I remember the first time I heard a cat crying outside my bedroom window. I was thirteen and had lost my father to suicide a number of months previous. The terror those mating cries brought is something I’ve never forgotten. I didn’t know it was a cat as I lay in my bed shaking, tears seeping from my forced shut eyelids, and my heart racing in my chest. I begged God and every being I could think of not to let it be a banshee. The cat cried for what felt like hours as I hid under my duvet pleading for it to stop. When I heard my mother getting up, I bolted out of bed and ran to the kitchen. She was getting ready to go for an early morning walk and couldn’t understand why I was awake, let alone sobbing and unable to talk. When my older sister arrived into the kitchen complaining that a stupid cat was whinging outside the window, I nearly fainted. A cat!
That was my first experience with the legend of the Banshee.
In 2017, I wrote a short story called The Banshee’s Wail for the Irish Imbas Celtic Mythology Competition. This was a modern retelling of how the Banshee came to be. This story later become Hear Me Cry, my new novella.
Hear Me Cry is a fantasy romance and not a horror story that most relate the Banshee to. I wanted to do something different, take away the fear that haunted me from my youth. Instead readers are getting a haunting story of forbidden love, a torturous curse, and a loss so great it destroys.
Feedback so far has been wonderful and I love how readers are getting the message that’s included. A message about the importance of time and using it wisely. I dedicated this book to my father and hope that all who read it take something from it.
Here’s the description from the back of the book.
What would you sacrifice to protect the ones you love?
Isla is a warrior of the Summer Court. She has one mission, to keep humans out of Faery. Kill them on sight. When she inadvertently saves one and triggers the mating bond, her life changes forever.
On the run and hiding from her own people, Isla must protect the one thing she’s been trained to hate. With magic now flowing through her veins, she must learn to control it if she is to survive.
The faery are coming. Her once commander, leads the charge. Will Isla be ready in time? Can she harness her magic and resist the darkness?
As both sides clash, Isla learns that her kind possesses a cruelty she could never have imagined. Her loyalty will be tested. To save the one she loves, she must give up everything, including her life as she knows it.
Find out how the banshee came to exist in this dark fantasy retelling of an old Irish myth.
Available now from all leading stores.
Amanda J Evans is an award-winning writer of paranormal and fantasy novels as well as children’s stories.
Amanda lives in Oldcastle, Co. Meath, Ireland with her husband and two children.
Her first novel Finding Forever won Best Thriller in the 2017 Summer Indie Book Awards and her second novel Save Her Soul won Silver for Best Paranormal in the Virtual Fantasy Con Awards 2017.
Her latest story, Hear Me Cry, a fantasy romance telling of the old Irish myth of the banshee released as a standalone novella on the 16th May 2018.
Amanda is currently putting the finishing touches to a new paranormal romance with an Angels and Magic theme. It will be released in an anthology in June 2018.
Amanda is also the author of Surviving Suicide: A Memoir from Those Death Left Behind, published in 2012.
You can find out more on her website www.amandajevans.com
Twitter ~ @amandajevans