I've never been able to understand the will of my muses. They're fickle in what they choose to work on for any given day or week and sometimes the stories and plots we come up with together are so disparate that I struggle to keep up with what they want typed. Every once in a while they want me to use what I already have in my head to create something amazing, which is how my Road To series was created. Recently, however, my muses have been trying to stretch my writing towards plots and ideas I could never have conceived of this time last year. I think this means I'm growing as a writer by taking on new challenges, but it's also a struggle to keep working in my wheelhouse of fantasy. No matter how far away my muses want to go, I love fantasy too much to allow them to divert me permanently. I also want to finish writing all five (or six) books in The Oracle Series before I start working on a new series. Despite my wishes, my muses have other plans.
Last summer my muses nudged me with a loveable, flesh-eating kelpie who just wants a hug and to maybe take a large bite out of your shoulder. Essentially, my muses were asking me to do research on the fae and Celtic worship of the creatures that inhabit the lakes and fields, like kelpies; it was a direction of study I had never gone in before. I was working four jobs at the time, was trying to get a couple of anthology submissions written, and was trying to get the edits for The Oracle's Flame completed. There was too much on my plate already, so I jotted down a few ideas for Kelpie Blue and forced myself to move on.
I finished writing The Oracle's Hatchling, Road to Home, and all those anthology submissions this past autumn, after which Magnified came along and controlled my attention for nearly forty thousand words. There's currently still a very long way to go before Magnified is completed, but my muses perked up again. "Hey," they said to me. "If you can write about the Holocaust and vampires, why can't you write about a kelpie and horse racing?" I said no again. They were such different mythos and overlapping them would make writing either story at the same time very difficult. My muses acquiesced by sending me a different idea. They tossed me a stanza of song lyrics and told me to do something with them. I started working on a simple story titled If A Butterfly Don't Fly about Merridy, a mute boy with perfect pitch. He could pick up any instrument and play a song just based on the sounds he heard, but because he couldn't sing he could never get signed to a real band. Just as I got really invested in the story, my muses closed the trap. Merridy's dad was Lugh, his aunt the Morrigan, and he was a descendant of Danu herself. I was neatly caught in a position there was no going back from.
The Out of Underhill series was born after I finished snarling at my muses. Extensive research commenced. Rather than the vampires and werewolves of European and Eastern European culture I'm most comfortable with, this series focuses solely on the magic that came out of the British Isles. I've been digging into the Celtic pantheon, researching minor earth deities that inhabit the land and waterways, and am trying to expand two new stories from ideas and outlines into major undertakings. Each book in the series is going to be totally unique; the characters and plots will not overlap at all. That said, this is a series so there will be similarities. These are stories of growth amid adverse circumstances. Growing up and finding a happily ever after while also dealing with strange magical creatures and heritages will add an extra dimension to the story that I'm really enjoying.
I am looking forward to writing more in this series. At the moment I only have the two books planned, but, as my muses have proved, anything is possible. I do want to finish writing Magnified and The Oracle Series first, which means Out of Underhill is still technically second fiddle in my writing queue, but Merridy and Blue want their stories written too. I have a feeling that writing queues are going to be completely ignored in favor of the more demanding character and plot.
I will continue to update my blog and my website as both stories and the series as a whole expand. At the moment If A Butterfly Don't Fly and Kelpie Blue are in their world building stage, which means they're still evolving and haven't quite solidified into a basic outline. They're going to change and expand, and it's going to be a ton of fun to write them. I only hope that my muses were correct and I'm ready and capable as an author for such large undertakings! Please wish me luck.
The plan is to have at least one story submitted for publishing by the end of 2014. If you want the most up to date information on my progress in my Out of Underhill series, including summaries and a current word count, please visit my Current Projects page.
March 21, 2018
Mell Eight is an author writing with LT3. For more information about Mell and her writing, please visit her website: http://melleightfiction.