Wednesday, 25 January 2012

By the Way, What’s a Selkie? - Guestpost by Krista Holle

Krista Holle is the author of the book The Lure of Shapinsay.

The Lure of Shapinsay is about a woman who falls under the spell of a selkie. As I haven't read many stories about selkies I just had to ask Krista why she chose to write about selkies. Luckily she was kind enough to drop by and answer my question.


By the Way, What’s a Selkie?

Readers want to know why I wrote a novel about selkies. It’s the same reason people are writing about vampires, werewolves, ghosts, and angels right now—paranormal romance is HOT. The practically unheard of subgenre from fifteen years ago is growing faster than ever and the voracious reader can’t get enough. There are a couple of things however, that set the selkies apart from these other mythical creatures—they are way sexier and practically unheard of.

Let me introduce you to selkies, the original shape shifters from the sea. Their legends begin around the tiny Orkney Islands that spangle Scotland’s northern coast. Selkies are seal men and women who live the majority of their life under the sea as seals, but occasionally shed their skins to cause mischief on land. The men and women are renowned for their beauty, with eyes as dark as night and skin as white as cream. But don’t be fooled by these seemingly innocent creatures. For hundreds of years, the men have been creeping out of the cold North Sea to seduce women to their deaths deep beneath the waves.

So real were the selkies of the 1800’s, that nearly every drowning was blamed on the selkies. There are even stories of infants born with webbed hands and feet—definitive proof that a ship builder or fisherman’s daughter was seduced by a rogue selkie. This is the setting I chose when creating The Lure of Shapinsay. I want my readers to feel the same alarm and excitement that the villagers of Shapinsay felt two centuries ago.

In The Lure of Shapinsay, you’ll meet Eamon, a criminally good looking selkie with a penchant for killing sheep. He loathes everything on land, especially humans (land loupers). It’s a pickle for Kait, a feisty blonde, who’s magically lured by the very selkie who wants her dead. She’ll do anything to win her seal man’s heart—even follow him under the sea. The odds of this land/sea relationship working are pretty slim. Even Kait’s brother is bound and determined to keep his sister safe by marrying her off to an aging widower. Why did I want to write a novel about selkies? Sorry, to this land louper, these beautiful feral creatures from the deep were just too darn juicy to pass up.


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