Saturday, September 27, 2014

Writing the legends - by Vijaya Schartz

Frontispice of Melusine in Lusignan, France
In the French countryside where my father was born, the birth place of Merlin, near Broceliande, legends of Melusine the Fae abound. She lived notoriously in Lusignan, built the tower of Vouvant in one night to save the villagers from the invaders. Wherever you turn, you see the legendary ondine gracing the signs of the local taverns, the bakery, the museum. There, Melusine is alive, and part of history as well as legend. But very few are familiar with the entire scope of her story.

The Melusine Tower, Vouvant, France, built in one night.
Never mind that the base and the top are from different periods.
While visiting the Melusine Museum in Vouvant, years ago, I came upon a special exhibit that included a puzzling tapestry. It depicted the wedding of Sigefroi of Luxembourg with Melusine, in 963 AD. 963? The Melusine I had come to know had lived centuries later. How was this possible? Then I discovered many more legends of Melusine, her mother, and her two sisters, in the local folklore of various European localities at different times in history. As if the same family of Fae, immortal by nature, had survived through the centuries, each time with the same personality, each time afflicted by the same curse, for abusing their supernatural powers in childhood...

Excited by that discovery, I set upon a decade of research to connect all the dots. Yes an entire decade. While writing other books, I actively pored over ancient translations, old texts, I traveled to France to tiny libraries and museums holding on to their local legendary roots... until I put together the many pieces of that incredible puzzle, to uncover the entire picture. Only then did I understand what I had... enough fantastic material to write the most exciting medieval fantasy series.

My agent was very excited and prompted me to write the series. But publishers at the time did not receive it well. They thought the readers would not buy medieval fantasy... unless it was vampires. Well, my immortals are not vampires. Finally, Books We Love gave this series a chance, and I am grateful. Five books are out right now, with a sixth to be released early next year. More will follow as the tapestry of the entire legend unfolds.

The Curse of the Lost Isle series starts in the early 800s with Pressine the Fae, in PRINCESS OF BRETAGNE, during the Viking invasions in Scotland. This book is still 99cts in kindle for a few days. Hurry.

In Book 2, PAGAN QUEEN, she defies the Goddess and gives birth to three daughters, Melusine, Meliora, and Palatina.

SEDUCING SIGEFROI, Book 3, and LADY OF LUXEMBOURG, Book 4, are set at the foundation of Luxembourg as a country.

CHATELAINE OF FOREZ, Book 5, tells the love story of the dark Count Artaud of Forez with Lady Melusine in the Eleventh Century.

Book 6, scheduled for early 2015, starts in 1096 AD and features Palatina the Fae, one of Melusine's sisters, in the greatest adventure of all time, the First Crusade, an exciting and dangerous time to be an immortal.

This series already gathered many five-star reviews, with titles like "Edgy Medieval, Yay!" or "Wow!" or "Fantastic!" I hope you will try it and enjoy it.  Five books are available in kindle on Amazon. Book One is also now available in paperback. 


Vijaya Schartz