Guest post by Lyndsay E. Gilbert
I’ll admit up front that, coming from the Emerald Isle, the Mediterranean for me once meant a place where it doesn’t rain all the time, and where there are hot beaches to lounge on for a few weeks in the summer holidays. As I grew older however, I fell in love with stories, history and folklore and before I knew it I was on a journey of the mind and imagination which would open up a treasure chest of cultures and inspiration.
I started with the folklore of Ireland and that was a springboard from which I launched into the roots of places and peoples unfamiliar to me.
I dabbled in Paganism as a teen and my passion for knowledge of gods and goddesses across the world continued to mount. When I found out that a school near me taught Classical Civilizations at Advanced Level I immediately enrolled there and my love of Greek and Roman history and mythology deepened. The scope just kept widening as I researched around school topics and learned of the connections between different Mediterranean countries. I tracked the births and movements of certain cults and the evolution of many gods and goddesses.
My Fae Vision for the anthology, ‘The Strangest Sort of Siren’ was born from my obsession with the Hades/Persephone myth. The whole idea of it terrified me, especially when we learned about wedding rights in ancient Rome and how they would stage a pretend kidnapping of the bride, who had to scream and struggle before being taken off by her new husband.
I couldn’t help but feel for Persephone, forced to live one half of her days in her kidnapper’s underworld domain, and the other half under the watchful eye of her Mother, like a maiden who would never be allowed to grow and become her own self. My story was a way of rescuing Persephone from the perpetual cycle of daughterhood and wifehood and giving her back something that is her own. A truth inside her that no one can control or take away.
The picture above is one I drew to represent the memories and dreams of both my main character and Persephone. I’m not a great artist, but I do enjoy depicting my characters.
Lyndsay E. Gilbert’s “The Strangest Sort of Siren” can be found in Fae Visions of the Mediterranean.