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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wednesday Spotlight: Helen Scott Taylor

My favorite part of writing fantasy or paranormal stories is the world building, layering on the details that bring a fantasy world to life in my mind as clearly as a real place. I based the fantasy world of my Magic Knot Fairies series on Celtic mythology and have used areas rich in Celtic myth and legend to set my stories.

I had the pleasure of visiting Dublin and the Wicklow Mountains in Ireland for research for The Magic Knot. For The Phoenix Charm, the second book in my Magic Knot Fairies series, I chose the small country called Wales in the United Kingdom as the setting for much of the story. Like most of Britain, Wales has a rich heritage of Celtic myth and legend.

All the pantheons of ancient gods—the Romans, Greeks, Norse and Celtic—contain a god who rules over the Underworld. In the myths of Wales, the Underworld is controlled by the Welsh Fairy King, Gwyn ap Nudd. He rules the Tylwyth Teg who are tall blond-haired fairies with a habit of stealing away mortal children.

In The Phoenix Charm, the Tylwyth Teg are my villains who trap my hero Michael O’Connor’s little nephew. He has to travel to Wales to recover the child and in the process comes face to face with a strange fairy king who is not what he seems.

In the third book of the series, The Ruby Kiss, due out at the end of 2010, my hero and heroine get tangled up in the machinations of the Seelie and Unseelie Scottish Fairy Courts. This summer I spent two weeks visiting castles and other historic sites in Scotland to do research for the story. Research is always a good excuse for travel!

For more information on my books and to read excerpts visit


Hywela Lyn said...

As a Welshwoman (although unfortunately living in England, away from my beloved homeland at for the last few years) I found your article very interesting. It's great when other writers realise the wealth of myth and legend in Wales, so often it's just Ireland and Scotland are highlighted and I have even seen 'workshops' on the Celts which completely ignored Wales. Good luck with 'The Pheonix Charm.# it sounds fascinating, and I am of course very familiar with the legends of the Tylwyth Teg.

booklover0226 said...

After reading your post and Hywela Lyn's posts, I want to learn more bout Tylwyth Teg!

(heads over to Google...)

Tracey D

Dena said...

Hi Helen, I love books about the fae and have only read a few books set in Wales. Your books sound really good.