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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thursday Spotlight: Helen Scott Taylor

A Midwinter Fantasy anthology, coming November 2010 in ebook and October 2011 trade paperback.

Helen Scott Taylor: The Crystal Crib.

My favorite part of writing fantasy novels is the research and world building. I enjoy researching the mythology and folk law on which I base the world I’m developing. I’ve used mainly Celtic mythology with a touch of Norse in my Magic Knot series. One of the most useful research books I have is The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Fairies by Anna Franklin. Another book on my reference shelf that I refer to regularly is The Element Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures. There is a series of Element Encyclopedias covering everything from witches to secret societies—well worth checking out of the library or purchasing if you are interested in the paranormal and supernatural. 

I love visiting places that I’m planning to use as settings. I combine research with vacations and my husband has got used to the fact that we always have to vacation somewhere that I plan to set a book. Before I wrote The Magic Knot, we visited Ireland; specifically the area near Dublin called the Wicklow Mountains. The area isn’t mountainous but high moorland. The area combines lush green tree-filled valleys with purple moorland. Unfortunately, when we visited the mist was so thick on the moorland that I could hardly see the road in front of our rental car.

My story in A Midwinter Fantasy is set mainly in Iceland among the Norse gods. I would have loved to visit the country but didn’t get the chance. The internet proved vital for research on both the Norse gods and the beautiful wild country in which they live.

Although I set my stories in a contemporary fantasy world, the characters often reside in historic houses. With the UK being so rich in heritage, I can’t resist blending a touch of history with the fantasy.

For information and to read excerpts go to


Maureen said...

I've wanted to see Ireland for some years. All the pictures that I've seen look gorgeous.
mce1011 AT aol DOT com

cheryl c said...

I have visited England, and I hope to visit Ireland and Scotland one day.
castings at mindspring dot com

lindseye said...

Loved Ireland when I had a chance to visit years ago. Would love to go back.