Sunday, January 9, 2011

Enter the Harpy....

[Image courtesy Flickr Creative Commons - ~duncan~]

So I've written a novella about a Harpy - well, quarter Harpy to be exact. It's called "Mimosa Black", and I've recently submitted it to an e-publisher and am awaiting their response. Time will tell!

As anyone one whose read any blog I've written will know - I love Mythological creatures, and I specialise using them in Modern Romance.

I chose the Harpy for one main reason - they're pretty unpleasant. My trusty Collins Concise Dictionary (2001) defines them as "a ravenous creature with a woman's head and trunk and a bird's wings and claws" - this is what I call a "True Harpy".

The joy of using Mythological creatures is that you can adapt them to your needs. For example, the character of Mimosa is a quarter Harpy - a hybrid Harpy if you will. Subsequently she has completely human body with the addition of glossy black wings.

In this novella, I have taken the Harpy and inserted it into our modern society. To do this I asked myself a few questions;

Description: What exactly are my Harpies going to look like?
Society: Where would  Harpies fit as a minority group?
Employment: What kind of employment could they have?
Accommodation: Where would they live?
Romance: Who would love a Harpy?

Description: Well, I tend to go with the standard description of a True Harpy, but a hybrid Harpy (with one parent a human) could really take any of the physical traits and have them mixed.
Society: As a minority group, I think they'd probably be a pretty unpopular but close knit bunch. Aggression and violence would be their main cultural traits. To highlight this fact and create my heroine's back story,  I used the concept of the "Flock" to describe their community and ascribed rules of behaviour to "Flock members". 
Employment: I think a Harpy would suit some form of Security work, or Policing .
Accommodation; They'd probably live in high-rise apartments from which they can fly (as siting in a car with large wings would really be quite uncomfortable).
Romance: As for who would love a Harpy - well, I can't give everything away!

Putting magic and mythology back into contemporary romance is something I'm passionate about. The traditional Harpy, (much maligned in tales of old) lends itself to redevelopment in the modern world, creating new and exciting stories to stir the imagination and heart as well.


Postscript: "Mimosa Black" has been accepted by Eternal Press and will be due for release hopefully later this year.


  1. Good luck with the Harpy MS and I love the use of mythology and mixing it in with contemporary times. Love the 'flock' description too.

  2. Thank's Eleni, it's all a waiting game now!