Remember this great cover?
Friend and fellow author, Erin Fanning's Blood Stitches is finally out. She stopped by today to talk about Magic, Mythology, an Earthquake, and how inspiration strikes.
When an earthquake struck L’Aquila, Italy on April 6, 2009, 98-year-old Maria D’Antuono remained calm. As her stone house shook around her, she grabbed her knitting and crawled under her bed, keeping herself busy while waiting to be rescued.
I read about Maria’s plight soon after I learned how to knit; yet, I already understood the instinct to grab needles and yarn. The repetitive motion of knitting, I quickly discovered, was not only soothing but hypnotic.
The events adhered to my imagination, mixing together until they grew into a tale of magic and handiwork. What if you could not only find solace during a disaster through knitting, but also create a disaster?
Soon Gabby, Abuela, and Esperanza, characters from my novella, Blood Stitches, were pushing their way through my fingertips. But instead of Italy, my magical family came from Mexico, a country I’d grown to love while living there as a child, specifically the state of Chiapas, which has a rich history of weaving and needlework.
I discovered that Mayan mythology gave Ix Chel, the goddess of the moon, credit for teaching women how to weave and design textiles. From there, I unopened a rich world of mythology, primarily through the Popol Vuh, a classic text in Meso-American literature, which tells the story of creation through Mayan mythology.
Although the Popl Vuh took place in Guatemala, I incorporated its stories into Blood Stitches. The twin myth and battle with the demon Vucub Caquix became the central plot for the novella.
Other bits and pieces from Mayan mythology also found their way into the book. The character Xta, for example, was based on the xtabay, seductresses who led men astray, and the giant brothers, Cabra and Zip, were composites of Cabrakan and Zipacna, the god of earthquakes and the god of mountains, respectively.
Eventually, the research into Mayan mythology led to an endless source of adventures, which I’m hoping to include in a sequel, with Gabby and her friends traveling to the Mayan ruins of Chiapas.
Ultimately, though, I learned that classic literature never really grows old. The stories in the Popol Vuh are as interesting and vital today as when they were first written hundreds of years ago—tales of betrayal, romance, and survival that rival modern novels for originality and entertainment.
It’s called El Toque de la Luna—The Touch of the Moon. At least that’s how nineteen-year-old Gabby’s older sister, Esperanza, refers to the magical powers she inherited from their Mayan ancestors. Esperanza says women with El Toque weave magic into their knitting, creating tapestries capable of saving—or devastating—the world. Gabby thinks Esperanza is more like touched in the head—until a man dressed like a candy corn arrives at their Seattle home on Halloween. But “Mr. C” is far from sweet…
Soon, Gabby and her almost-more-than-friend, Frank, find themselves spirited away to a demon ball, complete with shape shifters—and on a mission to destroy Esperanza’s tapestries before they cause an apocalyptic disaster… And before it’s too late to confess their true feelings for each other.
Barnes & Noble:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blood-stitches-erin-fanning/1121044500?ean=9781616506735
About the Author:
Erin Fanning spends her summers on a northern Michigan lake, where her imagination explores the water and dense forest for undiscovered creatures. In the winter, she migrates to central Idaho, exchanging mountain bikes and kayaks for skis and snowshoes. She’s the author of a mountain biking guidebook, as well as numerous articles, essays, and short stories.
Find Erin online:
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