Okay. It might not be a good title for every creature that I'd like to highlight, because not all of them are monsters. But they are all magical creatures. They were all created as a way to bring order to the world, to make the harshness of the ancient world not as scary, offer hope to its inhabitants.
As I was developing Annie and Cham and their friends, family, and histories, I decided that if I were to have Annie motherless by age three, a single father might need a nanny to help him. But you can't just have a nanny help raise two magical children, now could you? When you come up with issues like this as you put together your new world, you need to fill a need. So I took out my handy-dandy, magical creature go to book of magical creatures and researched the perfect creature that would fill that magical nanny need.
I happened across the Aloja Fairy, a creature the originated in the Catalan region of Spain. They are water women symbolizing fertility and life-giving virtues, said to protect pregnant women and children. I thought I struck gold. Nocturnal beings who also have narcissistic tendencies and enjoy viewing their reflection in the water, who also enjoy fine clothing. I still have difficulty adding that aspect of the fairy into my character of Zola because for me she's not that half of the tradition, rather she's a substitute mom to Annie and her sister, stern and respectful, loving and caring, one of the few beings who can control Annie. The Aloja Fairy, the water woman, bonded to Annie by an unbreakable magical spell, something that will last beyond the Annie's mortal life on to her children and their children. The fairy who can feel Annie's needs before Annie herself knows what she needs.
As I researched the Aloja fairies, and trust me there's not so much in the way of this type of fairy being, I came across The Fates, three goddesses also known as the Moirae in ancient Greece traditions. Their connection was that both character were female creatures responsible for mortal lives. whereas the Aloja is responsible for the birthing process and caring for young children, The Fates spun the length of yarn which represented our allotted life span for each mortal being.
These creatures I believe were related to ancient religions that believed in both a male and a female G_d and to those who believed the female goddess was more important of the two because she contains and conceives life. As I put all of these pieces together I found myself with far more than a magical nanny. I found myself with a character with a rich back story and history and possibly another book plot.
For me it's about creating a creatures based on existing beliefs of our ancient ancestors. To find out more about Zola and her past and how the Fates figure into it, read How Zola Got Her Charge. Happy reading!