Welcome back to Jay Mountney! The story she has for us today is something right up my street. I love reading about Fae, wether they’re the cracked, evil incarnation from Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, or Rory NiCoileain’s very sexy, modern version – they’re fun and intriguing and frustrating… and I don’t mind finding a new story to read. Jay Mountney’s Fae even have wings! But I’ll let her explain about that and go sit in my corner and read. 🙂
Here I am again, this time with my new series, Living Fae, or at least the first volume. In a way, it isn’t a new venture. The story grew out of two things.
First, I was asked to write letters in reply to a child who had written to ‘the fairies at the bottom of the garden’. The correspondence turned into a children’s book which I have not yet published, but it also had a spin-off: the story of the older fae, their lives, loves and thoughts. Everything is based in two real places, both of which are near my home and both of which have been used by me for dog walks. It was therefore easy to build the physical world my fae would inhabit.
Then, I joined an online role play group and developed my main characters further. It was fascinating to work within these magical characters who grew in my brain and let them interact with other people, explaining themselves and recounting their adventures.
I ended up with a mass of material and decided it would all be better presented in book form. The only trouble was that it was mostly told in journal or diary format (with a few forays into conversation transcripts) and whilst this gave it a kind of immediacy and intimacy, it has proved very hard to organise. Checking for things like consistency of dates is a nightmare. Last year I finally managed to get volume one published. I have all the material for volumes two and three, but the task of sorting everything out is daunting. However, I hope to have volume two ready in 2018.
My fae are not the tiny fragile creatures of Victorian children’s books. They have more in common with Shakespeare’s creations in Midsummer Night’s Dream, inhabiting forest regions, and dwelling alongside us though seldom seen. They are amoral, bisexual, and of indeterminate age though not by any means immortal. Their wings are functional and definitely not gossamer. They are not deliberately cruel but humans should perhaps be wary. They interact with other creatures such as goblins, leprechauns and unicorns, and these, too, are by no means small or sweet. These fae are in many ways as modern as we are; some of them even use mobile phones, and they are not above booking flights on planes if they need to cross wide expanses of water.
I know my beta readers and my erstwhile role play partners love the fae family and their friends. An mm couple are the focus of the story and the main narrators, but there are plenty of siblings, friends, relatives, strangers and even humans in the mix.
This first volume, Growing Up Fae, follows Harlequin, the narrator or diarist, through his childhood into a fairly settled, though sometimes fiery, relationship on Alderley Edge, in Cheshire. The next collection of entries and stories, Tales from Tara, will centre on the experiences of Yarrow, Harlequin’s partner, and then Harlequin himself, in Ireland, when they spend time at the court in Tara. The third volume, Life on the Edge, will continue the main story of the Alderley Edge community, including the ongoing history of Harlequin and Yarrow.
The volumes overlap to some extent. Volume one has events in Cheshire while Yarrow is in Tara. And so on. I hope the diary headings keep the sequence of events clear. There is a huge cast of characters, some of whom are a major part of the story and some merely ‘visitors’ or just referenced in the tale. For the confused (or the interested) there is a glossary (and there will eventually be a timeline) on my WordPress blog. Look for the button at the top with the series title: Living Fae. Interested readers can Google Alderley Edge and get a sense of the place. I have used the standard maps and points of interest but the fae do not always call things by their human names.
I hope people like my fae. And now that I’ve encouraged you all to intermingle with them, I’d better get on with the next volume!
Growing Up Fae
Harlequin was born in rural Cheshire (North West England) into a fae family. He has six siblings, unusual for a fae because fae children are rare and precious. He finds a mobile phone and decides to tell his life story to the world. The first part of the book therefore deals with his childhood and family life. Eventually, the family move to Alderley Edge, also in Cheshire and a busy hub of fae activitiy. Harlequin tells the story of how he ended up in a relationship with Yarrow, and their interactions with the unicorn herd because Yarrow is the leader of the Wild Hunt. There are all the trappings of a fae soap opera, with weddings, betrayals, celebrations, fears and the minutiae of daily life. But this is basically the story of one person’s development and the community is simply a background to that. There are musings about love (and sex), life (and death), and even literature. There are poems that express Harlequin’s feelings. There are meetings with humans, some lightly humorous and some much darker. Over the course of the book, the narrator grows up and begins to understand himself and those around him in greater depth. This volume ends with the birth of his nephew and the beginning of a new generation on the Edge.
About Jay Mountney
Jay was for many years an English teacher, also deeply involved in multicultural and equal opportunities education. Most of her writing was confined to teaching materials, some of which were published. She is now retired and concentrating on fiction. Until last year she divided her time between two homes, one in UK and one in Portugal, but lost the Portuguese one in the 2017 October fires. This has led to a current lack of concentration as she and her husband try to get to grips with what happened and reinvent their lives. However, writing is progressing again and provides a much needed escape. Jay is married with one daughter and one grandson. She has a lot of interests: apart from the obvious reading and writing, she is fascinated by animals, art, architecture, interior design, languages and language learning, and cookery and will happily talk about any or all of these for hours.
You can find Jay on