If I had to describe myself, it would be in a word that has many meanings with a complexity which falls off the tongue.
A word made up of many elements, is deceptive in appearance, and creates an illusion from the imagination.
My word would be Phantasmagoric. ~Summer Ross

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Roland Yeomans and the Sidhe Leandra

Like ice crystals frozen in time- Leandra stands firm as a tall eloquent Sidhe. How then did our dear Roland find her? I’ll tell you- in Hibbs realm of dream and myth. Today Fairy friends we embark on a great adventure to reality where author Roland Yeoman’s has created The bear with two Shadows. Let us see what our mortal friend has to say.
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Summer: First I must ask, Roland do you believe in fairies?
Roland: I am not only part Lakota but part Irish as well.  Mother taught me to look for them out of the corner of my eyes.  "But do be polite," she said.  "No one likes to be stared at!" 

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Summer: How much research did you put into the Sidhe before writing up Leandra in your book?
Roland: I put quite a bit of research into the Sidhe.  My mother's use of them in her tales to me in that frigid Detroit basement apartment quickened my curiosity about them.
In Irish mythology, the aosthol sí (Irish pronunciation: i-s-fi) older form aes sídhe [e-s-fi-a) are a supernatural race comparable to the fairies or elves.
They are said to live underground in the fairy mounds, across the western sea, or in an invisible world that coexists with the world of humans. 

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This world is described in "The Book of Invasions" (recorded in the Book of Leinster) as a parallel universe in which the aos sí walk amongst the living.
In the Irish language, aos sí means "people of the mounds" (the mounds are known in Irish as "the sídhe"). In Irish literature the people of the mounds are also referred to as the daoine sídhe ("deena shee"),
and in Scottish Gaelic literature as the daoine sìth or daoine sìdh. They are said to be the ancestors, spirits of nature, or goddesses and gods.
Some later English texts have referred to the aos sí as "the sídhe". While this is incorrect it has become a widespread usage in English.
And I decided sometimes it is better to be understood than to be absolutely, but confusingly, correct.
I thought I would use the Australian concept of the DreamTime to bring Hibbs first into contact with the parallel universe of the Sidhe -- which in truth exists in the twin islands of New Zealand, which they call Aotearoa, "The Land of the Long White Cloud."  {Which in fact is what the Maori natives of that land call their islands.}
For Hibbs' second trip to the Sidhe and into the past, I used my own take on the Sidhe Mounds -- ancient portals of mystic and scientific design, drawn from the knowledge of angels and The Great Mystery.
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Summer: I know the fairies are pleased with your research. How did you come about the Sidhe’s name of Leandra? Did it have anything to do with the potentially poisonous oleander flower?
Roland: Mother used only "the Sidhe of Snow and Sorrows" in describing Leandra.  But the oleander flower with its color always looked cold to me as if its blossoms were bluing with frostbite.  And since Oleander is one of the most poisonous of commonly grown garden plants, and can be very toxic if ingested in sufficient quantity -- I thought warping its sound a bit to Leandra would be fitting.  Leandra is, indeed, toxic to all around her -- but Hibbs, who, because of his being bonded to the Turquoise Woman (Gaia) can no more be hurt by poison than a fish can get wet.
But Leandra does draw him to death.  Yet, is that not the way of love in myth and legend?
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Summer: Love often finds its way through myth and legend. I did notice a word in your story “Diatheke,” in the Greek lexicon, Diatheke is translated as covenant or testament or pact, there is even a reference that it means “an arrangement of any sort which one wishes to be valid.” Did this translation of the word play any part in how you used it in your book with reference to the Sidhe?
Roland: Wow. You are definitely correct in your research.  Though Hibbs only nibbles at the edges of the Diatheke in this first book of his adventures, it does symbolize the Great Mystery's covenant with Mankind -- which in the Mirror World, as in our world, must be sealed in blood -- Hibbs' blood.  But as in our world, Hibbs gets better.  And yes, Hibbs in these adventures is a Christ-figure -- but also a Fisher King figure.  Yet, he is his own hero with his own unique character and final destiny.
Summer: What an interesting take on the word, I like that. Now my last question is Which Myth of the Sidhe is your favorite and why?
Wow. My favorite, huh?
That's hard since the origin of the Sidhe myths are closely tied to the ancient history of Ireland.
The story goes that the Fir-Bolgs, a relatively uncivilized people, and the Formorians were in control of the island until the Tuatha De’ Danann (the people of Danu) landed. The Tuatha De’ Danann brought with them technology and culture far beyond the Fir-Bolgs, which made up for their fewer numbers, and they were able to gain control of Ireland

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Perhaps because of the gap in sophistication between the Tuatha De’ Danann and the other populations, many legends and superstitions began to spring up concerning the newcomers. They could only be hurt by weapons of iron, it was said, and they possessed artifacts of great and wondrous power, such as the Caludrun of Dagda, which could never be emptied of stew.
The Tuatha De’ Danann were eventually defeated by another group, the Miesians. Of course, the Tuatha De’ Danann were so infused with myth and power that they could not truly be defeated, and so the legend goes they left Ireland by slipping into another time and space, to rule the Otherworld.
I like that concept.  I think they just became past irritated at fighting with savages.  Sometimes the best way to win is to not to be at the place of battle.
At their passing, all the supplies had been laid in store for the poets and storytellers of Ireland to use in creating the stories of the Sidhe.
The Banshee (ban-shee, or woman of the shee) and her wailing song that signified the death of one of the major families in Ireland.
 The Leprechaun, who some speculate was inspired by the gold-working, diminutive Fir-Bolg in ages passed.
 And the spectral riders of the Sidhe, a ghostly host that would catch up any mortal foolish enough to be out in the dark of night and carry them on a wild, frightening ride they would not soon forget.
I used all three legends in my tale, THE BEAR WITH TWO SHADOWS.
But I cannot say which is my favorite.
The legends and myths of the Sidhe are countless and creative, and all carry with them a reverence to times long passed. And that appeals to the Lakota in me.
Not all Sidhe stories are scary stories, nor are they all pleasant stories. They all, however, have the unique flavor of Irish myth.
Have a great, magical day, Summer.  And thanks so much!
Thank you Roland for being here today and giving us such great details! Your answers were amazing!
Don't forget if you Leave a comment you get entered for signed copies of these fabulous book:

For another TWO entries: Link to Twitter or Facebook. Be sure to email Roland at rxena77@yahoo.com to let him know.
 if you post a proper review of THE BEAR WITH TWO SHADOWS on Amazon by March 31, you will get THREE entries in the drawing.
The drawing will be held April 1st.


Deniz Bevan said...

Such a great interview! I love reading about these myths and legends.

alberta ross said...

wonderful interview - thanks for that

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Summer, Hi, Roland,

What a fantastical fairy post... I love the mystical world. Roland, it is so amazing the way you wove the fae folk in your novel.

Summer, there were awesome questions. I love the spin you put on Roland's blog tour.


Heather said...

What an excellent interview! Summer, your blog is the perfect place for Roland and Hibbs to hang out. ;)

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Thanks, Deniz : Summer's unique and insightful questions opened a window to some fascinating glimpses of Irish and fae myth, didn't they?

Alberta : The credit all goes to Summer who asked such fine questions and was able to pluck victory from ashes from my work-weary mind.

Michael : Weren't Summer's questions truly awesome? Like Donna's, they made me look good.

N. R. Williams said...

What a great post the two of you put together. I love it.

Ages ago, (I can't remember the book, sorry), before I knew I wanted to write. I read a book that talked about the fairy folk in the British Islands, included was Ireland. The author said that there is a nomadic peoples who were very small compared to other people. They were copper skinned and lived in matriarchal societies. The Celts used them as healers because they knew so much about herbal plants. They were also very fearful of these people and called them fairies. The fairy folk buried their dead in mounds that they built in the ground along with all their possessions including gold. They selected the location of their mounds based on where they perceived the rainbow landed.

It was interesting. the author also said that some of these people can still be found in less populated areas of Britain. I guess we should ask our British friends if this is true.
N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.

Summer Ross said...

Nancy- If you come across the title of the book- let me know as i would be interested to read it.

Roland- There was no ashes- :)

Roland D. Yeomans said...

Heather : Hibbs and I think so, too.

Nancy : Like Summer, I would like to read that book. Thanks for liking our interview. Summer made me look good.

Summer : I always knew you were a gracious lady, Roland

Jeffrey Beesler said...

Wow, what a great interview! I especially liked hearing about the parallel universe and the various types of folklore creatures present in this story.

The Golden Eagle said...

Great interview! It was so interesting to learn about the mythology and the Sidhe; it sounds like an amazing world that Hibbs travels to.

(Also, I'd prefer to stay out of the drawing.)

Deirdra Eden-Coppel said...

I love your site and your writing voice. As I browsed your blog I decided to award you the Fantastic Fantasy Award.

Go to http://astorybookworld.blogspot.com/p/awards.html and pick up your award.


L'Aussie said...

This is an amazing interview, thank you Summer and Roland. Roland, I love the way you've used stories from many cultures to add to the richness of your stories. Wonderful. I loved the Irish legends (being part Irish of course.)


Roland D. Yeomans said...

Jeffery : I'm happy I tickled your interest. Mythology has long been a passion of mine -- as you can tell.

Golden Eagle : Hibbs is glad you like the world he travels to. He was wondering if you could get him some Kevlar, grizzly size, of course!! Hibbs and I are gentlemen, ah him in a manner of speaking! -- so yes, we'll not place you in the drawing. But you've won a place in the heart of Hibbs anyway!!

Deirdra : I'm sure Summer appreciates your award. Thank you for thinking of her! Roland

Jules said...

Great interview you guys. Even with one eye I had a good time :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Domey Malasarn said...

Summer, you asked some fantastic questions here. What an interesting interview!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Summer and Roland .. lots of research here into this side of the pond .. the myths and legends here have been around through word of mouth, and some were written down as the printing press came into existence .. and there must be loads of lore to find out about .. fascinating reading this .. Summer - excellent interview - mind you good interviewee!!

Cheers Hilary

Anonymous said...

Fantastic interview Summer and Roland. I used to live on the island of the Long White Cloud, not many people know it as that as you say.
Please don't count me in the giveaway I've won too much lately, I'll get virtual tomatoes tossed at me if I win any more! I'll tweet it for you though.

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