Like Karis, I’m fascinated by mythology. Since I was a child, the big personalities, the transformations, the epic journeys, have always appealed to my own sense of adventure. I love the idea that mere human beings can become something more, something extraordinary and sublime.
I’m a huge fan of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, especially. People and gods changing constantly into other beings, both flora and fauna, in the blink of an eye. Granted, the women were usually running from someone or something, and being transformed was the only escape. I think that’s one of the reasons I liked the concept of She-Shifters so much–these women are in control, transforming themselves into something powerful and sensual.
I have a definite hot spot for women with wings. I love fairies, and those hot gothic vampire type chicks with big black wings…mmmm. Many years ago I read a book (for the life of me I can’t remember the title or author) that was a take on the selkie myth: a man marries a woman with wings, but keeps something of hers that keeps her from flying away. Every night he watches her bathe with a group of female servants, marveling at the beauty of her wings. One day he leaves the magical item lying around, she grabs it and escapes. All he sees is the colors of her wings as she flies into the sunset.
That sounds a lot sadder than I remember the book being…perhaps it’s good I can’t remember the title or author. Regardless, I love the idea of a woman free to fly anywhere at any time, the ultimate in feminine freedom.
Combining that idea with my other favorite, the Phoenix, seemed only natural. A bird that burns so brightly, so beautifully, it eventually burns itself out, only to rise from its own ashes and begin again. Like many women who go through tragedy but come out the other side stronger and wiser. My character Cree, a sun worshiping surfer, meets the girl of her dreams on the beach, but there’s something about this girl no one knows…
Excerpt from All the Colors of the Sun:
Her navy blue dress hugged her body like a second skin, a forest green band under her breasts pushing them forward while the rest of the dress dropped in folds beneath them. A pendant hung between her breasts, a bird with the same blue and green of her dress, the wings tipped with the colors of fire. Then I realized there was no chain—it wasn’t a pendant, it was a tattoo. One her bikini must have covered the day before, although that didn’t seem possible, given the scarcity of material in her bikini top.
She cleared her throat and I realized I’d been staring at her breasts.
“Sorry. You look amazing. I was looking at your tat. It’s gorgeous.” I shoved my hands in my pockets, wanting the marble floor to swallow me whole.
“Thank you,” she said softly. “I need to finish my make-up, if that’s okay. I’m running a bit late. Help yourself to a beer or whatever.” She ran back up the stairs, and I admired the way the dress swung around her.
I walked out to the deck and stared at the multitude of colored feathers scattered around the deck. The breeze picked one up and I watched it slide into the air, the orange and blues in it catching the lights from the house before it was taken away by the wind. The other feathers, mixes of blues and greens and reds and golds, all took to the wind as well, and by the time Ash came back downstairs, they had all gone.
So what mythical creature most resonates with you?
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