top of page
a collection of fables & faerie tales by D. Rae Vanlandingham
In March of 2011 I'd spent a year writing almost 400 pages of a lengthy and complex novel and found myself badly in need of a break. Something else to turn my mind to. For some reason I can't remember now, I picked up The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Fairies by Anna Franklin and began reading entries at random. After two or three I came to the S's and the entry on selkies. There are those who say these creatures are mythical, but I've always had my doubts about that and they've fascinated me for as long as I can remember. Halfway through Ms. Franklin's treatise on the shape-shifting seducers, the short story that eventually became Seven Tears, A Fable came to me; fully-formed and begging to be written. I thought of it as a diversion. A few pages to change my perspective and refresh a beleaguered imagination. Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans. In the following weeks I found my mind wandering back to Folly's Landing again and again, imagining what might have happened next. It became obvious there was a bigger story to be told, the events of Seven Tears were just the beginning. A few weeks later I wrote Poor Nan. To Sea Once More soon followed and the Folly's Landing Cycle was born, though it is far from finished! When the summer of 2011 came to a close I was dismayed to be confronted with two new television series based on fairy tales and suddenly my wonderful idea seemed much less original than it had in March and April. I'll admit I was discouraged and almost gave it up...almost, but I just couldn't get my head out of Folly's Landing. After some soul-searching, I decided to press on and just consider the appearance, and subsequent popularity, of those shows evidence that there is an audience out there for work of this genre. It would be fair to ask how Folly's Landing is different. In Folly's Landing you're dealing with Faerie: a realm anathema to human sensibilities, a realm as old as the time before time and full of creatures-whether malevolent or merely whimsical and pleasure loving-that have no regard for the morality of Victorian era Fairy Tales. You won't find any frog princes or young mermaids eager to walk on two legs and join the mortal world on these pages...well, perhaps a toad or two might make an appearance. But you won't meet Cinderella here or Snow White either. My inspiration comes not from the 19th century publications of Hans Christian Anderson or the Brothers Grimm, or even from the earlier works of Charles Perrault, but rather from the elements of older myths and folklore traditions that they and the medieval romances drew their own inspiration from. These elements, though pagan and primitive, are still familiar to most of us, speaking to our secret hopes and our darkest fears, and so remain a fertile source for new mythologies. Each story of Folly's Landing tells only a part of the larger cycle, characters come and go, sometimes appearing in each other's tales and sometimes not. Many can be enjoyed as stand-alone pieces, not relying on the background of earlier tales. I expect that will change as the cycle progresses and the many threads come together. But this is a work in progress, so anything's possible. Like all true faerie stories, those of Folly's Landing often have a dark and dangerous side and I must warn you: they aren't for children. I hope by now you're intrigued enough to read on. Welcome to Folly's Landing and beware...
bottom of page