Witches, Kelpies, and Fairies, Oh My!

April 1, 2020 – April 30, 2020 all-day
Online workshop Coordinator

Description: My first introduction to the Otherworld, as Highlanders call it, came when I joined the Brownies. My Girl Scout handbook included a tale that explained who brownies were. Little did I realize that many years later, I would immerse myself in this strange world in order to better understand my Scottish characters. I invite you to step into the unknown as we explore the supernatural world of Scotland. Highlanders and Lowlanders, as well as Islanders, believed the creatures and forces of the Otherworld were real, and sometimes more menacing than one’s neighbors. In this workshop you’ll learn about the differences between Highland and Lowland witches; second sight and seers; water creatures; portents of death; the world of fairies and elves; other supernatural beings; and ghosts.

Lessons are enhanced with a resource bibliography and excerpts from my novel, The Scottish Thistle, where I incorporated the Otherworld into this tale of the Rising of 1745. Aside from discussions on whether you believe and which elements of the Otherworld you would weave into your Scottish stories, assignments help to flesh out your stories and characters. At the end of the workshop, I offer a free edit of a chapter from your manuscript.

About the Instructor: A retired librarian, Cindy Vallar began researching pirates in college while working on The Rebel and the Spy, a historical novel involving Jean Laffite and the Battle of New Orleans. She is the Editor of Pirates and Privateers, a monthly column on the history of maritime piracy that is now in its eighteenth year. She also reviews piratical and maritime fiction and non-fiction books, and maintains an annotated list of the best piracy and maritime sites on the web. For fourteen years, she wrote “The Red Pencil,” an editing column profiling authors and comparing pieces from their published novels with early drafts of those works, for Historical Novels Review. She is also a freelance editor and historical novelist. She belongs to the Historical Novel Society, Historical Writers of America, the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors, the Laffite Society, the Louisiana Historical Society, and the National Maritime Historical Society. She invites you to visit her award-winning web site, Thistles & Pirates (http://www.cindyvallar.com), to learn more.