Wednesday, 15 February 2017

The Leapling and the Horseshoe Nail

Welcome to the shadowy and not-so-shadowy space behind Sally's books. If you're not familiar with this blog, scroll down to see what it's all about.

The Leapling and the Horseshoe Nail Post 46

The Leapling and the Horseshoe Nail (2016) is a short ebook. Originally it was part of a novel anthology, but when I learned how to format ebooks, I did a few little $2.00 projects.

The story is set in Ireland, and is the confluence of several interesting things I'd found out over the years and stored away in my mental "one day" files. The basic story line is a traditional one much employed by late 19th Century and early 20th Century writers such as L.M. Montgomery. To put it in a nutshell...
Flora O’Leary does not want to be married. What she does want is for everyone to stop asking her about it and to save enough money to buy a little cow. After she meets a fairy woman on the way to the market, she hatches a plan.

Well, okay, so L.M. Montgomery didn't employ fairy women, but she did have a possible witch in Peg Bowen.

The pieces of information I had stored went something like this:
A traditional jingle about for the want of a nail the shoe was lost... which deals with the butterfly effect. One small omission or commission leads to a big effect.
Leap Day, the 29th of February, was traditionally the one day of the year when a young woman could propose to the man of her choice.
Children born on 29th February (cue The Pirates of Penzance) were known as leaplings.
If a girl proposed to a man and he turned her down, she could ask him for a pair of gloves and he was bound to give them to her.
Gloves in mediaeval times were expensive items.
Fairies could be repelled by cold iron, especially if it was a nail from the true cross.

All these bits of information percolated away in my brain for a long time until I suddenly asked myself the question; what if a spurned woman, having achieved a pair of gloves from the man who turned down her proposal, decided to chance her luck on another man, merely to get a second pair of gloves? What if she ended up with a cupboard full of gloves, making a handy nest egg? And what if, as she ran out of eligible men to ask, one of them did the unexpected and...

Well, the story didn't go quite like that, but it was fun to write.

The Leapling and the Horseshoe Nail is available HERE

About the Blog

Sally is Sally Odgers; author, manuscript assessor, editor, anthologist and reader. (Sally is me, by the way, and I am lots of other things too, but these are the relevant ones for now.)

The goal for 2017 is to write a post a day profiling the background behind one of my books; how it came to be written, what it's about, and any things of note that happened along the way. If you're an author, an aspiring author, a reader or just someone who enjoys windows into worlds, you might find this fun. This preamble will be pasted to the top of each post, so feel free to skip it in future.

The books are not in any special order, but will be assigned approximate dates, and pictures, where they exist. 

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