New Takes on Old Legends By Debra Mullins
After writing thirteen historical romances over the past few years, I’ve finally dipped my toe into modern day paranormal romance with my October release, PRODIGAL SON. This is the story of Cara McGaffigan, a computer programmer from New Jersey, and Rafe Montana, Las Vegas bounty hunter. And oh, Rafe has some cool super powers, thanks to his ancestors from Atlantis.
The story of Atlantis has continued to fascinate people over the centuries. It poses the ultimate “What if” question for a writer. Because there is so little information and, technically, no archeological evidence of its existence, the mystery of Atlantis leaves the field open for a writer like me to “what if” her way into creating a whole new world.
In my Atlantis, there was a section of the population who were charged with protecting the normal people. They were Seers, Channelers and Warriors. When Atlantis was destroyed, some of these people escaped and blended into the normal human population, passing their amazing abilities down to their modern day, half-human descendants.
Myths and legends have been reimagined over and over in books, TV and movies. I remember the old TV show The Man from Atlantis, starring a pre-Dallas Patrick Duffy. This involved a man who had amnesia, but could breathe under water. The implication was he was from Atlantis. There’ve been other takes on Atlantis through the decades, such as the ones by romance authors Alyssa Day and Gena Showalter. Even Disney had an animated film about Atlantis.
And it’s not just Atlantis. How many reinventions have there been of vampires? Joss Whedon rewrote the rules of the undead with his brilliant Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel TV series, as did Anne Rice, Christine Feehan, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Stephenie Meyer and many others. Nalini Singh took shape-shifters to a whole new level years after Michael J. Fox starred in Teen Wolf. And how about mermaids? I’m a sucker for a good mermaid story. Splash, anyone? Some of my favorite mermaid books include Shana Abé’s The Last Mermaid and the Water Lilies series by Deborah Smith. (If you haven’t read the Water Lilies, start with Alice At Heart.) Shana Abé also writes a wonderful series about dragon shapeshifters, as does Deborah Cooke. And do not miss anything written by Marjorie M. Liu. She does a little bit of everything, and all of it brilliantly.
The more examples I cite, the more I can think of. How about you? What are your favorite takes on the old legends? Can you think of any that didn’t work for you?
About the Author:
Debra Mullins is the author of multiple historical and contemporary paranormal romances. She has been nominated for numerous awards, including the National Readers’ Choice Award, the Holt Medallion (twice), and Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart and RITA awards. In 2003 she was the winner of the Golden Leaf Award for Best Historical with her Regency romance, A NECESSARY BRIDE.
Born and raised in the New York/New Jersey area, Debra has been actively writing for over twenty years. Some of her historical back list was recently released as part of the launch of Samhain Publishing’s Retro Romance e-book line, and she continues to write new paranormal and historical romances, available in print and electronic formats. Debra currently lives on the west coast with her family and two eccentric cats, where she still expects it to snow on Christmas and continues her search for Real Pizza.
Visit her on her website