Fiction & folklore!

Writer of dark fantasy & Gothic horror. Blogger of weird myths and folklore.

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Holly and Christmas go together like bacon and eggs...but where did the links first come from? And who is the Holly King, who must battle the Oak King?

Published by Icy Sedgwick on December 15, 2016

What are the festive links with holly and Christmas?

Holly and Christmas are like chocolate eggs and Easter. You can’t imagine one without the other. And there’s something so delightfully festive about holly garlands or wreaths in December. But how did this glossy but prickly plant become such a central part of Christmas decorations? Read on to find out! So what are the links…

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Where you set your story is just as important as what happens in it. So let's look at how to choose locations to boost the world-building of your story!

Published by Icy Sedgwick on December 12, 2016

How to choose locations to boost your story!

Knowing how to choose locations is the easiest way to ensure the success of your world-building. After all, writers often spend a great deal of their time concentrating on developing authentic dialogue. They need fleshed out, 3-dimensional characters. And they spend hours creating a coherent plot, contained within a sensible structure. But what about setting and location?…

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Mistletoe seems a natural part of modern Christmas decorations. But why has it become linked with kissing during the festive period? Find out here!

Published by Icy Sedgwick on December 8, 2016

What strange folklore lies behind mistletoe and Christmas?

Mistletoe is a strange plant. Neither tree nor shrub, it grows between soil and sky on the branches of other trees. It’s rarely found on the oak and ancient Druids viewed mistletoe as sacred if it was. Felling an oak that played host to the parasitic plant invited disaster. In fact, Margaret Baker recounts the story…

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Not sure what to buy the book lover in your life? Order a gift box from the Blind Date Book Company and let them make the decision for you!

Published by Icy Sedgwick on December 5, 2016

Give a gift from the Blind Date Book Company!

Not sure what to buy the book lover in your life? Might I suggest a gift box from the Blind Date Book Company? I was very lucky to win one of their gift boxes (so this post isn’t sponsored or affiliated, it’s just a grateful review). But with Christmas coming up, I thought I’d point…

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Krampus, sometimes seen as the Anti Santa, emerged into the mainstream last year with his own movie. But who is he...and how is he linked with Christmas?

Published by Icy Sedgwick on December 1, 2016

Will Krampus pay you a visit this year?

Most people will have heard of Santa Claus. But it wasn’t really until last year that his dark twin Krampus finally poked his horned head into the limelight. Having your own Hollywood movie will do that to your media profile. But Krampus has been well known in Alpine regions for centuries. While the Feast of St….

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Fairies are actually tricksters, not the sweet cherubs of Disney. So what happened when a midwife in Northumberland was hired to deliver a fairy baby?

Published by Icy Sedgwick on November 24, 2016

What happened when a Northumberland midwife met the fairies?

Fairies appear in a lot of the folklore of the United Kingdom. But they crop up a lot in tales from Northumberland. As November has been Northumbrian Folklore Month here on the blog, I thought it was high time we went to visit the fairies! After all, last week we asked if they were responsible…

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If you want to make a living with your writing then you need a particular mindset. Here are 9 things you need to think about to get you on the right path!

Published by Icy Sedgwick on November 21, 2016

9 important tasks to make a living with your writing

It’s only natural to want to make a living with your writing. But it’s also incredibly difficult! After all, you’ll be competing with thousands of other authors. And with readers trained to expect books for free, you might think it’s an uphill struggle. But writers like JF Penn prove that it is possible. I went to her workshop…

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Callaly Castle was originally said to be built on Castle Hill, not the sheltered valley in which it stands. Did fairies have a say in its location?

Published by Icy Sedgwick on November 17, 2016

Was the location of Callaly Castle really picked by fairies?

Callaly Castle stands around 9 miles west of Alnwick. Converted into private apartments, there’s currently no public access. Yet the castle features an odd history, and the fairy folk make an appearance in the story of its foundation. So what we’re going to ask ourselves today is… Was the location of Callaly Castle really picked…

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Emily Murdoch is a trained medieval historian and author of historical fiction. Read on to discover why she loves writing historical romances!

Published by Icy Sedgwick on November 15, 2016

Guest by Emily Murdoch – More Fact than Fiction: (Re)Writing History

Historical fiction is actually a guilty pleasure of mine. So it brings me a lot of joy to throw open the doors of my blog and hand over the reins to historical author, Emily Murdoch. Take it away, Emily! More Fact than Fiction: (Re)Writing History When you are a historical author, you are constantly stuck…

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CPD, or continued professional development, is rife in the workplace. But can you apply its principles to your ongoing writing career?

Published by Icy Sedgwick on November 14, 2016

5 Simple Ways to Boost your Writing using CPD

Years ago, if you practised the skills needed for your job, you were ‘learning your craft’. Nowadays, it has a fancy new title, and most professionals are all too aware of ‘continued professional development’, or CPD! The idea is that you continually build and improve your toolbox of skills you need to do your job. You’re continually on top…

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