As writers we do a lot of research on odd subjects. My latest release is the first in a trilogy of romance novellas about three brothers who are gargoyle shifters. I’ve been to Paris. I’ve seen the gargoyles on Notre Dame. They inspired me initially to write about them, but the story didn’t gel in my brain until I was in Ireland. The Emerald Isle doesn’t have that many gargoyles. The stories I’ve written actually were inspired by the west coast of Ireland. I imagined what magical creatures must have live there once upon a time. Being part Irish means I am a storyteller by nature. I certainly feel more Irish than anything else which is good since I’m a writer.
One of the things I learned about gargoyles from my editor was that not all the stone statues on buildings are considered gargoyles. That term has come to mean all of those, but the original gargoyles had a specific purpose. They conveyed water from the roof to the street. This made sure that the mortar and stone of the building wasn’t worn away.
I had always thought gargoyles were about protection. That’s what I used in my story Destiny of a Gargoyle.
The term gargoyle liked comes from the French “gargouille” which means gullet or throat. The water ran from the roof into a notch in the back of the gargoyle’s head and out its mouth. That is why so many of them are elongated. The further out they stretched the less damage on the building during a rainstorm.
When not made to move water off the roof, the statue is actually a grotesque or chimera. This is where the protection aspect comes in. They are supposed to frighten off evil spirits. In my mythos about gargoyles, long ago, they made a pact with fairies to serve as protection. The Foley family were elite gargoyles assigned to protect a specific fairy. Fairy royalty as it were. I guess they were the Beafeaters of fairy land.
The trilogy of When Gargoyles Love begins with a curse. The gargoyles are cursed into stone into their fairy comes along. Which makes me wonder what the gargoyles on certain buildings did to be cursed into stone. Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia has some grotesques on it as do many churches built in the early days of the city.
Being raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, I often set things there. Everyone just used New York and I refuse to do that.
Ancient Egyptian gargoyles were usually lions. I used more of a dragon-like creature. I wanted it to be fierce and something that the modern-day heroine had never seen before. For me it added that the conflict. I wanted her to be initially afraid so that the gargoyle could truly win her over.
You will find gargoyles on churches built during the medieval times to show creatures from stories used to get commoners to convert to Catholicism. Since most people were illiterate at the time, gargoyles were often visual reminders of the oral stories told to them.
Gargoyles have a long history and I’ve just touched upon a small portion of it.
DESTINY OF A GARGOYLE by Chris Redding
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Donal Foley was born in a time when magic ruled the Earth.
Gargoyles protected fairies from goblins. His family was a group of elite gargoyles who were assigned to protect a specific fairy. His father’s dereliction of that duty cursed his sons to become stone and wait.
Now reawakened in the twenty first century where no one believes in magic how is he going to convince his fairy that she is one and that she is in danger from a goblin?
He must do that without falling in love with her.
“She’s it,” Donal said.
He could communicate with his brothers telepathically. Otherwise his time in stone might have driven him nuts.
“You’re sure?” Sean said.
“I’m sure. She’s it. I can feel my heart softening. She must be the one that I am supposed to protect,” Donal said.
“Wow. After all of these years. And of course Donal finds his first. Lucky guy,” Declan said.
“He is always the lucky one,” Sean said.
“If I were that lucky I wouldn’t have been stuck in stone here with you two lugs,” Donal said.
He would have lived and died in his own time. Instead of watching what had happened to the fairies he’d been born to protect. They’d died off and somewhere along the line the fairies had forgotten who they were. He’d bet that Meg had no idea who she was.
Chris discovered at age ten she had a knack for storytelling. Ever since, she has wanted to be a published author. She was born and raised on Pennsylvania, holds a BA in Journalism from Penn State and is an established author of novels, novellas, shorts stories, newspaper articles and ghost-written books.
She has published mainly fiction, with a specialty in paranormal romance, but has written about contemporary romance, romantic suspense and cozy mystery for herself and for others. She is actively involved in the professional writing community, and conducts workshops to help other writers.
She lives in New Jersey with her family and animals. Writing is her passion and when she isn't writing, she practices yoga and runs.
Email: chrisreddingauthor [at] gmail [dot] com
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