When I wrote The Factory Girl and the Fey, I didn’t expect “the Fey” to be part of it. I initially set out to write straight-up historical fiction. When they inserted themselves into the story, then, I had to do a LOT of reading and research. I didn’t want to offend those who know a great deal more about folklore and the Good Folk than I do.
One quirky piece of research was my visit to Aberfoyle, Scotland, and the home of the Reverend Robert Kirk. He was the author of The Secret Commonwealth, a book claiming to detail the lives of the Fey. Legend has it that Kirk displeased the Fey by telling too many of their secrets, and his untimely death was their doing.
When we arrived at Aberfoyle, I was shy about entering the Visitor Center, but, well, a lot of people like to see where Kirk lived and died. They were more than happy to give us directions. As we hiked up the hill to where he died, we saw plenty of fairy houses and notes with prayers. It was an oddly sacred space, and it became very important to me to present the Fey in a positive light. Though Jane never fully trusts them, they do what they do to protect their way of life, and I wanted to respect that. Hopefully I have done so.
Since writing Factory Girl, I have immersed myself more deeply into the world of fairy tales and folklore. There’s too much to tell in this blog post, but I am reading the old stories like crazy and have begun to schedule one day a week for more study. I’m not sure where this is going, but I have a feeling it’s going to inform much of my future writing. Stay tuned for more!
The Factory Girl and the Fey is currently on NetGalley, where you can read it for free in exchange for a fair review. I hope you’ll check it out!