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The interview of the novelist S-P Decroix in 7 questions!

Today, we are zooming in on SP Decroix, the author who has just published her novel La Princesse du fond des Temps (The Princess of the deepest Times), which arouses great interest on the part of many readers have pre-ordered their copy prior to its release.

We asked her a few questions so she would have less secrets for you …

1 / How many years have you been writing and how did you start writing your first novels?

I have been writing novels since I was 16 years old. I am 41 years old today, it can be said that I have been writing for 25 years. But, I must say that I had begun long before, writing poetry.

2 / What was your intention when you wrote La Princesse du fond des Temps (The Princess of the deepest Times)?

This question also answers the second part of the first.
When I wrote this fantastic tale at the age of 16, my very first, it was above all for my sisters Emmanuelle and Aurore aged at the time of 12 and 7 years. I wanted to change their ideas, to introduce them to the magic of dreams. And at their age, what better way than a beautiful heroine with a harsh character in search of an extraordinary adventure?

3 / To write to you, it is …

to escape, to invite others to travel in my worlds, is also to share, quite simply.
I find it wonderful to tell myself that I manage to make people dream, to transport people with me, “elsewhere”, just with words … it’s really fantastic.

4 / What do you have in common with the heroine of your novel, Sokorie?

No doubt: my determination, because it took me time, hard work and courage to get to where I am now.
There were many obstacles, I do not doubt for a moment that there are certainly others, but I am and will always remain standing, even if I have often doubted it. And it’s good to know that an editor really believes in you. I would never thank Lysons enough editions for their support.

5 / If you were to be the heroine of a legend other than that of the Princess of the deepest Times, what would it be?

It is certain that I would not be a new “Snow White” or “Cinderella”. I like that my heroines are a little more “resourceful”. So I would rather think of a Legend like that of “Mulan“, a great-hearted adventurer who was probably one of the first to be in the fight of prejudices. She could be assimilated to the female cause, just like the “Princess Leïa” of “Star Wars”.
Strength” is with them but not only; gentleness, intelligence also, and again: determination.

6 / You have had many literary prizes, how do you live this recognition of your work and this growing awareness?

Yes, I’ve been in competitions for a long time. It is always moving to know that your work is enjoying and that it is rewarded. But I do not think I have real notoriety. it is necessary to be wise and to remain humble because the way to be “recognized” is stony, and if to reach the summit is difficult, to fall is very easy, on the contrary. So I want to keep a cool head and act with caution, wisdom. On the other hand, if I can put this “recognition” at the service of just causes, I will do it. It is also in this context that I participate in the event of September of the “Pièces Jaunes” Foundation of my region.

7 / If you had a single message to convey to your readers, what would it be?

Hope is what keeps human peoples apart from darkness. Particularly during troubling, difficult, even atrocious events. It is also this fragile flame that allows us to see “further”. Believe in your dreams. Believe in yourself and always keep hope.

Interview carried out on August 14, 2017 by Leandro De Carvalho for Lysons éditions. Thanks to Sandrine for answering our questions!

Join S-P Decroix on her Facebook page, or on the official page of The Princess of the deepest Times.


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In the footsteps of the Sirens: from myth to reality!

Hello my Marmosets,

Between the legendary animals, the nocturnal creatures and the various characters that populate our imagination, there is another kind of “mystical entities”: these are the hybrid beings. Half-human, half-animal, these “creatures” often allow us (in our mind and therefore our subconscious) to exteriorize our own fears, our own “bestiality” by giving the human being a semi-animal appearance. These beings resemble us, but are different. Above all my marmosets, know that, concerning the sirens, there are two “myths” (why make it simple when one can make complicated?):

The siren most ingrained in our minds and the one we know best comes from medieval and Scandinavian folklore (contemporary myth): the siren half-woman half-fish.

The second comes from Greek mythology (ancient mythology) where the siren is depicted as a chimera half-woman half-bird.

For these two myths, the origin of the word would come from the Greek: “seirến“, and from the Latin “siren“.

From siren to siren

Their real meaning

“In general, demons of the souls, demons of the dead, tutelary geniuses of tombs, beings in turn or at the same time beneficial and malicious, as many characters of ancient demonology are, the Sirens are all this, and this aspect Is no longer disputed since Weicker’s important work on this subject. “

[Source: Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, “De quand date la Sirène-poisson” (“When did the Mermaid-fish appear?”)]

Their evolution through time

For the Scandinavians, the mermaid is a formidable monster called Margygr (the “giant sea”). This monster looked tall, with a terrible face, a pointed forehead, wide eyes, a large mouth and wrinkled cheeks. Yes, we are far from Ariel the little mermi super siren of Disney… sorry girls if I just break the image you made of her? … what? I’m a bit sadistic? Think about it, maybe a little!

According to Édouard Brasey, a French novelist, these oceanic creatures look in a mirror, symbol of the planet Venus in astronomy. Aphrodite, goddess of Love born of sea foam, is often represented with a mirror of gold. Even if she has no fish tail,

Aphrodite would be “the ancestor of sirens and protector of sailors”.

As with all the creatures of our imagination, the physical appearance we are giving them today is a succession of more or less important transformations over time. The Nordic siren, therefore, does not escape the rule!

In the medieval bestiaries, sirens are described as women “from head to pelvis” and fish from “basin to bottom with claws and wings”, thus merging the fabulous traditions of the Greek and German mythologies. Their image is engraved on the steles, tombs or Romanesque churches where they personify the soul of the dead as in ancient Egypt.

The Norwegian work “Konungs skuggsjá” describes her as a lovable creature, resembling a woman up to the waist, for “this monster had big nipples on her chest, like a woman.” She would also have long arms and long hair, and her face seemed human.

In the seventh century, the English monk Aldhelm of Sherborne describes them as fish-tailed virgins covered with scales. (So good!)

These two representations will coexist until the fifteenth century when the flying sirens (of the Greek myth) leave definitely the place, at least in our minds, a pretty woman with long hair and fish tail.

I would point out that at the time when all these myths permeate our imagination, women, or feminine beings, have mostly long hair. I think, and it is only my opinion (That’s it, I think I’m starting to play it smart to death again?), That the hair, like the nipples, are not only a feminine attribute, but also a “sexual” attribute having To attract, from a purely physical point of view, the “male” in its… nets… (yeah, I know, I’m too strong to take you where I want!). And then I can understand that it is more pleasant for the male sex to look at a pretty girl even if she has a fish tail (each her tastes) rather than a humanoid that squalls for a long time and goes away “at the wing” to the slightest annoyance (Alexia said, I remind you, that I was armored with humor: woman bird, at the wing, it’s rather funny, is not it?). Fine. I close the parenthesis.

Johannes of Cuba, a German naturalist, makes them live in gulfs at the bottom of the seas. As for Jacob Van Maerlant, a Flemish writer, says that one can find them as well in the seas as in the rivers. I suppose the latter has relied on the folklore of many European legends which mention sirens, living not only in the sea, but also in rivers and small streams. [] They are then called sirens, but are also sometimes called “naudia” (nymphs) in Germanic beliefs, “dragas” or “donas d’aiga” (water ladies) ) In Occitania, etc.

Note that anglophones call them siren, the sirens antique (half-women, half-birds), and mermaid, the sirens scandinavian (with a tail of fish).

The origins and first traces…

From woman-bird to woman-fish

The bird-woman appeared in the first half of the 8th century BC, gradually giving way to the woman-fish.

The origin of the sirens, as we know them, probably comes from the narratives of navigators; The sailors might have mistaken the sirens with manatees (large aquatic mammals [their head reminds me of a dolphin]) and / or dugongs also called “sea cows“.

Well, I do not know what you think my marmosets, but to confuse a marine mammal whatever it is with a female creature (fish tail, we understood, thank you) must still be drunk a few liters of mead, or… have drunk a few liters of mead! Because physically, it’s still not the same thing!

In 1403, near Edam in Holland, two young girls captured a “specimen”. It was in fact a woman, found naked in the water and speaking no known language, and who was nicknamed the “siren of Edam”.

Christopher Columbus himself reports that he would have crossed three sirens near the coast of Santo Domingo. Disappointed, he would have said that they were not as beautiful as in the writings!

(Sorry my guy, but you can not have everything in life: “discover America” ​​and fish the beautiful fish). On the other hand, American sailors would have seen it near the Sandwich Islands [Hawaii], (sandwich like tuna sandwich … ok … there, it’s not funny) “of great beauty that yielded nothing to the most beautiful women “. It is my opinion that it was not the same sirens. Especially that between the two “locations” almost 400 years ago. Unless in the meantime the sirens have embellished.

The influence of Ulysses on their transformation into women-fishes

A Megarian bowl discovered in Athens in 1947 during the excavations of the Agora, and a Roman lamp (belonging to the Canterbury Museum) illustrate a passage of the song where Ulysses is seduced by the daughters of Achéloos and both make their sirens Of women with tails of marine animals. And hang on well: the lamp dates from the 1st-2nd century AD, and the bowl of the second century BC!

The siren depicted on the Roman lamp is a woman of long, curly hair, with a prolonged torso, not a real caudal fin, but by the volute tail, smooth and without scales, of a marine reptile.

[Source: Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, “De quand date la Sirène-poisson ?” (“When did the Mermaid-fish appear?”)]


The legend of the siren-fish has spread to Haiti where it is known as “Mami Wata” (now, after several changes over time), where it would be assimilated to a sort of divinity of fertilization. But she would also be the “Mother of the Waters“, fear of the fishermen, symbol of the foster mother and destructive ocean. The cult of Mami Wata has spread to the Atlantic coast of Togo through Nigeria, Cameroon and Congo.

Today we owe our modern siren to Hans Christian Andersen, Danish writer, thanks to his story where the siren is no longer the terrible temptress but becomes a romantic heroine in search of love.


[To know: In Greek mythology, the descendants of Triton, son of Poseidon, called “tritons“, are considered the masculine equivalent of sirens. But, unlike them, this class of marine creatures could be male or female!]


Between myth and reality

A fascinating figure

The siren inflames the spirits, sometimes the hearts. She enchants us so much by her bewitching voice, as by all the myths that accompany her. (Girls in power!) However, the mysteries were such that scientists tried to find a rational answer.

From the 16th century, “dried” reproductions were exhibited in fairs and museums! (Berk!) In the seventeenth century, in the Netherlands, a certain Pavio would have dissected a siren in the presence of Johannes de Laet, a renowned doctor, which would have brought credit to their real existence. The head and chest were human, however, from the navel to the foot the creature was shapeless… but without tail.

The human being being what it is, it’s reported that in the nineteenth, Japan, India or China, hideous monsters were made with a monkey bust and a fish tail. It is obvious that this kind of “mutation” does not, in general, allow the survival of the child.

When science is involved!

In 1758, the sirens were briefly noted in the Systema naturae of Carl von Linné [] (a work which founded the scientific classification of living organisms), but this taxon was soon abandoned by scientific classifications for lack of specimens or Credible descriptions [].

Although the existence of sirens has not been considered by scientists since the 19th century, some have continued to take an interest in it, with more or less seriousness, such as ocean scientist Karl Banse.

According to him, sirens would be marine mammals and therefore would not have scales, and their corpulence would limit their distribution to the warmest waters of the tropics, they would have an agricultural way of life (algae, molluscs). They would eventually supplement their diet with human flesh, which would explain their habit of charming the sailors and taking them to the depths.

Conversely, some studies have addressed biological problems that prevent the existence of beings such as sirens. Several physiological parameters make it impossible for an animal of such an appearance to be viable, such as without going into details, temperature, etc. Other scientific possibilities suggest marine primates, but this is another story…

We can, as in the case of many fantastic creatures, ask us whether or not the siren (Nordic or not) really existed (or really exists). However, if it seems that eating fish helps us to have a good memory, some Asian writings report that eating siren flesh would make immortal!

I’ll stop you right now! Do not rush on pieces of breaded fish or various fish-based burgers, there is little chance that they contain siren flesh! Rather, precipitate yourself on the books and various media that relate more or less their legends: you will see: reading does good as much for the mind as for the memory!

Where to find them?

Literature:

  • The Little Mermaid, Hans Christian Andersen, 1876.
  • Peter Pan, written by J. M. Barrie, 1911 (including sirens, among others)
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2000, characters of sirens are approached. (The book and the film)
  • Mermaid, written by Carolyn Turgeon, 2011 (new literary).
  • The Kingdom of Lenacia, written by Priska Poirier, 2011 (series of popular literary works)
  • The siren, Kiera Cass and Madeleine Nasalik, 2016.

Movies – TV Series:

  • The Little Mermaid / Rusalochka, Ivan Aksenchuk, 1968.
  • The Little Mermaid / Malá mořská víla, CSR; Miroslava
  • Safránková – Mermaid and Libuse Safránková, 1976
  • The Little Mermaid / The Little Mermaid / Russalotschka / Rusalka, Bulgaria / RSS, Vika Novikova – Mermaid, 1976.
  • The Little Mermaid, Tomoharu Katsumata, 1979.
  • Splash, 1984.
  • The Prince and the Mermaid, television series, 1995,
  • Sirens, 2003 (telefilm).
  • H2O, 2006 (Australian television series)
  • Aquamarine, 2006.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Fountain of Youth, 2011.
  • Mako Mermaids, 2013 (Australian TV series)

Mangas – cartoon – Animated features:

  • The Little Mermaid, from Disney Studios, 1989.
  • Mermaid Melody, 2003.
  • Mermaidia, 2006 (Barbie’s animated feature)
  • Ponyo on the cliff, Hayao Miyazaki, 2009.

By immersing ourselves in all these fabulous archives and manuscripts (whatever they may be), we appropriate, during the time of their reading, a little of that immortality which, through all these fabulous creatures, passes through the centuries and Will survive tomorrow…

The writings remain, the words fly away … but the mystery still reigns …

See you soon my Marmosets!

Article written by S-P Decroix (author of The Princess Of The Deepest Times) and Leandro De Carvalho (author of Little Red Riding Hood: A New World).

Did the vampires really exist?

Vampires are emblematic figures that form an integral part of our culture. These are mythological creatures entered into legend since the dawn of time… Discover their origins and where to find them through this exciting article! Did the vampires really exist?

It’s S-P DECROIX that tells you better about it…

Hello girls, boys and marmosets!

What? There are no boys among you? Ah! Ah! I know, I know, not even funny! Alexia told me I was funny. It’s really nice of you Alexia, but my sense of humor is to see again. So, from today, I will call you “marmosets“.

So, after my article on the dragons I asked myself: “But what am I going to tell them to marmosets next time? “Ah! If you knew all that crosses my mind, you would take your legs to your necks! In short, let’s go back to our monsters and various creatures.

“What’s she going to talk the lady?”

(OK the sentence is super null, but hey, you will have to do with!)

After jargoning about the “dragon”, I decided to talk to you about “creatures of the night”, but which one? No! Not John Travolta! So? You found ? Yes? No?

The Vampires!

Origins

Yes, with their pointed teeth and their pronounced taste for blood, vampires are the creatures of the night par excellence! The origins of this legendary creature are found in ancient myths and diverse throughout the world, but become popular mainly on the European continent.

“Vampire” comes from the German “Vampir”, which comes from the Hungarian “vámpir”, which in most Slavic languages is a word designating a bat.

The vampire is part of the great “ghost” family. According to the different folklore and the most common superstition, this undead man feeds on the blood of the living to derive his life force. Its victims die of having been emptied of their blood or they undergo certain conditions (blood exchange, placing underground with its “genitor” are some of the best-known examples), in vampires, but only after their death: “they die and live again!”

It is Arnold Paole, a Serb, who was the first to be called “vampire” in the eighteenth century.

You may think that it is the one that everyone calls “Dracula” who was the first vampire, but not… Vlad III Basarab, of his real name, knows indeed an important celebrity during his lifetime: the merchants Saxons of Transylvania and the king of Hungary, Matthias Corvin, make him a cruel ruler who impales his enemies, which earned him nicknames such as “The Impaler” or “Drăculea” (“son of the devil” or “son of the dragon”). Inspired by the nickname of Vlad III Basarab, the figure of the Count of Dracula was invented by Bram Stocker for his novel in 1897, which is why Vlad III Basarab is now assimilated to a vampire but he wasn’t one!

The contemporary myth of the vampire would be a sort of “superposition” of several other supernatural creatures from various European folklore, especially Slavic. Some authors have enumerated precursors: spirits, demons, or ghosts in turn, possessed or not (incomplete list): the “visitor”, the “hungry”, the “nightmare”, the “strangler”, the “chewer” (well yes, they chew us gently the neck with their small pointed canines… ok… really must I stop!) And finally the returning to animal form (Bat? Hum … no comment).

Characteristics of Vampires

This undead creature is universally known to feed on the blood of the living as soon as night falls, for, as I said before, to take their vital force and remain immortal! In fact, this is not entirely accurate, as it is for the Vampire to no longer be subject to old age. Other elements of folklore are well entrenched in our minds: the coffin in which he takes refuge during the day to rest and the cemetery: “let’s go home!” (Honestly each his “trip”, me personally, the cemeteries at night, it’s not my trip…).

In many legends, the vampire also feeds on human excrements and flesh, including his own: it is the automation that includes not only his flesh but also his clothes (if you had just eaten, excuse). This detail seems to be verified by old records of stories of shrouds found chewed. (I warned you: Vampires love to chew on).

Of course, what also characterizes the Vampire is his legendary pair of … what? From sharp canines! (Stop having ideas misplaced!) The clothing appearance, it would have been built in the cinematographic and theatrical folklore, in particular his famous cloak.

Some mystical powers are also given to him:

He hypnotizes his victims, seduces them, reads in thoughts, changes into mist, bat, sometimes in wolf or, according to legends, he controls them.

It is also this particular link with the wolf that makes that generally when one thinks of the Vampire, we often associate the Werewolf.

It seems that killing a “master vampire” or a “vampire-genitor” frees those he has transformed or sometimes his children die with him.

The Vampire if he becomes more powerful, fast, and resistant with age, would be “indisposed” by the smell of garlic, wild rose or hawthorn. Some objects would be able to repel it: the mythical crucifix, the rosary, the holy water and the mirror (since it cannot be reflected in it). He cannot walk on consecrated soils (Church, etc.). The legend also says that a Vampire cannot enter a house without being invited.

Bram Stoker’s work, Dracula, was first published in 1897 and is still popular today.

As the Vampire is an undead, he is already dead! So to kill him, it was necessary to rack one’s brains! (Ah, Ah!) Of course, decapitation is the most effective way to eliminate it, followed by a stake in the heart, a nail in the head (definitely) or a cremation in good form!

References to the Vampire

(Incomplete lists, you understand that they are too long…)


Literature:

  • Dracula by Bram Stocker.
  • The Vampyre by John Stagg
  • The Vampire by John William Polidori
  • The Vourdalak Family (published in Tolstoy’s Stories of the Living Dead)
  • History of the Pale Lady, novel by Alexandre Dumas (1849).
  • The Knight of Darkness by Paul Féval (1860)
  • Lokis of Prosper Mérimée.
  • The Horla (in its first version) by Guy de Maupassant
  • The Parasite of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Vampire Chronicles, Interview with a vampire by Anne Rice

Movies:

  • Nosferatu the vampire by Friedrich Murnau, in 1922
  • Vampyr, or the strange adventure of David Gray in 1932
  • The Dracula Nightmare, by Terence Fisher in 1958.
  • Polanski’s Ball of the Vampires in 1967 (parody)
  • Tony Scott’s Predators in 1983
  • Vampire, did you say vampire ? Tom Holland in 1985 and Tommy
  • Lee Wallace in 1988 Dracula by Francis Ford Coppola in 1992
  • Interview with a vampire by Neil Jordan in 1994
  • Craig Gillespie’s Fright Night in 2011.

Cinematographic and television series:

  • The Blade Saga
  • The Underworld Saga
  • The Twilight Saga
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  • Angel
  • Vampires Diaries
  • Supernatural (Ahhhhhh the best series in my senses, which has many other creatures!)
  • True Blood
  • Being Human
  • The Clan of the Damned
  • The Originals (I love it!)

Mangas / Comics:

  • Vampire Hunter D (manga)
  • Vampire Princess Miyu (manga)
  • Vampire Knight (manga)
  • Hellsing (manga)
  • Requiem, Chevalier Vampire (BD)
  • The Prince of the Night (BD)
  • 30 days of night (comics)

Video Games:

  • Castlevania (since 1986),
  • Legacy of Kain (since 1996)
  • Bram Stoker’s Dracula, in 1993.
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
  • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
  • Dracula: Resurrection, Dracula 2: The Last Sanctuary, Dracula 3: The Way of the Dragon
  • The Masquerade (roleplaying)
  • Dracula’s Fury (board game).

We may never really know if the vampires existed as they are described to us, but is there smoke without fire? One thing is certain: those who inspired these creatures did indeed exist, but they undoubtedly renounced their immortality in order to rest in peace! Their legend, in any case, it, continues to persist in time… for eternity!

Article written by S-P DECROIX.