Just earlier today I posted this post on Banshees from the Irish mythology but I figured I could also share how I incorporated this into my story.
In falling for Pink my main character Peggy McCarthy is a banshee which means that her scream heralds death.
But the thing is that when I started planning this story I wasn’t really sure where she gets this power from – I wasn’t exactly planning to use mythology.
So my first piece of planning for Peggy was how she looks.
Peggy is a 17 year old girl with pale skin and bright pink hair. She wears pastels or large sweaters. She wears a lot of armbands on her arms and occasionally she covers her pink hair with a beanie.
This does not sound like the pail ghosts that Banshees are sometimes described as.
So when I started researching banshees I latched onto the idea that they can shape shift. They are rumoured to be seen in three different ways – the young woman, the matron and the hag.
The stories also say that they only come out at night and that they hide in the forests.
All this came down to me as a mentality of hiding.
Banshees want to be hidden. The shape shifting is just something they do to hide.
So this worked perfectly for me because Peggy is an insecure girl who wants to hide. She has this voice of fear telling her to hide and run.
Peggy can’t shape shift in this book though.
I had to ask if you are a 17 year old monster who always feel like hiding, why the hell would you dye your hair bright pink?
The answer is so people don’t see the real you. People only look at her pink hair and ear piercings, which means that no one looks close enough to notice that she’s a monster.
My second problem was that I didn’t actually want Peggy’s scream to kill people, so I wove a reason, for her powers to be a bit duller, into her family lines.
Peggy is a half breed. Her mother was a banshee and her father was one of the people that her mother was supposed to haunt.
Her parents fell in love and raised Peggy together.
This fit like a glove because it explained why she can’t shape shift as well. Her whole Banshee side has been thinned out because her father is one of the very people that the banshees haunt.
This also leaves Peggy without anyone to haunt which is why she can live where she wants to and not have to follow anyone around.
The final thing of banshee lore that I added was her surname. If her father is from one of the families her mother had to haunt then there is a specific group of surnames that I could choose from.
So I chose the surname McCarthy which fit her name well, and also fit in with the rest of my story.
Do you think this works? Are there any more theories that you think I could add, or a question you would like to ask?
I really loved writing this story and I hope you will love reading it one day.