For The Love Of Myth -
an interview with Kellianna
When did you first enter the world of the Warrior Queen?
Kellianna: As a young child I was drawn to the mythological stories of the Greek, Roman, Norse and Egyptian Gods and Goddesses. Equally as fascinating were the various collections of fairy tale and folklore that I loved to read over and over again. But for me, the most provocative tales of all were those of the greatest warriors, be they hero or heroine, based in truth, myth or legend.
Who were some of your favorite warriors?
Kellianna: Inspiring tales of demi-god Perseus, favored son of Zeus who takes on Kronos, the trials of Hercules and the 12 Labors, King Arthur with his gallant Knights Of The Round Table and the quest for a Holy Grail, and Brave Prince Beowulf, with great risk and sacrifice, embarking on an epic journey to protect the innocent. Then there were powerful women such as Celtic Queen Boudica, Elizabeth the First of England, Joan of Arc and comic book icon Wonder Woman, who invokes ancient power with a call of “Oh mighty Isis!”.
How did these stories inform your song writing?
Kellianna: In the early 2000's I began writing songs based on stories in Celtic, Greek and Norse mythologies. In February 2004 I released my first CD, Lady Moon, a collection of original music inspired by myth and magic. On this album is a song called Warrior Queen.
Who is the Warrior Queen?
Kellianna: The song is about a Queen who dies in battle and the story begins at her death. Basically she has died on the battlefield and floats up above, tethered and watching as her body is prepared for the journey to carry her back home to burn her on the sacred funeral pyre. In the opening lyrics our Warrior Queen thinks: “I cannot remember my name as I lay on the battlefield and hear the war drum. I died here with honor today. A Warrior Queen with my sword by my side.”
Wow! We begin the story knowing how she'll die.
Kellianna: Yes, ever since the song was released people have shared their stories of the strong emotions that the Warrior Queen's epic final journey stirs inside them. When I played it for my mother the first thing that she said was: “I love it! What's the story?” I replied: “What do you mean? That is the story! She dies and her soul is not released until her body is burned on the funeral pyre.” My mother responded “Yes, that is about her death. I want to know about her life!” My mother's reaction to the song got me thinking about the epic life that our Warrior Queen must have lived ending in a glorious and honorable death.
How did you get to the stage of writing the book?
Kellianna: Once again it was a prompt from outside that was the catalyst for writing the Warrior Queen's story. In late 2013, a friend from the West Coast e-mailed me to say that he was tossing around the idea of starting up a publishing company, and when was I going to write my book? I said to him that I was not a book writer and he responded “You've got a book in you. I know it!”. I thought about that for a moment and realized that I actually had three books in me! I wanted to create the Warrior Queen's story as a trilogy. All of my daydreaming over the previous decade about the details of her life began bubbling up in my mind. The seeds had been planted and I was determined to see this epic vision come to life. That spring I took the first steps to find a co-author who could help me tell the story, but one year and two unsuccessful attempts later I still had not found the right person. My summer tour was fast approaching and I decided to put the book project on hold for an undetermined amount of time.
In the summer of 2014 I am in Glastonbury for the Goddess Conference. It is in the south of England where I reconnect with the amazing Australian author, scholar and sister of the Goddess, Dr Kaalii Cargill, who I had first met the previous October at the Australian Goddess Conference in Sydney. I told her of how I had been inspired to bring to life a book trilogy but that I had no idea how to get started on my own, and after a couple of attempts to find a writer to collaborate with I was putting the idea on the shelf until the right person came along.
The following day I walked into the market hall where we were vending and walked straight into Kaalii. We stopped right there in the middle of the hall and looked at each other and began to nod, not saying a word. These books were going to be written! We immediately sat down that day and started talking characters, time lines, story lines and more. Over the next year, Book One of The Warrior Queen Chronicles: Tapestry of Dark and Light was born!
Working on this with Kaalii has been an absolute dream. Sometimes you'll hear co-workers or partners say that they are on the “same page”. She and I are on the same WORD on the same page! I could not have possibly found a better collaborator for this project. I had a wonderful time bringing our Warrior Queen to life for all of you I hope that you enjoy her story as much as we did creating it!
Be on the lookout for Book Two . . . coming soon . . .