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  • Kristina Elyse Butke

Erutan and Elythia


Autumn forest with sunlight - Erutan and Elythia
Image from Depositphotos

In Son of the Siren, the Fae, the tricksters, and giants all call the forest of Elythia home. It's a wandering wood where it comes and goes as it pleases, with time passing on the inside of its realm completely on its own whims. Anywhere from minutes to decades can pass on the outside world--when the forest releases you, it decides how much time has gone on while you've been away.


The flow of time in Elythia is controlled by the mysterious powder that coats what are known as gilt flowers--golden blooms that dot the landscape in large clusters. It's one of the ways you can recognize you are in Elythia.


Gold flowers on a glittery pile with bokeh
Image from Depositphotos

Elythia is divided into four sections, ruled by a Lord and Lady of the Fae. There's Autumn Wood, Spring Wood, Summer Wood, and Winter Wood. Autumn Wood is where most of the story in Elythia takes place, home to some of my favorite characters: Kitra, Bella Morgana, Lord Iesin. Lady Ariana, and a twisted, monstrous version of the Green Man. All of these characters have been so much fun to write, and the creatures that inhabit Elythia equally so. I've got fairies and pixies, mysterious forest spirits, sylphs and satyrs, and the dreaded kelpie.


Fairy in the forest at a stream
Image from Depositphotos

When I wrote the scenes of Elythia, they were the easiest and most pleasurable to write. The words and characters flowed out of me on their own.


Well, mostly on their own. I did have a major piece of inspiration that helped, and instead of a specific location I've been to, it was a song.


My friend Hali introduced the singer Erutan to me while we lived in Japan. We were going on a road trip and listened to some of her music, and I thought it was magical. Seriously--go listen to "The WIllow Maid" and get back to me! Anyway, I dove into Erutan's music from then on and found it inspirational.


Cover to Erutan's three full albums

Now, there's a lot of music in Son of the Siren, so when I was writing lyrics and coming up with their rhythm, I tried to avoid listening to my usual soundtracks while I was writing in order to not get distracted.


But one song stayed in my head whenever I wrote scenes set in Elythia, and that's Erutan's "Quen a Omagen," an instrumental piece that evokes the sense of a sunny, glittering forest (partially thanks to the sounds of singing birds in the background of the song). Take a listen!



I could visually imagine Elythia while listening to this song, so this was the one exception I made when it came to listening to music for inspiration while writing. Even after drafting Son of the Siren multiple times, I can't get this song out of my head as I think of Elythia.


I hope as you listen to this song you can picture a beautiful autumn forest teeming with life and mystery. And I hope when you finally read my book and get to the Elythia scenes, you'll think of how talented Erutan is and of her lovely music!


If you are interested in learning more about Erutan, here's her official website, her albums, and her Bandcamp site where you can preview and purchase her songs. Enjoy!

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