Saturday, January 21, 2012

Guest Post + Giveaway: JL Bryan, Fairy Blues and Fairy Metal Thunder

Today I have the pleasure of welcoming young adult author JL Bryan back to the blog to help celebrate his newest release in the Songs of Magic series! While I haven't started this series of yet, his Paranormals series is a favorite of mine for his ability to write beautifully layered and complex characters, and I've no doubt this series will be as equally impressive in that regard. Welcome back to Supernatural Snark JL!


Many thanks to Jenny for having me on her blog to launch Fairy Blues, the second book in the Songs of Magic series! Here’s some background on these books...

In folklore, there has long been a deep association between fairies and music. Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry, a collection edited by W. B. Yeats, includes a number of these stories.

“The Legend of Knockgrafton” tells of a gentle man named Lunsmore who is a social outcast because of a huge hump on his back. Walking home one night, Lunsmore hears fairy music and sings along. The fairies are so impressed by his singing that they remove his hump and give him a fine suit of clothes. Later, another man tries to get a free suit of clothes by singing along with the fairies, but he’s not such a good singer, and they punish him by putting Lunsmore’s hump on his back! Clearly, fairies take their music very seriously. John Cusack’s character in High Fidelity has nothing on the Folk.

Yeats has this to say about fairy music: “Many a poor girl has heard them, and pined away and died, for love of that singing. Plenty of the old beautiful tunes of Ireland are only their music, caught up by eavesdroppers...Carolan, the last of the Irish bards, slept on a rath, and ever after the fairy tunes ran in his head, and made him the great man he was.” (A rath is an old fort mound, the sort of place where fairies live.)

In The Folk-Lore of the Isle of Man by A. W. Moore, gives more stories about fairy music:

“Any one straying near these (fairy mounds) on a fine summer's evening would probably hear delightful music; but he must take care, especially if he is a musician, not to linger lest he should be entrapped.”

He tells of a man crossing a river on a horse: “As he was in the middle of it he heard, or imagined he heard, the finest symphony, he would not say in the world, for nothing human ever came up to it. The horse was no less sensible of the harmony than himself, and kept in an immoveable posture all the time it lasted; which, he said could not, be less than three-quarters of an hour.”

Moore also writes: “I have heard many Manxmen protest they have been carried insensibly great distances from home, and without knowing how they came there, found themselves on the top of a mountain. One man had been led by invisible musicians for several miles together, and not being able to resist the harmony, followed, till it conducted him into a large common, where were a great number of little people sitting round a table, and eating and drinking in a very jovial manner.” The fairies try to trap the man by getting him to drink their wine – anyone who eats or drinks among fairies is trapped, like Persephone eating the pomegranate seeds in the realm of Hades.

These kinds of stories led me to create the Songs of Magic series, about a teenage garage band (the Assorted Zebras) who swipe steal instruments from fairies and become huge stars as their music enchants the crowds.

For this series, I’ve read dozens of rock biographies, which makes for fun research. There are countless stories of stars being mobbed by crazed fans, riots at music shows, swarms of groupies intent on getting close to their idols. A number of bands, like Nirvana, left a wake of destruction everywhere they went, as if the energy generated by the group couldn’t be contained as they passed through concert venues and hotels all over the world.

In Life, Keith Richards describes the strange relationship between rock music and politicians, as local politicians would either try to arrest the Rolling Stones or get a photo op with them. Politicians usually picked the latter, because arresting the musicians could lead to a huge riot at the concert venue and/or the local jail. Rock musicians would get arrested for hard drugs but released the same day to avoid potential riots. In the 1960s and 70s, rock groups were closely monitored by the US and UK governments. The Nixon administration considered them threats to national security.

In the Songs of Magic series, enchanting fairy music and volatile rock music are combined into something powerful, music that can enscorcel people but also unleash mass destruction. The band don’t really understand the powers in their instruments...but they have to learn fast, because stealing the instruments has made them some powerful enemies among the fae, including Queen Mab herself. They will have to grapple with the Queen’s bounty hunters and supernatural minions, as well as tricky record executives, mobs of crazed fans, and all the problems of sudden fame and fortune.

Thanks again to Jenny for having me on Supernatural Snark today! I like this place.


JL is generously offering up a copy of Fairy Metal Thunder, book one in the series, to one lucky winner today! This giveaway is international (US residents will receive a paperback copy, international winners will receive an e-book) and will run through midnight EST on Friday, January 27th after which time a winner will be chosen by and announced on the blog. To enter, please just name a rock song that you'd like to hear the Assorted Zebras play over their enchanted fairy gear and be sure to leave a valid email address or Twitter name so JL and I can contact you if you win. Good luck everyone!

J.L. Bryan is the author of The Paranormals series (Jenny Pox, Tommy Nightmare, Alexander Death) and other books. Fairy Metal Thunder is the first book in his new Songs of Magic series. He lives in Atlanta with his wife Christina, his baby son John, and some dogs and cats.


Buy Fairy Metal Thunder (just $.99)

FAIRY METAL THUNDER (Songs of Magic #1)

The Assorted Zebras are a teenage garage band in Wisconsin with no fans and no gigs, until they steal four enchanted instruments from the fairy world. The new instruments make the band a huge overnight success, but they aren’t exactly ready for fame, fortune, or the supernatural creatures sent by the fairies to track them down.


  1. End of Heartache by Kill Switch Engaged

    Jess @ Taking It One Book

  2. Thanks so much for having me over today, Jenny! You are awesome!

  3. Playing some Rammstein would be AWESOME!!

    Great post! :)


  4. Brilliant post! Rock & Roll AND Fairies?! Sounds awesome. :D This is my first time hearing about this book but I have Jenny Pox waiting to be read on my Kindle. Hopefully I can get round to that soon and then check this one out, too. :)

    Sam @ Realm of Ficton

  5. WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE, by Guns N' Roses! LOL

    What a unique concept. I've not read many fairy books, but this certainly captures my attention. Thank you for the opportunity to read it. :)

  6. WOW! That is SO cool -- I had no idea that The Folk-Lore of the Isle of Man was sort of like an inspiration for this series! But I absolutely LOVED Fairy Metal Thunder and I can't wait until I can read Fairy Blues! :) I already know it's going to be just as amazing!

    Awesome guest post, Jeff! And Jenny, you should definitely start this series soon -- it's so much fun!! :) <3

  7. I am so glad I heard about this book, it sounds amazing.

    I would pick Metallica's Enter Sandman

  8. Anything by the Pogues, but especially Fairytale of New York. The series looks fantastic and I almost went and just bought book one instead of entering to win it (but if I don't win, I will buy it for sure).

    feynico at gmail dot com

  9. Christy D - Thanks for the song suggestion!

    Sam - I'm so glad you enjoyed the post!

    C.E. Hart - Thank you! That's nice to hear :)

    Mimi - Thanks! Yes, most of my research has been traditional fairy lore and rock biographies - fun research!

    Mary - I've sung "Enter Sandman" as a lullaby to my baby before :)

    Niko - Great song idea! I'm glad you like the idea of the series!

  10. JL Bryan is of course a genius... I LOVED the Jenny Pox series! I can't wait to start the Fairy series!

  11. "Rock & Roll" by Led Zeppelin, of course! Or maybe "More than a Feeling" by Boston. Both would really be a blast!

  12. Rock and Roll garage band with fairy imstruments sounds like an interesting mix. Thanks for the fun post Jenny!

  13. I like that cover--and the idea's very intriguing! I love the old stories of the fey and they did tend to use music to lure a lot of people to their death. At least it was a party, right up until the end, huh?

  14. Stinkfist by Tool! lol

    This sounds like a very fun book. I'm pretty intrigued.

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  15. Not going to enter since I got it for review but YAY! I'm excited to read it :)

  16. I would like to hear Pretty Woman. I am not sure if that is considered rock. Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to read this book.

  17. mmhmm maybe some red hot chili peppers.

    I would love to read this book!


  18. I'm not entering as I already have it but I'd like them to play "Right Here, Right Now" *grins* Jeff will know why!


  19. How about Foo Fighters - The Pretender. Or anything from the Foo Fighters really!

  20. Your book sounds awesome! Rock and roll with fairies? Love it!! I love fairies. ;D A song suggestion? about I Love Rock 'n' Roll - Joan Jett & The Blackhearts? Thank you!

  21. I really liked this story. It's a modern twist on the fairytale and it has the true, dark fairytale creatures. I got sucked into the story and couldn't wait to see what happened next. I felt for poor Jason, but I have a feeling that his luck will improve in the next story or two. I definitely will be buying the next books. I think this is a story that anyone would enjoy.