The Brownies who infest Castle Logan are anything but sweet.
In my Zoraida Grey Gothic romance series, Castle Logan rises from the craggy hillside in northern Scotland, just a few degrees of latitude south of the Arctic Circle. In midsummer, the sun remains above the horizon for nearly 24 hours but in winter, the reverse is true. Sometimes strange things crawl from their hiding places deep in the caverns beneath the mountains during the long, dark winters.
As I was happily writing along, trying to get my daily word count on book three, Zoraida Grey and the Pictish Runes, by liberal application of butt in chair, whisky-laced tea, and dark chocolate, I came upon three new characters lurking in the shadows. It turns out, in addition to psychopathic witches, the vengeful Scottish vampire, and a motley collection of ghosts, Castle Logan was once infested with Brownies. Only three remain alive.
What are Brownies?
I’m sure you know Brownies are wee brown men and women who attach themselves to a particular household or family. For small rewards of cream and oatcakes, they perform household duties. Only the very young or those with second sight can see Brownies.
The Brownies in Castle Logan may be more bogle or bogey or even goblin than Brownie. And of course, since we are in Castle Logan, there will be no cutesy, adorably befuddled little fairies. Nope, Castle Logan Brownies have sharp triangular teeth and bear no great fondness for human nor witch.
As a matter of fact, a certain character in the Zoraida Grey trilogy put a curse on them a few hundred years ago because the wee beasties joined the wrong side in a bloody clan dispute. As a result, they can’t speak and are tasked with guarding the interests of another certain character until a certain thing happens.
Yep, it’s a little complicated because it’s Castle Logan and witches are involved.
Brownies, Bogles, Bogeys, Bocan, hobgoblin, goblin, balybogs and
similar creatures each hold a unique place in Scottish folklore. They are not interchangeable and become surly if lumped into one pot, so to speak. At the moment, the ancestry of the three Castle Logan Brownies is still a matter of debate.
I’m constantly amazed at what I find as I write. Stay tuned for updates as Zoraida and I explore Castle Logan and the mysterious caverns beneath—not to mention the murky loch and the village of Black Bridge, Scotland, where not everyone is what they seem to be.
My Short Life as a Brownie
As you also undoubtedly know, the Girl Scouts purloined the name Brownie for their first level of indoctrination membership. I drank the Brownie Kool-Aid and joined up. For the better part of a year, I got up early and set the table for breakfast, folded clothes, swept the floor, and performed any number of other little chores made ten times more difficult by doing them in the dark and trying to be quiet about it.
Here I am looking like a total dork. You can tell by the bad hair cut, the tie askew, the Brownie pin twisted, and the glazed look in the eyes that no good will come of this.
Pretty soon, it dawned on me that this was a one-sided deal with me paying dues, doing a bunch of work, and getting not much in return. Sadly, my troop seldom did anything but make greeting cards and nut baskets. Disillusioned , I turned to the Dark Side. But I digress.
Anybody out there spend time in the Girl Scouts/Girl Guides/Brownies/BlueBirds or any other such organization for little girls? Or, like me, do you prefer the fairy type of brownie? Or is a chocolate brownie with nuts the only kind of brownie you recognize? Tell me your Brownie Tale!