Doctor Who…Gave You The Right?

December 26, 2014

Playing Hard To Forget all started with Doctor Who.

Sort of.

It actually started with Scotland. A thousand years ago. Brave, handsome Struan Robertson slayed a wolf that threatened the king and was rewarded with money, land, titles, women, fame, and, eventually, a thousand years later, a beautiful red headed descendant, fair of skin and big of ego, who would use his story as the backbone for her debut novel.

But before she decided to tell his story and turn it into a love story for the ages, there was an episode of Doctor Who.

It was a tenth doctor episode called Tooth and Claw and it took place in Scotland.  Royalty. Wolves. Saving royalty from wolves. Where have we heard this story before? But there was, as there always is, a twist: Werewolves. Okay, like, alien werewolves, but it’s Doctor Who and we give it a pass.

Our intrepid and clever author watched with glorious side eye as an idea formed in her head. An idea born out of a territorial and possessive drive.

This was not their story to tell.

You can’t just take a family’s story and make up stuff about it.

That, I said, is my right.

The idea simmered and festered for awhile. It was lacking…something. I wanted it to be more than just the old “star crossed lovers” torn apart by family and a millennium-long war ignited when Struan Robertson killed not a wolf, but a werewolf. Then it hit me. Every person has two sides of their history: their mother and their father’s stories. I used my father’s side’s story, but what about my mother’s?

Ne m’oubliez.  Latin for “Don’t Forget Me.” The motto of my equally Scottish mother’s family. Ne m’oubliez.  What if there was an even bigger force tearing Ethan and Liam apart? What if something happened to make them forget about each other? Don’t Forget Me. How many nightmares have I had where I’ve forgotten my husband? Where he’s just on the edge of my memory but I can’t seem to remember how to find him or that we’re together? It’s a recurring theme in my nightmares and they always terrify me. What if there were someone you know was important to you but you can’t quite make out how? Going to the phone to call but you can’t remember the number?  Imagine the frustration of not being able to remember. Ne m’oubliez. It was perfect. My book was born.

Playing Hard To Forget–in Paperback or ebook on Dreamspinner or in ebook at Amazon.

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Let’s talk. Do you have any great folk tales from your family history? Do you believe them? My family crest tells the tale with wolves heads on pikes and there is some evidence that it happened thanks to name changes and land names. I want to believe that Struan Robertson slayed a wolf and saved the king because how awesome is that?

7 Responses to “Doctor Who…Gave You The Right?”

  1. Antonia says:

    I really liked that Doctor Who episode actually! That is a great family story. I don’t really have any family legends like that. Wish I did though!

  2. Piperdoone says:

    It was a great episode. I loved how Rose really wanted the Queen to say her signature line.

  3. Angela says:

    No family legend or folk tales in my family, but i don’t mind my family is great even without the legends and tales :)

  4. Piperdoone says:

    Awww, that’s so sweet!

    I’d like to think that the stories our generation are witness to will be folk tales a hundred years from now. Is the story of how my little old granny needed a coconut but didn’t want to go to the store and instead climbed a coconut palm and cut a few down going to be in the family history book? I hope so!

  5. Angela says:

    That would be nice Piper. Not a bad idea actually a family history book maybe i should start such a book in my family that way all our memorable stories could be in there and generations after us could read them and smile/laugh or weep.

  6. Piperdoone says:

    Angela, that’s a great idea. I feel like we are losing out on those long term written memories with the fleeting nature of Instagram and Facebook. We do post stuff online, but we also still keep detailed photo albums. I know a lot of people who don’t have their photos printed!

  7. Carolyn says:

    Piper, reading your post and then your comment to Angela reminds of a conversation my eldest brother and I had on the phone last week. We got to talking about writing letters, and I said how sad I feel for future historians because we have lost so much when we lost letter writing. We don’t write emails the way we write letters, if we do that at all. Something happens when you have a blank piece of paper in front of you (writers are well aware) and are left with just yourself to say something to one other person or a small group of people. You may even forget your audience and start saying things you didn’t even know you were going to say. It’s intimate and revealing in a way that other things, like social media, aren’t. The information historians will pull from in the future will be less of us (ironic, given how much we’ll have shared) because it will be for an audience of intimates, friends, acquaintances, and strangers, AND future incarnations of all those people. We are molding our image or creating brands, or do it in the hope of getting more people to follow, retweet, favorite, repost, etc. Most people’s blogs have comments, so even there, which is often like a diary, you get feedback and start to change the narrative. Not that I’m by any means against all the ways we’re able to stay connected, because it’s AMAZING to make friends with someone all because you share a love over the same types of books, or because you eat vegan or because you’re both into the same band, and for all of that to happen sometimes over thousands of miles of distance is wonderful. No progress happens without change, but some of the things we lose in that progress are truly worthwhile.

    Oh, wait, did you actually want this comment to have ANYTHING to do with your post AT ALL or the questions you asked? OK, I suppose I can shut up long enough about the demise of civilization and tie it all together. SO, one of the things my brother told me about was finding a letter (see! it’s all coming full circle) written by the wife of his godfather, a man who had died when my brother was five). She wasn’t his godmother, and she says in the letter that she was sorry she and my parents had lost touch after her husband died and went on about her life and some other things. For my brother, it was just this really great glimpse into not only his godfather’s life but also that of my parents, to see who they’d been in before he knew them as adults. It was a piece of family history (Hey, there it is, the theme!) and a bit of himself that was lost and now found. And this is the brother who does all the genealogy and has the great memory, so I should really tell him to get on that book writing!

    Thanks for another great post. Even though I feel like my comment veered away from it greatly, I hope you take respons…err, take heart in it being the impetus for me sharing.

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