What inspired my Sleepy Hollow retelling

Well met, everyone, and welcome back to the blog! It’s been ages since I last wrote, but my day job and relocating had taken up most of my time and mental bandwidth. But now I’m back, and I’m hoping to blog more often in the coming weeks!

As some of you may remember, I participated in NaNoWriMo 2018, and my NaNo had the working title of The Hollow Bones. The Hollow Bones is a historical paranormal fantasy novel that is a sequel/retelling of Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”. Today, I wanted to write a bit more about what inspired me to write this story.

Headless Horseman from Tim Burton's SLEEPY HOLLOW
Still from Tim Burton’s SLEEPY HOLLOW (1999) (taken from HauntedHouses.com)

The Hudson Valley—and Sleepy Hollow in particular—has always intrigued me from a young age, and the fact that I have a personal connection to this area (I spent a lot of time there growing up) only further strengthened my bond with that story. Washington Irving’s story includes a lot of the Gothic literature motifs that I can’t get enough of, so it seems only natural that something so close to my heart is part of what will hopefully be my debut novel.

I tried to write a novel inspired by “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” when I was in high school, but I wasn’t able to give it as much depth and attention to detail as I would have liked. For some reason, last September and October, I felt an unexplainable need to come back to that story, do further research on early Regency America, and rewrite the story into what it is now. This need was so strong that the writing streak went from mid-to-late September all the way through most of NaNoWriMo, which may be a record for me.

As I’m writing this, I still have some ideas that I want to research further about the legends of the Hudson Valley and the life of Washington Irving, but most of the novel’s main plot points are written. These days I’ve been reading Legends and Lore of Sleepy Hollow and the Hudson Valley by Jonathan Kruk, and so far it’s been really helpful. Right now, I’m currently in the process of revising the first draft and finalizing all the plot points before getting into the heavy editing, so hopefully the next steps in the writing process will treat me nicely!

What else do you want to know about this story? Let me know in the comments section! Thanks for reading! Until next time, stay magical, everyone!

3 Comments on “What inspired my Sleepy Hollow retelling

  1. I did not know that you grew up in that area! I believe that where we are raised has a lot to do with how we react to the spirit world. Did you sense a very Morrigan presence there? Or perhaps it was some other Goddess/spirit being? Also, do you sense that you may possibly be inspired to come back to the story in the autumn because of your strong connection to the mysterious energy of this time period? Specifically that of Samhain? Love and Light!

    • Hi Laila! Thanks for reading! I haven’t been back to that area in so long, so I don’t know what I felt back then. It wouldn’t surprise me if the autumn shift towards Samhain/Halloween inspired me to work on the story again. It’s interesting that it was this past year, though—one of those curious little things 🙂

  2. Pingback: I went to Sleepy Hollow (VIDEO) – Morrigan Harker

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