I get inspiration for story elements from all over the place. Many come from my fascination with history, myths and legends. For Book Three of the Gingerbread Hag series - Sweet Tooth and Claw - I knew I needed a reference to an ancient love triangle myth because the story is set at Valentine's Day and well, there is also a bit of a modern love triangle happening. I happened upon the story of Grainne, Fionn and Diarmuid and I knew I found my inspiration.
Unless you are a fan of Irish myths, you might have missed this one, but it is a good tale. Our heroine, Grainne, finds out she is betrothed to an old man, Fionn, and that doesn't sit well with our girl. She finds herself instead drawn to his right hand warrior, Diarmuid. Doing what folks in myths often do, she resorts to a bit of magic, in the form of a sleeping potion that will put the whole court asleep so she and Diarmuid can make their escape.
At first, Diarmuid tells her he won't run off - out of loyalty for his liege, but Grainne gets her way with some threats (nice way to start a relationship). They head for the hills - in the case the River Shannon and the forests near there. The story has Fionn and his lads in hot pursuit, and spoiler alert, things don't turn out so well for our runaway lovers.
This story might remind you of a more famous myth, Tristan and Iseult. That is the cool thing about myths - they pop up in the culture and histories of many places. I love using mythology in my writing because those myths often speak to bigger truths. With Valentine's Day around the corner, the tale of Grainne and her warrior, Diarmuid, still has truths to teach us.