by Anna Sugden
I'm delighted to welcome back fellow 06Packer (2006 Golden Heart finalist!) Esri Rose.
In her first book about those gorgeous elves, Bound to Love Her, Esri created a fabulous Elven world in Boulder, Colorado (which, by the way, is a lovely town!). In Stolen Magic, she takes us back there. Should be simple to write a book about a world you've already created, right? Perhaps not!
Today, Esri shares with us some of the unexpected questions she had to answer in writing Stolen Magic. You can read the first chapter here.
Over to you, Esri.
Thanks, Anna. I'm thrilled to be back in the Lair.
“I enjoyed Stolen Magic so much, I devoured it in one night!”- Kerrelyn Sparks, NYT Bestselling author
In a world where humans are displacing elves in alarming numbers, Adlia spends her days working at elf headquarters. But with no artistic talent of her own, and orphaned too young to have known her parents, Adlia is an outsider even among her own elven kind. Only Mark, her human photography instructor, sees that beneath her sarcastic humor lies a vulnerable soul – and a desirable young woman.
But while relationships with humans are pleasurable, they’re also complicated, as Adlia is about to discover. For somewhere between her mind-blowing first human kiss and falling in love, a mysterious memory loss strikes the elf population. Adlia must save her people and herself before she forgets everything. If she succeeds, she may solve an important piece of her personal puzzle and find that Mark fits perfectly.
Stolen Magic is my second book about Elves in Boulder, Colorado. “I’ve come up with the basics of my fictional universe,” I thought, “so it should be less work.” Well, it wasn’t. Turns out the Elves insisted on getting into new and different situations. Here were some of the questions this book raised, and my answers to them.
Q: Elves fight with bolts of energy shot from their hands – like directed lightning. When an Elf is hit by Elf fire, does the injury show?
A: I decided it didn’t. Painful as all get-out, yes. Disfiguring, no. And the pain goes away after they merge with their land or have a great roll in the hay with a human. Nice, huh?
Q: Is an elf automatically good at fighting? In other words, are they a crack shot right from the get-go?
A: In general, an Elf child has to practice before he gets good at shooting Elf fire (this is akin to the BB gun phase in human children). Elven parents are advised to stay behind trees.
Q: Does an elven blast affect a material thing like, say, the ceiling?
A: Whoops! Here’s a case where I didn’t agree from the first book to the second, although there’s wiggle room. Maybe not all Elves’ lightning is created equal. Plus, I can always argue that distance makes a difference. Shoot across a large room, no mark on the wall. Shoot directly up at the ceiling, and you should probably disconnect the smoke alarm first.
Q: How about a human? What if a human gets hit by Elf fire?
A: Think Taser. And that’s from a mild blast.
Q: When one Elf visits another, does the visiting Elf walk up to their land and holler, or can he put his hands on the ground and sense that the Elf in residence is merged there? If he can sense it, is there some sort of Elven do-not-disturb sign?
A: Elves still aren’t sure under what circumstances they can detect a merged Elf. Hollering is the polite way to rouse your Elven buddy when visiting. Don’t bother to bring a bottle of wine. They don’t drink or eat.
Q: Can a merged Elf answer his cell phone?
A: Alas, cell signals do not carry underground. Not to mention that the phone is dispersed into its myriad bits until the Elf emerges.
Q: Can an Elf color her hair? (Adlia, the strawberry-blond heroine of Stolen Magic, would much rather look like a Goth chick.)
A: An Elf can use all the L’oreal she wants, but when she goes home and merges with the earth, it all goes away. She pops out again with her regular color. And you thought having to color once a month was bad.
Q: When an Elf comes out of the ground, she makes her clothing out of the surrounding vegetable material (dirt, leaves, bug parts). Where do they get their fashion ideas? Why do they even wear clothes?
A: Elves probably used to run around nekkid, but once they saw humans in clothes, they immediately saw the creative possibilities in clothing design. (Elves are very into art.) Elves’ default fashion sense reflects when and where they really started to bump up against humans, in Renaissance Europe. With a few exceptions such as Galan’s parents, who dress like Native Americans or possibly extras in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Elves look like refugees from the Ren Faire. However, the few Elves who regularly interact with humans usually try to blend in by wearing jeans and T-shirts.
Q: Why do they even take human form?
A: There are a lot of possible answers as to why an Elf in solid form looks human. Elves might be the equivalent of magical stick insects, taking on a form that gives them the most protection. Humans are a force like nothing this planet has ever seen before, and tend to win in arguments with other creatures. Elves, having the option to take whatever shape most benefited them, look like humans.
Or…Elves and humans might be evolutionary cousins.
Q: What determines an Elf’s ethnic look?
A: I shamefacedly admit that this was not a question I ever thought to ask. It comes from Jane George, and made me scratch my head hard enough to leave a mark. The answer is similar to why they look like humans at all. An Elf takes on the ethnic look of the majority of humans surrounding him, unless that Elf is a real iconoclast, in which case, he might choose to look like one of the minority races in the area. Boulder is purty darn white, and the whites definitely have the power, which is why the area doesn’t seem to have any Elves of color. I should really do something about that.
What about you? If you write, what part of creating your fictional universe gave you fits? As a reader, does it make you crazy when there’s an inconsistency in paranormal rules?
One lucky commenter can win a copy of Stolen Magic.
Esri lives in Boulder with her husband and her cat, only one of whom has pointy ears. Visit her at http://www.elvesamongus.com/. You can register for her Giveaway (which includes jewelry, art, body care, three nights at the Boulder Outlook Hotel, restaurant and boutique gift certificates, and theater tix at http://www.elvesinboulder.com/.