Thursday, May 7, 2009
ELVES- HEROES FOR OUR TIME?
Years ago, when I wrote Bound to Love Her, my first Elven romantic-suspense novel, I did it for two reasons.
1) I’d heard that you could write a fantasy and get it published in a romance sub-genre, as long as it had the lurve.
2) I’d seen Orlando Bloom as Legolas in the Lord of the Rings movie.
All writers start out with a basic idea and embroider on it. I live in Boulder, Colorado, a pretty environmentally minded town. That and Elven lore in general caused me to make my Elves guardians of the earth, and also vulnerable to its destruction. They merge with the land, they draw their energy from it, and when it ceases to be land and becomes a foundation for roads, homes, or malls, they die.
But roads, homes and malls aren’t evil, and Elves aren’t always good.
Fantasy novels are a great way to explore philosophical and sociological issues. Romance novels are a great way to explore personal relationships. In Bound to Love Her, Galan, my Elven hero, distrusts humans. They’re driving his people to extinction, although they don’t know it. And Erin, my human heroine, distrusts Galan, because he won’t acknowledge the feelings between them, and also because Elves have this nasty habit of hypnotizing humans and rejiggering their reality. They were brought together by magical circumstance and a villain, which are both fun.
Fast forward to my second book, Stolen Magic, which just came out. This time, I wanted to explore the world of Elves from the inside looking out. Were they a devoted group of folks, with no dissent? Did they get everything they needed from each other? Does anyone? And so I created Adlia, the odd Elf out. She never knew her parents, is short where other Elves are tall, and lacks the magical talent that reassures Elves that they are, well… magical. She wanted someone to love her for all the things she was, not look at her funny for the things she wasn’t. She needed someone with a welcoming clan – family and friends who know that people aren’t perfect, but who love and take care of them just the same. Mark Speranzi (Italian for hope), fit the bill perfectly.
As for Elves and the humans, they’re getting better at compromise. If the books have a message, it’s that states of all-bad or all-good are thin on the ground. Relationships change, the planet changes, there is no perfect state of equilibrium, no Eden to return to. There never was. That doesn’t mean we stop trying to make things better, both for ourselves and others.
You can find back-cover blurbs and first chapters for both books here, and please drop by my ElvesInBoulder Giveaway, where you can register to win two different prizes.
1) Jewelry, art, and body care.
2) Free hotel nights, restaurant and boutique gift certificates, and theater tickets in my very own Boulder, Colorado.
And to show that giving is sometimes as fun as receiving, you can also don a pair of pointy ears and upload your photo (cut-and-tape pattern provided). I’ll donate a dollar to the Nature Conservancy for each of the first 500 pointy-eared folks I see. You’ll be pretending to be an Elf, but you’ll be a hero (or heroine) for real.
Esri Rose is the author of two books about Elves in Boulder, Colorado – Stolen Magic, just out, and Bound to Love Her. She lives in Boulder with her husband and her cat, only one of whom has pointy ears. You can find her main website at ElvesAmongUs.com and her Giveaway site at ElvesInBoulder.com.