Friday, August 7, 2009

Dog Days of Summer: Elaine Corvidae's Writing


This week we're chatting with author Elaine Corvidae, author of the paranormal series The Shadow Fae. Elaine's next book in the series comes out in Spring 2010 and is titled Daughter of Snow.

I asked Elaine to tell us about what makes her paranormal characters different than the standard ones currently on the market (other than the fact that in Daughter of Snow she's exploring Slavic myth--which is a bit rarer currently--but I predict we'll see more and more ;-).

I have a tendency to take characters, who anyone else would probably use as the colorful secondary characters, and promote them to the status of main character. Just as an example, Duncan, the hero in Winter’s Orphans, is very much the “mentor” archetype. He’s in his early fifties, confined to a wheelchair, and one of his functions in to teach the heroine, Mina, how to control and use the faery magic that she’s just discovered she possesses. He’s absolutely the Obi-Wan or Mr. Miyagi character of the piece. However, his story and character arc so fascinated me that I also made him the romantic lead.

In Prince of Ash and the following books, Pook is the material of which sidekicks are made. The pookas of Celtic myth are shape-shifting tricksters, and like all tricksters he plays both the Hero and the Fool with aplomb. He’s a little bit goofy and always willing to laugh at himself, probably even more so than at anyone else. The perfect sidekick to a straight-man hero, but again, I found him incredibly compelling. Once I started asking “why” during the character development phase, I realized that he had this terribly tragic past, coupled with an enormous sense of responsibility and the biggest heart in the world. So again, I gave him a promotion and made the perfect sidekick into the heroic lead (and probably one of my most popular characters to date).

How did the idea for your book come to you?

When I wrote the first Shadow Fae book, Winter’s Orphans, I fully intended it to be a stand-alone novel. One day, while attending a writer’s conference in Tampa, FL, I sat down in my hotel room and started to read a nonfiction book, The Gangs of New York, by Herbert Asbury. Before I was done with the first chapter, the character of Pook had popped into my head, made himself comfortable, and started telling me his story. What had been a stand-alone turned into a six-book series.

Remember that, fellow aspiring authors--you never know when or where an idea might come to you--be prepared to jot it down and follow it! Although Daughter of Snow hasn't been reviewed yet, Elaine did provide us with her "favorite review of all time" for her book Tyrant Moon.

Sarah Guidry of SFReader.com said:

“These are not the overnight heroes that much adventure fantasy suffers from. These are real people, faced with extraordinarily hard situations and decisions from which magic cannot always save them.”

Want to learn more about paranormal author Elaine Corvidae and her books? Stop by her site http://www.onecrow.net or friend her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ElaineCorvidae .
Want to just skip that and buy a book? Check out http://www.mundania.com . They are Elaine's publisher and carry Winter's Orphans, Prince of Ash and The Sundered Stone already in multiple formats. Elaine's books can also be found in major online bookstores.

Tomorrow stop back in for our last day with Elaine--we'll be talking about research and characterization.

AND. If you leave a comment during these three days of Elaine's blogtour here with us, you will be entered to win a prize provided by Elaine herself from her enchanting backlist. So, say Hi and ask Elaine a question or leave a comment for her.

3 comments:

Alex Draven said...

I love the idea of putting the focus on the 'mentor' rather than the 'student', especially in this sort of setting.

Sheila Deeth said...

That's neat, the way he became a romantic lead too. Makes me feel free-er to grow more attached to my secondary characters too.

Elaine Corvidae said...

Thanks for commenting, Alex and Sheila. I think that a lot of characters are more flexible than they've been typecast as--after all, we all play multiple roles in life, so why shouldn't a well-developed character?