Hello ParaYourNormal readers and thank you Kirsten for inviting me to be here!
What do you picture when you hear the word “Elves”? Tiny cookie-making creatures in a hollow tree? Talented toymakers with high cold tolerance in the employ of a jolly guy in a red suit?
My first exposure to Elves was reading The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings in elementary and middle school. When I learned that J.R.R. Tolkien had been inspired by Norse mythology, specifically the Poetic Edda, I looked into the ancient tales myself. And what I found was that the modern, sort of cartoonish ideas of Santa’s and Keebler’s Elves are a monumental departure from the earliest references to Elves in mythology.
The Eddic poems are a collection of Old Norse minstrel poems passed down for centuries. In them, Elves are beautiful, frightening, powerful, sometimes god-like. My Young Adult fantasy trilogy, beginning with Hidden Deep, is based on a combination of this Norse mythology and Fae legends.
The Hidden Trilogy isn’t high fantasy like Tolkien’s works. Instead it’s more along the lines of urban fantasy and paranormals, taking place in a version of our current world and time, where beautiful and powerful Dark Elves use glamour enhanced by modern technology to hide their true identities from humankind and get everything they want.
For my books, I took inspiration from Norse mythology’s Dark Elves (Dökkálfar) and Light Elves (Ljósálfar), and the Æsir, the gods and half-gods who include Thor and Loki. Two of my characters, and I won’t reveal which ones here for spoiler-ish reasons, were inspired by those characters, particularly Loki in that he’s trouble maker and a trickster and a jealous rival to Thor as well as an outcast among the Æsir. I was also inspired by the idea of Ragnarok, a final battle among the gods.
From Celtic and French faerie lore, I was inspired by the idea of the Fae being more or less human in size and appearance but having magical powers. Another common theme in the Celtic legends is the idea of the Fae as immortals co-existing with humans in the same world, but being separate and living in some sort of Otherworld, which in the legends is described often as being underground or hidden in hills.
And from Scottish folklore came the Dark and Light Councils in the Hidden Trilogy, based on the idea of two distinct courts among the Fae—the Seelie and Unseelie—one of which is generally harmless or even beneficial to humans and the other which enjoys bringing harm to humans as entertainment.
When I started looking into it, I was shocked to find out how many people groups around the world have legends involving Elves, from the Orang Bunian of the Malay people, to the Erufu of Japan, to the Psotnik of Poland. In spite of each culture having their own special names and assigned magical qualities for these otherworldly beings, there are many striking similarities among the legends as well. Kind of makes you wonder, doesn’t it?
Sixteen-year-old Ryann Carroll has just run into the guy who saved her life ten years ago. You might think she’d be happy to see him again. Not exactly. She’s a bit underdressed (as in skinny-dipping) and he’s not supposed to exist.
After her father’s affair, all Ryann wants is to escape the family implosion fallout and find a little peace. She also wouldn’t mind a first date that didn’t suck, but she’s determined not to end up like her mom: vulnerable, betrayed, destroyed. Ryann’s recently moved back to her childhood home in rural Mississippi, the same place where ten years earlier she became lost in the woods overnight and nearly died.
She’s still irresistibly drawn to those woods. There she encounters the boy who kept her from freezing to death that long ago winter night and was nowhere to be seen when rescuers arrived. He’s still mysterious, but now all grown-up and gorgeous, too. And the more she’s with him, the greater the threat he poses to Ryann’s strict policy– never want someone more than he wants you.
Seventeen-year-old Lad knows the law of his people all too well: Don’t get careless and Don’t get caught. It’s allowed his race to live undetected in this world for thousands of years, mentioned only in flawed and fading folklore…
Lad’s never been able to forget about Ryann since that night ten years ago. When he sees her again, his fascination re-ignites and becomes a growing desire that tempts him to break all the rules. He’s not even supposed to talk to a human, much less fall in love with one.
And the timing is atrocious. The Assemblage is coming, the rift between the Light and Dark is widening, and mysterious celebrity fan pods are becoming more and more widespread and influential. Lad may have to trade his own chance at happiness to keep the humans, especially Ryann, blissfully unaware and safe.
Amy Patrick is a two-time Golden Heart finalist (2013 and 2014) who writes Contemporary Romance and Young Adult fantasy/paranormal romance. She is the author of the Hidden Trilogy and the 20 Something series. Living in New England nowwith her husband and two sons, she actually craves the heat and humidity of Mississippi, where she grew up. She’s been a professional singer and news anchor and currently narrates audio books as well as working as a station host for a Boston TV station.