Tag Archives: elf

Mixing Up the Cannons

Thursdays Bite

a fantasy romance blog

I’ve done something bad. Something fantasy romance writers aren’t “supposed” to do. I even had someone on a loop take me to task for it because you poor romance readers would be confused. What is this awful, terrible, thing that I’ve done?

I’ve mixed cannons.

prince by blood and bone by jessica aspenMy fantasy romance books are not strictly Irish, or Scottish, nor are they steeped in the legends of the North, like Tolkein’s books. I’ve brought in all of those things, mixed it up. I have leaned heavily on the Irish myth and history, but if I like something from somewhere else, I pull it in. Like using the word elves. Even though you as a reader may not realize it, when I did that, I dipped into Germanic stories.

Now why would I do that? Why would I not stick strictly to one mythology or another. Maybe it’s because I see the links in all the myths. They all have elves, even if they don’t call them that name. What’s in a name? Is it the way something is defined? Or is it the thing itself?

I don’t believe that. If an elf were to visit, and someone called him an “elf” in one land and a “shining one” in another land, then it doesn’t change what he himself is. I see the fae mythology as seeping into all cultures. So to me the race of fae, elves, shining ones visited all those places and the people there called them what they would. Made up stories about them. Perhaps only saw some of them and filtered their understanding through their culture.

That’s why I gave my “elves” their own name. Elvatian. Like humans they are a species. They have different cultures and colors and racial characteristics. Some are taller, some are shorter. They have political groups, like the Fir Bolg and the Tuathan. Those names I borrowed from Irish history, but in the future I’ll be borrowing from other culture’s as well.And then there are the lesser fae. Like the Elvatian they come from a separate place of being, not Earth. But they aren’t elvatian. They are the gnomes, and the trolls, and the troll-kin. Their own races with whatever mixed skills and magics I choose to give them.

the dark huntsman by jessica aspenAnd I did all of this on purpose. Yes. I said it. On purpose. Because, unlike that person on the loop, I think all of you can stretch your imaginations behind the rules of each individual culture. I think you can understand that the elvatian, who cross the boundaries of time and place using portals, wouldn’t be bound to one small island or one small continent. They explor our world, and other worlds via the passages in Underhill and the portals, and maybe even through other ways we haven’t even seen yet.

A species like that isn’t limited. And that’s why I broke the rules.

There’s a saying in the writing world, and you hear it all the time. Know and understand the rule before you break it.

Bah! Just crash through them, baby!

I’m currently immersed in Broken Mirror and the amazing impossibilities of crossing cultures. By mixing and mingling fairytales I get to play in different cultures and make my own world rules. Who knew playing creator could be so fun! Hope you are having fun this summer too!


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Filed under Fae, Fantasy Romance, Tales of the Black Court, Thursdays Bite, Writer's Journey