Writing the Elfy Duology, Hope…and Christmas in July

It’s Christmas in July! And on Monday, July 25, 2016 from 11 AM Central Daylight Time to noon, I will be taking part in a no-holds-barred Facebook Event in support of my novels AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE and A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE…expect there to be prizes, giveaways, and more. And I couldn’t be happier about it.


Why? Well, part of it has to do with the struggle I endured just getting my books to market…and part of it has to do with hope. (Bear with me, okay?)

But perhaps I should go back to the beginning, as that’s simplest.

When I first started writing the book I then knew as Elfy (later, the Elfy duology), I hadn’t any idea what type of book it was going to be. I just had the vision of a very short magical teenager, who wasn’t allergic to Cold Iron, but had grown up in an alternate universe where people not only knew that magic worked, but reveled in it. His people, the Bilre—what everyone else calls Elfys—were mostly misunderstood by the other races, including Humans, Elfs, Dwarves, and Trolls. All I knew at the time was that most Elfys liked bright colors and outrageous rhyming couplets—and Bruno, my hero, wanted none of that.

anelfyontheloose_medAs I wrote, I realized that Bruno and his soon-to-be love interest from our Earth, Sarah, were both in very bad positions. In AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE (Book 1 of the Elfy Duology), we find that Sarah doesn’t know what her real name is; she doesn’t know her real age; she doesn’t even know why her parents are awful, but has recognized that they are. And Bruno’s situation is even worse…his parents are dead, and he’s been called “Bunny-Lamb” by his classmates at the orphanage (Robin Goodfellow’s School for Scions of the Nobility and Other Unfortunates, to be exact). He was born with the birth name of Jon, meaning “wise” and with the connotation of being scholarly—something Bruno desperately wants to become, mind, as he believes he has little magic—but because “Bunny-Lamb” sounds like his name in Bilre, well, that’s what he was called by nearly everyone.

That’s why, when he meets up with Sarah, they both take “new” names—Bruno’s name is entirely new and picked because it doesn’t rhyme with much (thus the other Elfys can’t pervert it into something like “Bunny-Lamb,” natch), while Bruno figures out Sarah’s real name in fairly short order. They’re teens by the standards of their respective cultures, and must grow up fast in order to stop a Dark Elf–deadly enemies of all Elfys, and not too partial to most Humans, either–from terrorizing Northern California and killing many innocents…including Bruno’s mentor Roberto. (Further the writer sayeth not…at least, not about the plot. Go discover it for yourself!)

Now, I wrote the Elfy duology as a comedy, because I wanted to make people laugh. But if you look closely at this situation, you’re going to realize just how bad off Bruno and Sarah actually are. Bruno’s been intentionally mistrained by most of the teachers at the orphanage because they are afraid of his instinctual, prodigious power; worse yet, he is an orphan, a Ward of the State, and has no close relatives to claim him. And Sarah’s treated abominably by her parents, mostly because her father wants to keep Sarah’s inheritance for himself, and also hasn’t been trained properly how to use her magic, either.

All of this is revealed slowly, bit by bit, because I also wanted the reader to see the beginning as a little bit of a mystery. Why did the Elfy High Council order the orphanage to mistrain Bruno? Why is this one teacher, Roberto the Wise, willing to go against them and aid Bruno anyway? And why, oh why, doesn’t Roberto trust Bruno when Bruno gets away with Sarah, and help the two of them in a direct manner?

(Of course, if Roberto had done that, rather than end up in the Human Realm—our Earth—under the thumb of Sarah’s parents, the duology would’ve been much shorter! But I digress.)

See, I wanted to offer people in bad situations something they rarely get. That one, precious thing is hope. If you believe tomorrow can be better than today, and if you believe that you can find love, and friends who understand you, you can do great things.

alittleelfyinbigtrouble_medOkay, I get it that you might not be able to save Northern California from the depredations of a Dark Elf, as Bruno and Sarah do their best to do in A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE (Book 2 of the Elfy Duology). I get it that you may not find someone as well-suited for you as Sarah is for Bruno (or as my late husband, Michael, was for me). I even get it that you might not see how a funny urban fantasy with ghosts, alternate universes, and Shakespearean allusions might have anything to do with your own situation.

That said, fantasy used to be about taking the reader outside of his/her own head. The type of fantasy I’ve always loved best always had some uplifting and/or inspirational elements in there, no matter how downbeat it seemed—so maybe that’s one reason why it’s not too surprising that’s what I wrote, when I had the chance.

I’m proud of the Elfy duology (AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE and A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE). That’s why I hope you will join me at the Christmas in July Facebook Party on July 25, 2016—yes, tomorrow—from eleven AM to noon Central Daylight Time. I’ll be happy to talk about my books, other books I love, and more…and I might just give away a few things, too.

Want to get a head start on the party? Read some sample chapters for AN ELFY ON THE LOOSE here, and if that’s not enough, here’s some sample chapters for A LITTLE ELFY IN BIG TROUBLE as well. (Never say I haven’t done anything for you, all right?)

Find Barb at Elfyverse, on Facebook, and on Twitter.


One thought on “Writing the Elfy Duology, Hope…and Christmas in July

  1. Pingback: Go Check Out My Latest Guest Blog… | Barb Caffrey's Blog

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