A sexy elf who falls in love while solving a murder mystery is as unique as it gets! In Arabella Thorne’s fantasy novel The Elf Lord’s Revenge, readers are treated to a concept not yet explored when an otherworldly man meets a human who just might capture his heart while healing her own. In this suspenseful fairy tale, happily ever after comes with a price.
Interviewer: Christy Campbell
What made you choose the paranormal/historical fantasy genre?
I have always loved magic. I read fairytales from many lands when I was a kid. I like the surprise and wonder of magic…especially in everyday life. When all else fails; magic just may do it! So writing under the umbrella of fantasy was a no brainer. The historical aspect is because I love California history (where I grew up) which I got from my mom. I have set two other novels in contemporary England with elves. But I felt—elves: England (mostly because of Tolkien). So I wanted to try something a little different. I picked 1843 because things were moving along. Los Angeles was a little sleepy town, but already growing…This is alternate universe, of course, so there are no hostilities with Mexico in my tale yet (California became a state in 1849 seceding from Mexico to do so).
You chose a unique concept for your novel, amidst today’s flurry of vampires, werewolves and wizards. Why elves for your first paranormal foray?
After seeing Peter Jackson’s interpretation of the elves in his Lord of The Rings movies, it was all over but the shouting. I fell in love with Elrond because he was an elf with attitude. (Legolas was/is gorgeous. What’s not to love?). I wrote fan fiction ten years ago which still resides on FanFiction.net. I was inspired. So it is really no surprise my first novel would deal with elves. And my next few shall as well!
What do you think it is about young adult stories that attract so many older readers?
Some nostalgia, I imagine. But the stories are about growth and discovery frequently, and wonder (when they are not dark tales). Some of my all-time favorite books are YA: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (and the sequels), Citizen of the Galaxy by Robert Heinlein, Lloyd Alexander’s Book of Three and the other novels of Prydain, To Kill a Mockingbird (okay not YA strictly (grins) because the heroine was young and I read it when I was twelve or thirteen) just to name a few. They were adventures and refreshing.
Tell us about your background in writing . . . when did you first become interested in being an author?
Well, I have been writing since I was twelve. I loved the TV show “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” so I wrote my first fan fic about those guys. I thought Ilya Kuryakin was swoon-worthy even then! I worked at the LA Times for almost nineteen years and freelanced a ton of stories, features, book reviews. (I was not a staff writer but the film editor’s desk assistant.) I was also a professional dance photographer and got to photograph Baryshnikov and Nureyev and subsequently was published in books and magazines and even the NY Times.
I, like so many others, wrote about four novels that all reside in boxes in closets or the garage before settling on my first novel The Elf Lord’s Revenge. My first efforts were all fantasy/paranormal even ages ago…I wrote a tale about an aristocratic wizard who had a tiger who could go invisible as a familiar set in Victorian London about 25 years ago. I’ll have to dig it out some time…..I loved entertaining myself with alternate versions of reality so I wrote stories.
Which authors, past and present, have influenced you?
You know, it’s not just one author: it’s pretty much all of them! I think because I am a voracious reader and will read sweet romances, Regencies, Science fiction, high Fantasy and mainstream NY Times bestsellers as well as classical literature (I am very fond of Russian literature) I got marinated with the thousands of words in all those books. Journalism helped me to be a bit more succinct.
My favorite authors remain: Mark Twain, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Lois McMaster Bujold, Diana Gabaldon, Ivan Turgenev, Henry James, Jane Austen, Steven Berry, James Rollins…well the list is pretty endless!
Do you have a specific routine when it comes to writing, i.e. habits or a special place to concentrate?
My writing routine is pretty much all over the map. I can write under the noise of a house filled with grandkids, young mother and boyfriend, the pressure of emotional trouble, time constraints. I wrote my first feature for the LA Times in a notebook on a packed city bus after a night of no sleep. I like writing at work on my lunch break. I can write in waiting rooms and cafes…..I usually write linearly from beginning to end but I can write in a notebook, on spare paper or my computer.
Do you write full time?
At this point in time, I do not write full time. I am still employed by a day job. I hope to retire in a few years when I can indeed spend my day wrestling words and plots.
What do you think of the current surge in indie publishing?
I am so glad independent publishing has come along! I always dreamed of being published by New York and holding a hardback book in my hand. But finding an agent and waiting and waiting and getting rejected and waiting….just was such a grind to contemplate.
I feel indie publishing has allowed me to fly or fall—and then I’ll know whether the rest of the reading world thinks I can write and I’m not just deluding myself
What do you think your strengths are as a writer?
The strongest aspect of my writing is my descriptive ability and I think my dialogue is pretty good. At least, I do not usually struggle to figure out what a character needs to say. Subtext is my weakest aspect. I can meet a deadline (after all my years at the newspaper—I should hope so!) and I can, if needed, write quickly.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time, when you aren’t parked in front of a computer?
Reading. And more reading. Pottering about the yard, Getting together with friends. Shopping. Especially thrift store shopping! And right now I’m involved with prepping my house for sale—which is taking a lot of time—since I have a lot to get rid of and reorganize!
Tell us what you’re working on at the moment.
I am working on the second book of the elves of California series, The Elf Lord’s Secret and then I hope to do the third book The Elf Lord’s Return. I also have a contemporary novel set in England (also involving elves—what a surprise) that I would like to tweak into shape.
I finished a story for an anthology based on a game “Kaiser’s Gate” which deals with an alternate WWI where the fae (elves, dwarves, etc.) have entered our world and are involved in the Great War. It was done in a short amount of time. I do not have a pub date for it yet. My story involves a dragon-shifter and the Romanovs of Russia. Down the road I’d like to tackle a historical set in Regency or Victorian England.
The Elf Lord’s Revenge is available on Amazon. Readers can learn more about the author on her website at http://www.arabellathorne.com.