A Fellow blogger and avid reader recently asked me about my Epic YA Fantasy Dark Fey, posing some thought -provoking questions that really got me thinking about the WHY behind the Fey. It being Friday Fantasy day, I thought I’d share some of the insights I uncovered through our conversation…
Is it possible to draw attention to the plight of child soldiers by writing an Epic Young Adult Fantasy?
Can Fiction create any measure of Positive Change?
Perhaps. Inspiration doesn’t always come to fruition in reality, and Hope alone cannot make a difference, but sometimes we just have to Trust and Act.
This is precisely what I did with Dark Fey, my Epic YA Fantasy Trilogy that not only relates an entertaining story of magic and mystery, but touches on realities in our own world. Yes, the plight of child soldiers and the horrors they face is part of the basis for my series, because, although I love to write, I’ve always tried to instill some purpose to the creations my mind weaves.
Dark Fey The Reviled begins gently enough. It’s a story about a young shefey discovering who she is and how to incorporate her unique gifts into everyday life. Like most teens, she’s uncertain and, because she is inexperienced, she’s a bit fragile; nevertheless, through the course of the tale she finds an inner strength she doesn’t realize she possesses. It’s also about a young malefey who has endured tragedy in his life on an unparalleled scale. He has lived through the horrors of abduction, abuse, neglect and has been forced to commit terrible acts of violence. His life mirrors those of child soldiers who face very similar atrocities, not in the pages of a fictional story, but in the reality they must bear each day.
Dark Fey Standing in Shadows focuses more greatly on the growing friendships between characters and how those relationships build bonds strong enough to face previously unthinkable possibilities, but, as in real life, strong relationships are built upon foundations that have been tested. The story invites the reader to experience how disagreements are the doorway to understanding, and how trials that challenge can motivate decisions to create Positive Change. It also begins to reveal the ugly truth behind the accepted norm. Expressed through scenes that left me crying after I wrote them, readers start to understand what The Reviled (our child soldiers) have suffered and continue to endure.
Dark Fey Breaking Into The Light asks the questions, can we truly understand another’s misery without knowing the extent to which they suffer? Would we willingly risk our lives for someone without experiencing some measure of their pain, despair, or anger? Like any good fantasy, this final saga of the trilogy sets the stage with dramatic events that test boundaries and push characters to their limits. Readers learn what it’s like to be one of the Reviled through descriptions that are darker and more intense than either of the previous books, but with good reason. I hope to elicit a reaction in the reader similar to those the Fey of the Light experience by showing them firsthand what the Reviled (our child soldiers) have suffered. I also pose the most important concept of the trilogy: The only way the achieve Peace is by becoming Peace. Through this thought-provoking concept, I open the door to an unexpected and powerful conclusion.
Fantasy is an escape, to be sure, and it is often filled with mystery, magic, and mayhem, where romance blossoms hand in hand with desperation we can scare imagine, amidst violence that both shocks us and irrevocably draws us into the story. Swords clash, dragons devour, lives are shattered, but inevitably the message of (most) fantasy tales is to Create Positive Change, against all odds and however possible. Dark Fey is no different in that respect, and yet, hopefully, new and different enough to entice readers into the realms of Jyndari to discover the magic and mayhem for themselves.