“Elves? Why elves?”
Greetings, fans of UFI! My name is Chelscey, but I go by my pen name C.E. Clayton as it’s much easier to search for then trying to get the spelling of my name right. I am the author of “The Monster of Selkirk” series, a YA to adult fantasy series, and I am thrilled to be doing a guest blog today! I don’t want to spend too much time talking about myself, but in a nutshell I recently moved from Southern California, where I spent my whole life, to New Orleans with my husband, our three fur-babies, and far too many electronics. I am a big fan of tattoos and dying my hair fun colors when I can (which isn’t often, my hair doesn’t like it all that much). I used to work in the Advertising/Media industry before the move, but now I focus on writing full time.
Speaking of writing, you may be asking yourself: “why, of all the mythical and fantasy creatures there are, why choose to make elves into monsters?” Well, I am so glad you asked!
I am a big fan of video game RPG’s, especially Dungeons and Dragons-esque games. I’ve always liked that, depending on the game publisher, elves were either these lithe, elegant creatures who had a palpable arrogance when it came to the other races. I also love how in other games, elves were considered second class citizens, creatures to be shunned and kicked out of the way if they were in the cities, or avoided due to their hostility out in the wilds. Sure, most people think of the Lord Of The Ring’s elves if they think about the creatures at all, but while I love the world Tolkien made, the elves weren’t the creatures I loved most in his books.
So, when I got the itch to finally pen all the voices in my head and give them life, I decided that this was my chance to bring to life the two opposing forces I found so interesting in elves. Their strength, their beauty, their connection to the forest, their abhorrence for humans and those who abuse the land, their heightened senses that make them a force to be reckoned with despite their small stature, but make them worthy of the scorn others show them. I turned my elves into monsters, leering beasts that fell from grace and now exact their revenge on humans in a terrifying and bloody manner.
I took the things people immediately associated with elves, and flipped it on its head. Thus altering a well-known creature and, hopefully, turning it into something different, new, and exciting. Transforming them into beasts that my readers are familiar with, but are still completely new and surprising. Given this is my first published fantasy series, I wanted to create something that was digestible, but still fantastic and interesting, even without a complicated magic system that has become so expected in this genre.
While taking a monster like a goblin or an orc might have been traditionally more terrifying, more expected, part of the tragedy that are Selkirk’s feral elves, is that they weren’t always beasts that occasionally steal children to snack on. They were beautiful, and relatively peaceful, making their fall all the more gut wrenching because deep down, I want the readers to feel a bit bad for the elves. You should pity them, at least just a little. They are monsters now, certainly, but they weren’t always. Which makes the question as to who, or what, the monster of Selkirk is, all the more fun to discover!
I hope my explanation about the twist I gave the elves in my book piqued your interest enough to pick up “The Monster of Selkirk” series! If you have questions about the elves, or the kind of fantasy creatures you wish were displayed more in the fantasy genre, I’d love to hear from you, as well. Just send me a message on my Facebook page or website. Thanks for letting me take over the blog today, it’s been a pleasure!
More about C.E. Clayton, including her blog, book reviews, and poetry, can be found on her website:
Find C.E. and her books
The Duality of Nature
The Monster of Selkirk #1
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Monsters come in many forms, and not everyone knows a monster when they see one. After three hundred years of monstrous, feral elves plaguing the island nation of Selkirk, everyone believes they know what a monster is. Humans have learned to live with their savage neighbors, enacting a Clearing every four years to push the elves back from their borders. The system has worked for centuries, until after one such purge, a babe was found in the forest.
As Tallis grows, she discovers she isn’t like everyone else. There is something a little different that makes people leery in her presence, and she only ever makes a handful of friends.
But when the elves gather their forces and emerge from the forests literally hissing Tallis’s name like a battle mantra, making friends is the least of her troubles. Tallis and her companions find themselves on an unwilling journey to not only clear her name, but to stop the elves from ravaging her homeland.