Sunday, December 26, 2010

Why I Write Fantasy -Lyndi Alexander & Her Elves!

Welcome Lyndi Alexander, urban fantasy author who discovered elves living in Montana!

Amber: Why do you write fantasy?
Lyndi: I really enjoy writing fantasy because I can push the "what if" envelope outside normal boundaries. Fantasy is also a perfect format to showcase weird and quirky characters, which seem to trail around behind me like dropped crumbs. Being "different" is an asset when you're working with a situation that's out of the norm. I have three children with special needs, one with ADD, one with autism and one with Asperger's, and I like to consider their differences as assets, rather than detriments. The Elf Queen has not only barista Jelani Marsh, but her WoW-playing computer geek friend Lane, his roommate paranoid child abuse survivor 'Crispy,' and their social worker friend Iris, as well as a host of elves with various skills and talents. It takes cooperation among all these diverse folk to make the magic come together.

Amber: How do you work elves into urban fantasy?
Lyndi: I have to admit, elves were new for me, but I knew I didn't want to use the traditional "elves, faeries and leprechauns" kind of elves. Though these elves come from a time beyond the existence of humans in the mountains of Montana, they co-exist with humans. They are the same size, shape and can blend in quite well if they have to. In my story, they've been forced to live in the human city by an ongoing schism in the elf clan, and what they want more than anything is the chance to return to the natural world. When the clan is functioning well and in harmony, then nature is also harmonious, the environment healing itself and the world a better place for it.

Amber: What are your favorite fantasy novels?
Lyndi: Anne McCaffrey's dragon books, by far. I love her world-building, the way her series carries the characters forward and adds and expands with new and side characters. We share the same birthday--April 1. I hope that's lucky!

Amber: Why do readers love fantasy?
Lyndi: As readers, I believe we want to escape from our own realities, the stack of dirty dishes, the blather of talking heads on TV, the kids, the spouse, the empty, quiet rooms. Fantasy gives the reader a two-fer, in my opinion; not only can they find a fine story, but they can move into a realm of something that is not necessarily of this time or this world and stretch their minds with the author's imaginative tales.

Amber: Would you write fantasy even if no one read it?
Lyndi: I would. *L* My stories get written because they come to me. I don't set my brain for "Today I'm going to write a vampire story." Instead, I see what stories are inside, waiting to get out, and then I write them. Several reviewers have said that The Elf Queen is not a typical fantasy, and I'm glad to hear that, because I don't want to feel like I'm trapped in a genre formula.

Lyndi Alexander (aka Barbara Mountjoy) has been a published writer for over thirty years, including seven years as a reporter and editor at a newspaper in Homestead, Florida. Her list of publications is eclectic, from science fiction to romance to horror, from tech reporting to television reviews.  Lyndi and her absent-minded computer geek husband have a dozen computers, seven children, and a full house in northwestern Pennsylvania. 

The Clan Elves of the Bitterroot series 

The Elf Child, The next book in the series, will be out in spring 2011, 
& The Elf Mage  in 2012.

Lyndi’s"Be An Elf" Contest
Leave a comment for a chance to be an elf character in 
book three of the Clan Elves series.
The winner can be an elf in the big battle 
and can choose what power/talent he or she has at their disposal.

Learn more about Lyndi and Barbara on her writer's blog.
And her blog Awalkabout’s Weblog about autism, science fiction and life  

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