I’m so excited to be part of Jenelle Leanne Schmidt’s book release tour for The Echo of the Fae. Love that title! Anyway, I invited her over to share about the world we’ll visit within the pages of her newest book.
There are two realms within her story world. the Fae and the Ennis Rosliath (the human realm). Today, we have the pleasure of getting a glimpse into the fae realm. On June 28th, head on over to LOVE WHAT YOUR READING and learn about the human realm. The link won’t work until then.
So without further ado!
The Guest Post
Building the Fae Realm
by Jenelle Schmidt
Writing An Echo of the Fae was an interesting and new experience in that I kind of had to build two worlds for a single story. There was the mortal realm of Ennis Rosliath, and then the Fae Realm to consider.
I knew from the outset that I would be crossing over from one realm to the other in the story, but I wasn’t quite prepared for all that would entail, as Echo journeys from one realm to the other a couple of times and takes different routes each time. This begged several different questions:
- Where are the doors to and from the fae realm?
- How many are there?
- How does one get through these doors?
- How many realms are there?
Oddly enough, that first two questions were the last to get answered. Originally, I only knew of one door from the mortal realm into the fae realm, but later I realized that there had to be more. Because of the answers to that question, an entire subplot got added to the second draft of the story!
There are multiple realms in this story realm, and I’m not sure I’ve explored all of them in this story, but we get a glimpse of several: the mortal realm, the realm of the Summer Court, the realm of the Winter Court, and a gateway realm that may be a third plane of existence that touches the other two and connects them.
Each of the doorways from one realm to the other follows a different set of rules, which is a good thing to know if you’re going to go traveling from one to another. I did a lot of research on myths and legends surrounding the idea of the “fae” or the “fair folk” to get ideas on some of the rules surrounding my various doorways.
In the stories I have read that include the fae, I have often seen them as being capricious and untrustworthy, with a haughty disdain for mortals and little in the way of a moral code. Because my own personal interpretation of the fae is admittedly heavily influenced by Shakespeare’s version (specifically from A Midsummer Night’s Dream) I am certain that readers will see some similarities to his fae realm in this story. However, I tried to give things my own twist.
While I kept the idea of the fae being tricksters and enamored of games and riddles and deals, I also gave them the capability for honor and nobility and trustworthiness. If the fae of this story give you their word on something, you can take it to the bank.
Some of the fae in my story do have a low opinion of mortals in general, but that is not necessarily the stance they all take, and many of them would admit that they’ve never even seen a mortal.
A few other sources of inspiration for me in building the fae realms came from a combination of The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, Ill Met by Moonlight by Mercedes Lackey, and Tales of Goldstone Wood by Anne Elisabeth Stengl. One of the things these all have in common is the idea of “good” and “evil” fae, or “seelie” and “unseelie” courts.
I decided to follow this formula, but instead of defining them as “good” or “evil” I made them “Summer” and “Winter” and gave these two courts their own realm, with their own rules and cultures. Fae in both courts are perfectly capable of good and evil, their morality is not defined by where they live or what type of fae they are. This made for some interesting plot-developments!
I hope this has given you a glimpse of the magical realm you can visit in An Echo of the Fae. If you’d like to hear more about the world building for the mortal realm in this story, please visit THIS POST in the tour to learn more about the world that Echo lives in before she ventures into Faerthain to save her sister.
Echo enjoys the peace and solitude of the Faeorn forest, regardless of how strange spending time in the “haunted” wood seems to others.
But on the cusp of her thirteenth birthday, the discovery of a family secret reveals why Echo has never been drawn to the sea like her mother. This discovery shakes the foundations of her world and sends Echo on a quest, not merely into the forest, but into the heart of the fae-lands themselves, to rescue the sister she didn’t know existed.
Elves, dragons, and fairy courts will put Echo’s wit and resolve to the test. But with time running out for her sister, will Echo even be able to save herself?
A fairytale adventure perfect for fans of The Secret of Roan Innish and The Girl Who Drank the Moon.
Jenelle first fell in love with stories through her father’s voice reading books aloud each night. A relentless opener-of-doors in hopes of someday finding a passage to Narnia, it was only natural that she soon began making up fantastical realms of her own. Jenelle currently resides in the wintry tundra of Wisconsin—which she maintains is almost as good as Narnia—with her knight-in-shining armor and their four adorable hobbits. When she is not writing, she homeschools said hobbits and helps them along on their daily adventures… which she says makes her a wizard.
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