Welcome to Shelfbuzz, Elle. First off, we’d like to remark about how incredibly prolific you are. You have published close to 50 books in genres ranging from Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Sci-fi, and Dystopian to straight up Romance and Romantic Suspense — which is an amazing accomplishment. But today, we’d like to focus on YA Urban Fantasy and the very first book in your first series: The Changelings. This novel has earned over 1500 five star reviews on Goodreads, so it has obviously connected with people. Who is your ideal reader?
Thank you. It’s great to be here. For the War of the Fae series, I’d say the ideal reader is someone who enjoys urban fantasy with strong, young female heroines. Also, someone who appreciates humor in their novels.
The heart of any successful, long-running series is its main character. Tell us about yours.
Jayne Sparks is a potty-mouthed, rebellious teenager who wishes to have an extraordinary life, but like most high schoolers, has a day-to-day routine that bores her to tears. When Jayne and her best friend Tony run away together, they meet a bunch of interesting characters who change their lives forever. Jayne is very headstrong, stubborn, and opinionated. She is also loyal, dedicated, and brave. Over the course of the ten book series Jayne is faced with a lot of ethical dilemmas and choices. Kill or be killed. To do what is expected of her versus what is calling to her. Whether risking the lives of others in order to serve the greater good is something she’s willing to do.
What made you want to tell Jayne’s story?
She is based on my former high school self and how I would have liked my life to turn out were it possible to live in a fantastical world. Jayne is very bold and doesn’t have much of a filter between her brain and her mouth. So I would say she’s a bit more forceful and crass than other main characters. Jayne wears her heart on her sleeve. She also makes a lot of mistakes, but they tend to work out in her favor eventually, while causing her quite a bit of embarrassment. I also wanted to explore certain themes which emerged as I was writing: the nature of true friendship, good versus evil, the importance of questioning the status quo…
The Changelings initially takes place in suburban Florida, but the action soon moves to a mysterious forest. Tell us a bit more about the setting.
The basic setting of the Green Forest was critical to the entire plot, but the location being in France was not that critical. I’m American living in France, and it seems like a magical place to me. It helped me stay in the mood while I was writing the story.
The War of the Fae series is quite extensive, spanning ten books. How did the series evolve?
I wrote books 1-7 in 2012, and thought I was finished. Book 7 was really tough to finish, and I was ready to move on to other projects in other worlds. But then my daydreams started shifting into lala land and the War of the Fae characters kept talking to me. I realized they had a lot more to say. In 2015, I published book 8, and books 9 and 10 will be released in 2016.
After readers finish The Changelings, which novel of yours should they read next?
The next book in the War of the Fae series is Call to Arms. Jayne and her friends prepare for the upcoming battle against the Dark Fae.
That sounds fantastic. Thank you so much, Elle.