Today I’m pleased to host Frances Pauli, who will tell you about her ‘Changeling Race’ trilogy. Over to you, Frances.
Thank you so much for having me on the blog today. When Greta asked me to do a “behind the book” post, I had to think back. It’s been nine years since I wrote the original draft of the first book in The Changeling Race trilogy. While it seems so much shorter, that time in between was filled with marriage, children, and my first steps into the universe of publishing and writing books. It’s been quite a journey, and at least that very last part, all started with A Moth in Darkness.
The book, itself, started with a dream.
I get a lot of ideas from dreams, as do many authors. Our subconscious, thankfully, provides us with a steady flow of creative fodder. In Moth’s case, that inciting dream ended up as one of the very last scenes in the story, however, and from there I chewed and churned and pondered my way backwards to the beginning.
That scene is still one of my favorites in the book, though the dream was more than a little disturbing. There was an elf held prisoner in a dark room. Images flashed on the walls while he struggled to stand. He needed help. He needed me, and though I didn’t know who he was yet, I knew I was madly in love with him. I was in love with his story, and all I had to do was get it sorted out and down on paper.
I woke up shaking. I spent the whole day distracted, thinking about that elf and his predicament. How did he get there? Who was he? How was I going to get him out? The first time I met Lockland Sheen, I knew he was the one. All the stories I’d imagined up till now, the ones I’d started and never finished, the ones I’d thought about and never written, couldn’t compare to him. His story had to be recorded. I had to finish something—and that thought terrified me.
Up until that point, I really didn’t finish. It wasn’t my thing. I mean, I started out great, even wandered into the middle a few times, but reaching the end was an elusive goal I figured only happened in the movies. This time, however, I knew I had to get there. That elf was counting on me to save him.
And because of that, he really saved me. I wrote that first book determined like I’d never been before, and I finished it. After that, lo and behold, I finished another one. I knew I could do it, you see, and that knowing opened up the floodgates.
So in a way the story behind A Moth in Darkness is the story behind Frances Pauli. The first step into The Changeling Race took me farther than I’d ever imagined. It holds a special place in my heart, as does that elf, and they both probably always will.
As to saving Lockland Sheen, well, that turned out to be only a first step too. Once his friends and I got acquainted, and the whole story played out, a trilogy was born. Now, at its finish, I can’t help but think of them as my friends too: Lockland and Liz, the fairies, trolls, gnomes and even the dark Kelpies and boggins will always be an integral piece of that puzzle that is my universe.
If even one reader enjoys them as much as I have, I will consider the journey well played. It certainly was an adventure for one procrastinating, would-be author.
Thank you so much for hosting a stop on the tour. I am offering a free pdf of any book from my backlist to one commenter today, and for each stop on the tour that you comment on, you will earn one entry into the final drawing for print copies of all three books. Follow along and enter to win!
Thanks so much for a fascinating post, Frances. And best of luck to the commenters, too.
Frances Pauli writes speculative fiction with romantic touches. Her books are published through Mundania Press LLC, Awe-Struck, and Devine Destinies, and her short stories are featured in various anthologies. More information on her worlds and writing can be found on her website and blog, and she offers free online stories, web serials, podcasts there as well.
The boundaries between the worlds have fallen. Forced to integrate the creatures of fantasy into real life, humanity struggles against its disillusionment, prejudice and an inevitable feeling of inadequacy.
Once an agent for the embassy that mediates between the worlds, Elizabeth Larson has abandoned her past and slipped into a world of nostalgic addiction to fairy revels, dancing, and the dark lure of her own memories. But when Lockland Sheen, her former partner and lover, goes missing, she is pulled reluctantly back into service. She must venture once more across the borders, into the land that haunts her, facing a string of gruesome murders, the imposing Sidhe rulers and her own addiction in the process.
While the Embassy’s agents attempt to soothe tensions between the races, Liz and her new partner search the fairy realm for Lockland. Fighting the constant temptation of the revels, they piece together the trail of an unknown enemy. But the longer they follow it, the more it appears that the man they came to rescue is more villain than victim. And the more they rely on Elizabeth’s ties to the fairies, the closer she inches toward the madness that lurks behind her fantasies.
Something’s rotten in the Fey lands. While Marcus Bramble tracks the lunatic who started it all, Elizabeth and the crew at the Embassy sort through the evidence he left behind. With Lockland back, and the revels behind her, Liz’s world is slowly returning to normal. But on both sides of the borders, shadow creatures spring out of nowhere, and the dark legends surrounding the fey take on a whole new meaning.
Now time is against them. On the mortal side of things, protesters rally to close the borders, politicians descend on the Embassy, and something that shouldn’t exist stalks Elizabeth through the city.
In his world, Marcus faces a madman with answers he doesn’t want to hear. The Fey rulers turn a blind eye on forests teeming with imaginary monsters, and the Sidhe tower stands silent amidst the chaos. Will the race to uncover its secrets solve the mystery of the elves’ past or unleash even more horrors on them all?
The Seelie court is gone, and the Tower has fallen into darker hands. Now nightmare creatures terrorize the Fey races, and the whole Fey world turns to frost and shadow.
Liz Larson holds the last remnant of the Seelie Sidhe’s power. The elves look to her for guidance, but all she has to offer them is the disturbing story of their origin, the final truth that will turn many of them against her. With her dwindling number of allies, Liz needs to reopen the borders, to find the missing Marcus Bramble, and to avoid the sudden, terrifying attention of the new Fey ruler, the Unseelie Speaker and new master of the Sidhe Tower.
While her friends in Mundanity race to pry open the gates, and Marcus searches for the answer to a puzzle that could save or damn them all, the Unseelie Speaker marches north, bringing his army and his wrath to focus on Elizabeth. What can one, fairy-touched human do in the face of the Unseelie court’s full fury? How can she fight when the enemy’s anger is only partly blind, when she can see all too clearly the traces of justice behind it?