by Jeffe Kennedy
I'll fess up: I have a fairy thing.
Maybe it's the Irish/Scot ancestry, but I believe in the little people. I love fairy tales and most of my writing is heavily influenced by those archetypes.
I may or may not have an extensive collection of fairy figurines.
Now, let's be clear. I'm not talking about Tinkerbell and her cutesy ilk. It's difficult for me to find fairy images I like, because of the silliness factor most artists seem compelled to slather on, like pink frosting and decorative sugar heaped on a sublime dark chocolate. It's a Hello Kittification of things that are alien and unsettling.
For me, fairies are the other. They don't share human values. They play tricks and have a ruthless self interest that shows up in story after story. In many ways, fairies cross over with demons and devils, as far as their behavior and roles in stories. This might have to do with the advent of Christianity into the Celtic world and the co-opting of these pagan spirits into the hierarchy of heaven and hell.
Fairies are similar to demons. They represent chaos and run counter to the neat structure of a good Christian society. They're as capricious and cruel as nature herself.
When I wrote OBSIDIAN (which comes out June 18 from Carina Press - hooray!), I wanted to preserve that sense of alien wildness in my version of Faerie. My heroine is a neuroscientist, very ground in logic, who ends up in this place without clear rules. The only real structure, in fact, comes from deal-making and bargaining. (Something else fairies share with the devils - striking an agreement to receive a gift in exchange for a price. Be very, very careful what you wish for!) Some of my fairies are pretty. All of them carry a sheen of beauty or whimsy, with a dark and twisty interior. My heroine even refers to one as Nasty Tinkerbell.
This is one of the best parts of being a writer. I get to write the fairies my way.