I have a new novella (short novel) releasing today!* The Elf and the Ice Princess was written around the time this was going on. I tend to fictionalize my problems. The heroine Carrie is in a bad place after a miscarriage and a divorce—which is not what happened to me, but her story was inspired by my anger nonetheless. I love holiday tales and decided Carrie’s story of creating something hopeful and happy out of despair was the perfect arc for a seasonal offering.
As a foil for her sorrow, I decided to base the hero on the Norse version of elves. But my modern elf doesn’t have the regal aloofness that Tolkien imparted to the species. Brett’s character came to life when I asked the question, “What if a real elf got a job working as a fake elf at a mall Santaland?” Brett is the silliest hero I’ve ever written but also the most moral. He’s the kind of guy who knows a smile and a laugh goes a long way toward healing but he has the ability to stick to his guns when it counts. His dignity comes not from behaving beyond reproach, but from not giving a damn what anyone thinks about his decisions. (GG pointed out that this has some similarities to the Will Farrell movie Elf. I love that movie! But there’s no mistaken birth or fish out of water plotline here, and Brett isn’t that silly. 🙂 )
Though a very different character than wounded warrior Wesley Haukon from my Beauty and the Beast trilogy, I wrote Brett to embody Norse values just as firmly. Brett places emphasis on persistence, keeping promises, generosity and caring for children. Freyr, the ruler of Alfheim (Elf-home, one of the worlds hanging on Yggdrasil), was an inspiration while writing. Like Freyr, Brett is a leader for times of peace, working out problems with his head instead of his fists. Also like Freyr with his wife Gerd, Brett believes in love at first sight and is willing to do whatever it takes to get his girl!
What are your favorite holiday stories?