And then there’s my Esri series. In this one, an ancient evil has found its way back into our world and the only ones who can stop it don’t know it exists.
It’s the Esri series I want to talk about because, well, book three, A Warrior’s Desire, comes out today. I thought you might be interested in hearing how I came up with the idea for the series in the first place. Because that ancient evil I mentioned? They’re the Esri, the creatures at the heart of the legends of fairies and elves.
I’ve heard it said that every legend has, at its heart, a kernel of truth. Now the ‘truth’ may be as simple as, yes, there was once a great Saxon warrior by the name of Arthur. Did he live in Camelot, have a magician called Merlin as a friend, and sit at a round table? Hard to say since there were no video cameras or even literate witnesses around at the time to record the details. When it comes to oral history, it’s a near certainty that facts are going to get embellished, misinterpreted, or flat out changed to suit the storyteller. As my beloved grandmother used to say, “Why should I tell it the way it happened when I can make it so much more interesting?” (Guess where I got my storytelling talent from?)
Fairies and elves are a good example of how legends morph and change. In most of the original tales, both were the size of humans, decidedly wingless, and generally dangerous. Over the generations, the stories have changed to the point where modern culture portrays them as benevolent tiny winged creatures or pointy-eared dwarfs.
I’m a daydreamer, I’ve always been a day dreamer, but I’m also an intensely logical person. So, some years ago, when I stumbled upon a book of ancient faerie beliefs and realized that as recently as the 1800’s many very learned people absolutely believed fairies were real, I got to thinking. What if there really was a kernel of truth in these old legends? What if, long, long ago, there really were faeries in this world? My logical mind promptly took over and started firing off questions. What happened to them? Why were they here? Why aren’t they here any more? How, over the centuries, have the original facts been twisted and changed as original facts always are? And, best of all, what would I do if suddenly faced with irrefutable fact that the creatures at the heart of the legends had returned? Not cute little Tinkerbells, but man-sized, malevolent beings bent on the enslavement of the human race?
And so the Esri were born. In Book 1 of the series, The Dark Gate, the first Esri in fifteen centuries finds his way back into the human realm and wreaks havoc on modern day Washington, D.C. The hero and heroine have to accept the impossible in order to stop him, and come to realize there’s truth in the old legends after all. In Book 2, I flip that realization a bit when one of the Esri, a dangerous, dark-haired, part-human known as the Punisher, infiltrates the human realm to destroy the only humans who can stop the Esri invasion, only to realize humans are a far cry from the mindless creatures his own legends have portrayed. One human, in fact, steals his heart and changes his understanding of everything he’s known, including himself.
In book 3, A Warrior’s Desire (the one that comes out today), the back cover says it best: Former navy SEAL Charlie Rand embarks on the most dangerous mission of his career when he dives through a portal to rescue the only person who knows how to seal the gates between the Esri faery land and the world. But meeting up with his guide and companion through the adventure, the beautiful Tarrys, turns out to be his true revelation. As the pair traverses the dangerous plains, the Forest of Nightmares and the crystal mines of Esria, they’re pursued by beings who seek to kill Charlie and enslave Tarrys. But the greatest danger of all becomes the love that grows between the couple, a love that threatens to doom their mission to save humanity.
And in book 4, Warrior Rising (which will be out March 20th), enemies turn into lovers as Harrison Rand and the Esri princess, Ilaria, fight to keep the evil Esri king from destroying both worlds in this action-packed conclusion to the series.
Have you ever wished one of the old legends was actually true? If so, which one? Or, conversely, what legend or fairy tale would you most hate to discover was real? I’ll give away signed copies of the first two books in the Esri series, The Dark Gate and Dark Deceiver, to three commenters. And don’t forget to check out my website, www.pamelapalmer.net, for more on all my series including excerpts, character bios, and laws of the world.
****Pamela's winners are : Mary, dgaffke and Sue Sattler! Congratulations, ladies! Please email your full name and address to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can get the prizes in the mail! Thanks!!****