I met Adria Laycraft through her Fae story which is really quite remarkable when you consider that she lives in Calgary (I live in Edmonton) and the Alberta speculative writing community is not ginormous. The thing is, though, until recently I’d pretty much exclusively stuck to the online writers community. I’m *so* glad that has changed, though, because Adria is one of my favourite people and without Fae I might not have met her, which is just one of the many, many reasons this book has a special place in my heart.
But enough about me. This week for Fae-tastic Friday it’s all about Adria. Enjoy her interview and an excerpt from her story, Water Sense:
Adria Laycraft’s Interview
What was the inspiration for your Fae story?
I wanted to write about the lesser-known native people of the American southwest, and the Kawaiisu gave me the perfect history and setting for the story I had in mind (desert, water shortages, stories of the Otherworld, and belief in spirits).
Was this your first foray into writing fairy stories?
What is it about them that appeals to you?
Stories of magic, fae, and all things Otherworld have fascinated me my entire life. What appeals to me is that sense of more going on than we are aware of. I always want to remind myself to look beyond my assumptions and limited vision.
Can you tell us a bit about the specific type of fairy creature in your story?
The Inipi are ghost spirits walking the Otherworld that can lure people to their death or make them crazy and sick. My research on the Kawaiisu revealed many stories about Inipi, along with some interesting ways to keep them away (some of which are used in the story).
Is that your favourite type of fae?
No, not my favourite because they were new to me. I only learned about them through my research for the story. Pixies are probably my favourite because they’re small and usually friendly.
Outside of your own writing, who is your favourite fairy character? (ie: Tinkerbell, Puck, etc.)
Oh, Legolas would have to top the list. I first read Lord of the Rings at age 8, and have reread it some fifteen times since.
What is it about them that makes them special?
Well, duh, it’s Legolas! What’s not to love? =D
Do you believe in fairies?
While I have no personal experience seeing the Little Folk, some very close and trustworthy people in my life have seen both fairies and ghosts, so who am I to disbelieve?
Excerpt from Water Sense by Adria Laycraft (333 words):
The handle slipped out of his sweaty hand. Everything went into slow motion as the bucket hit the ground and tipped. Tom reached for it, willing the water to stay put just like he’d seen Marie do. A useless effort, as always. He could not stop the dark stain spreading through the sand. In his frustration, he didn’t even hear Charlie coming.
The first blow knocked him off his feet. He scrambled up, not wanting to give Charlie a chance to get the boots to him, but the second punch took him down again. The kick followed fast, and Tom groaned as it hit a tender spot only just healing.
Tom’s hands curled into fists, catching up sand and rock from the dry valley floor. He hunched his shoulders, closing his eyes against the sight of the wasted water and the next blow.
It never came.
Tom opened one eye to risk a look. Charlie stared at something beyond, and Tom swiveled his head, fearing a wild cat come down out of the mountains. Instead, an old man dressed in rabbit furs stood staring back. At him.
“To find your value, you must understand who you really are.”
What? Tom looked back at Charlie, whose face had paled to a sickly shade. When Tom turned back to ask the old man what he meant, the hillside was empty.
Climbing cautiously to his feet, Tom eyed Charlie for clues as to what just happened. His guardian only grunted, pulled his smokes out of his jeans pocket, and lit one with shaking fingers. He puffed, drew, coughed a bit, and drew again.
“Next time you spill the water, you can go thirsty for the rest of the day.” His words seemed to hang on the air like the smoke he exhaled with them.
Tom licked his cracked lips. “I’ll get more,” he said. His throat burned, wanting to ask Charlie what he’d seen, what he’d heard, but he didn’t dare. One beating today was enough.