This week for Fae-tastic Friday, I’m stoked to introduce you to Liz Colter. Liz wrote the Fae story, The Last King and was kind enough to consent to an interview:
Liz Colter’s Interview
The primary inspiration for “The Last King” was my fondness for the ancient “Ballad of Tam Lin,” though I had a lot of fun throwing a variety of other characters from fairy into this story as well.
Was this your first foray into writing fairy stories?
Not at all. My unpublished novel, “Thiery’s Sons,” is about the uneasy coexistence of elves and mortals. To summarize the novel: Eighteen years ago an Elven woman’s seduction left Tristan with a half-blood son and a ceaseless yearning for her. Her return reveals the rest of her plan, one which traps Tristan and his realm between two deadly armies.
Is this a subject you think you’ll be likely to write about again?
Definitely! I’m currently shopping a short story with True Tom as the main character where Tam Lin makes an appearance again. I find it interesting that some scholars believe Thomas the Rhymer and Tam Lin were the same character in the earliest versions of the stories.
Can you tell us a bit about the specific type of fairy creature in your story? Is that your favourite type of fae?
So far, all my stories about the fae have my favorite kind, the kind found in the oldest stories, where they are arrogant, dangerous, and hedonistic to a fault. I also like to think that, even though I would describe them that way, they’re so utterly different from mortals that human morality doesn’t apply to them. I’ve tried to illustrate that dichotomy in all my fae stories.
Outside of your own writing, who is your favourite fairy character? (ie: Tinkerbell, Puck, etc.)
I don’t know that I have a favorite character, but I was very influenced years ago by the book “Faerie Tale” by Raymond Feist, as well as Brian Froud’s artwork and Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” as well as many other tales and images that inspired a fascination with all things fae.
Excerpt from The Last King by Liz Colter (360 words):
He smiled. She wouldn’t have believed he could be more handsome until she saw that smile. She tried to collect herself but her thoughts were becoming less and less coherent. Physical attraction had always been her downfall — the first catalyst in each of her disastrous relationships — but this was more. Much more. She felt like a twig in a strong current.
He crossed the distance between them, coming so close she could feel the heat radiate from his body. His skin had a sweet, clean scent. Her breath quickened. She wanted him to touch her. She could imagine it as clearly as if it was happening; sliding his fingers under her hair, his strong hands cupping her head. His mouth moving to hers. His warm breath on her face just before his tongue slid past her lips.
She blinked. He was watching her with those fathomless blue eyes, he hadn’t moved, hadn’t lifted a hand to her. What was happening? Why couldn’t she think straight?
“Come. Walk with me,” he said.
He extended his elbow and she slipped her arm through his without hesitation. His skin below the short-sleeved jerkin was so warm it felt fevered. Touching his flesh sparked a sensual reaction, like an electric shock that ran from her arm down her body, leaving a residual pulse lingering in her groin.
He took them deeper into the woods. One part of Anna craved his physical touch so much she felt she would do anything for it but a deeper, quieter part of her was terrified. Images of the two of them together, naked bodies twined, kept flitting through her mind. The little pocket of fear suppressed deeper with every step.
Anna had always been pretty enough to interest men, but she felt plain and dull next to him. He moved so gracefully that she felt clumsy. She should have worried about where he was taking her, but instead she worried that he might not be as attracted to her as she was to him.
“Let me show you a favorite place of mine,” he said.