Thursday, May 27, 2010

Guest Author: Aprilynne Pike

Aprilynne Pike, author of Spells, has been kind enough to stop by Reading with Tequila to tell us about her ideas about faeries.

Your Faeries Are What?!?!?

Love it or hate it, the thing that stands out in most people’s minds when they think of my book is the mythos. I’m just going to say it: my faeries are plants. Photosynthesizing, symmetrical, breathing carbon dioxide plants. And a majority of the questions I get are related to that. Mostly, how I came up with it. The answer to that is, of course . . . I don’t know.

The “story” is that I was trying to come up with a fresh new take on faeries and at like four in the morning I came up with an idea about this Goth faerie who lived with three old women, and couldn’t go out after midnight because there was no power from the sun. It was this Goldilocks and the Three Bears, meets Cinderella, meets Superman. And let’s just say it didn’t pan out when I woke up and became coherent the next morning. But the idea that faeries could get their power from the sun stuck with me, and I just kept thinking, why? Eventually the obvious answer surfaced. Because they photosynthesize.

That was the “ah-ha!” moment that led to the entire series. The mythos and story literally exploded from that moment. However, once you decide to make your mythological characters a known element like a member of the plant kingdom, there are certain rules you are bound by. So here are some of the differences between my fae, and traditional fae, that I had to work with because I chose to make them plants.
  • My faeries don’t fly. I hate this one! When I was little I always liked pretending I was a faerie so I could fly (in my head, I mean . . . *shifty eyes*) But the wings on my faeries are not actually wings, they are blossoms. Wings are something animals have, not plants. So no wings, no flying. It’s very sad.;)
  • Faeries and humans cannot reproduce together. No faerie-human babies. This was a hard one! I am a mother, so I like the idea of being able to have kids with someone. But the fact of the matter is, not only are humans and faeries different species, they are not even in the same kingdom! It just wasn’t going to work.
  • I have to deal with Brandon Sanderson calling my fae Veggie Faeries. Okay, fine, I like this one.:D Shortly after my book came out I was on Brandon’s podcast Writing Excuses, where he dubbed my faeries Veggie Faeries. I totally think that in my head all the time!
  • Laurel can’t eat chocolate. I would die. Sadly, if she does eat chocolate she will die. Well, get very sick at least. And she actually can kill herself by continuing to eat chocolate. Death by chocolate! (Sounds like a good way to go to me!) I got Laurel’s eating habits from the Venus Fly Trap, as explained by David in Wings. Fly traps need meat devoid of fat and cholesterol. (Which is why they prefer flies to . . . well . . . steak!) Laurel doesn’t eat flies, but she does have to stick with plant-based foods without fat and cholesterol and with low starch. Sugary soda? It’s a health food for her! Totally unfair.
But it’s not all about limitations. My faeries live about 200 years, their strength is based on their size, not their gender, so Laurel is as strong as any male faerie her size (girls rock!), and they have magic to boot! It’s a fun system of twisted lore and I enjoy working within it!

About the Author

Aprilynne Pike has been spinning faerie stories since she was a child with a hyper-active imagination. At the age of twenty she received her BA in Creative Writing from Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho. When not writing, Aprilynne can usually be found at the gym; she also enjoys singing, acting, reading, and working with pregnant moms as a childbirth educator and doula. Aprilynne recently returned to Arizona with her husband and three kids; she is enjoying the sunshine.

About the Book

Six months have passed since Laurel saved the gateway to the faerie realm of Avalon. Now she must spend her summer there, honing her skills as a Fall faerie. But her human family and friends are still in mortal danger--and the gateway to Avalon is more compromised than ever.

When it comes time to protect those she loves, will she depend on David, her human boyfriend, for help? Or will she turn to Tamani, the electrifying faerie with whom her connection is undeniable?


  1. Thank you for the interview!

    I haven't read WINGS or SPELL, but the faeries here sound very unique. I would love to read them.

  2. That's it. I'm buying the book.

    I *love* the unique twist on faeries, in a world of books way overpopulated with faeries, vegetarian vampires, good-on-the-inside werewolves, immortals and zombies. I'm just sick of all of those. But I love the idea of plant faeries! (Although I do wish, just a little, that someone would go back to calling them fairies. I know the "e" is meant to be way cooler, but I'm over it.) :)

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  4. Great interview! I LOVED Wings! And I'm reading Spells right now!

  5. I LOVED Wings and really should run out and purchase Spells asap. Thanks for the awesome post.

  6. I liked Wings and can't wait to start Spells (next book to read).

  7. Great interview! Very unique story lines....

  8. I loved Wings and her story line...I have Spells waiting for me!!

  9. I loved Wings and am looking forward to Spells! I really didn't get INTO the world Aprilynne Pike created until the middle of the book, but then I just had to keep reading. Lovely writing!