What If Humans Were Real?

What if elves were real? There are those in the south of England who believe that elves exist. I heard this when researching for A Gardener’s Tale.  When a twitter friend shared with me that he had heard of this in the north of England, it made me wonder…

Delyphin rubbed the points of his ears as he waited for Harwin who was always late. He checked his watch. They would have to walk fast to reach the bookstore before the famous author began his reading. 

“Sorry, I’m late,” Harwin said as he jogged up.

They set off, hands in pockets. There was no point in chastising Harwin – it simply didn’t help.

“I‘m looking forward to this,” Harwin said. “I loved ‘Lady of the Earings’. The way that professor describes these mythical humans, I really begin to feel they exist.” 

I nodded, too winded to comment. The professor was a strange chap, lecturing at an elite university on ancient elven languages. They say he even invented an entire human language – as if all humans would speak the same language. Still he was a master of the epic fantasy genre.

We enter the bookstore, which is full and grab the last two seats.

Harwin leans in. “I hear he is planning on sending the humans on a new quest, that their world is threatened by some strange energy – ‘oyl’ – that is expensive, polluting and they go to war over it because there isn’t much.”

“That’s a bit of a stretch,” I say. “His humans are too smart to do that. Besides, they have the sun, the wind, and the waves of the ocean just like us. Why would they use this oyl?”

Harwin smiled. “You look rather irate. You might start believing in these humans too.”

“Don’t be daft, Harwin. That’s the beauty of epic fantasy. You get so into the story that you begin to believe the characters might actually be real. Next thing, you’ll be swearing you saw someone with round ears.”

We both laugh. That would be a sight.  The room hushes. The professor is about to speak. He opens his new book…and the world of the humans becomes real as he reads…

I can almost see their round ears and their oyl.

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Alon Shalev is the author of At The Walls of Galbrieth, Book 1 of The Wyccan Master series, which reached the Quarter Finals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2012, released by Tourmaline Books. The First Decree, the sequel is due out in early 2013. Shalev is also the author of three social justice-themed novels: Unwanted Heroes, The Accidental Activist and A Gardener’s Tale. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com and on Twitter (@elfwriter).

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Tolkien, Ever The Historian – Happy Thanksgiving

Just a fun note and an opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. I so appreciate you all taking the time to read my blog posts and offer your feedback and comments.

We epic fantasy aficionados are more than just fans. We are our own little family. Thank you for being a part of mine.

Happy Thanksgiving, 

Alon the Elfwriter

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Alon Shalev is the author of At The Walls of Galbrieth, Book 1 of The Wyccan Master series, which reached the Quarter Finals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2012, released by Tourmaline Books. The First Decree, the sequel is due out in early 2013. Shalev is also the author of three social justice-themed novels: Unwanted Heroes, The Accidental Activist and A Gardener’s Tale. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com and on Twitter (@elfwriter).

Farewell My Other Son

I’m dreading the day my sons leave home. Even though they mess up the kitchen, their clothes get strewn on the floor, and they vie with me (and win) for music, TV, and that last chocolate cookie, I’m dreading seeing them walk out the door.

There is something totally scary in that you are no longer there to nurture, protect, guide, or even to bask in their glory, for their glory is their own and perhaps always was.

That is how I am feeling right now with At The Walls Of Galbrieth. This week, the internal formatting was finished and sent in, the cover joined somewhere in the publishing process, and sometime in the next few days the ebook will be published, with the paperback following in a week or two.

It is out of my hands. Like an anxious parent, I will look on, watching how many people become friends with it, how it succeeds with grades (reviews), and whether it will establish itself in the real world of fiction.

But there is nothing left for me to do, except move on to Book 2: The First Decree. As that fine Professor Tolkien once said in a little-know Hobbit novel: “Remember what Bilbo used to say: It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone. May you spend it round a mighty table laden with food and love. But keep an eye out for a misplaced ring, a dragon on the loose, an elf who has drunk all your mead …

…or the coming of The Wycaan Masters.

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Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist and A Gardener’s Tale. He has written three epic fantasy novels and the first, which reached the Quarter Finals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2012, is due out in December 2012 by Tourmaline Press. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com and on Twitter (@elfwriter).

Meet Terry Brooks

There is still something magical for avid readers to learn about the authors of their favorite books. Even in the age of Internet and ebooks, there is something that draws us to author signings and the opportunity to meet them in person. We stand in line, hugging our copies of their books and wait patiently (sometimes longer than at a polling station) for a minute of his/her attention and their name scribbled in the book.

I have read at least 10 books in Terry Brook’s Shanara series. I have also read and treasure his book on writing: Sometimes The Magic Works. The part I love most from this incredibly useful book, by the way, is the autobiographical part.

The following interview is about 30 minutes long, divided into three parts. Terry touches on his life, his writing and the craft. There is something here for everyone because this is a not only a wonderfully talented author, but a modest, down-to-earth man.

My best part (not a serious spoiler) is how he talks about his fans: with love, respect and appreciation. Do you understand why I am so keen on this guy?

Terry Brooks Talks with Peter Orullian -Part 1 of 3

Terry Brooks Talks with Peter Orullian – Part 2 of 3

Terry Brooks Talks with Peter Orullian – Part 3 of 3

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Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist and A Gardener’s Tale. He has written three epic fantasy novels and the first, At The Walls Of Galbrieth, which reached the Quarter Finals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2012, is due out in January 2013 by Tourmaline Books. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com and on Twitter (@elfwriter).

A Poem In Elvish – J.R.R. Tolkien

This is a rare gem. That an author could possibly make up an entire language is mind-blowing. Yet we often forget that beyond the dragons, swords, and quests, J.R.R. Tolkien created an entire language. As a professor of philology (ancient languages) at Oxford University, Tolkien was already immersed in the mechanics of how a language is put together. 

But the professor took it to another level when he actually made up a language. With the hype beginning to build for The Hobbit movie, this poem surfaced read by the master himself.

Enjoy!

My own elvish is somewhat rusty, so here is a translation of Namarie (Farewell) courtesy of Josh Jones, who goes into greater detail about the when and where.  

Ah! like gold fall the leaves in the wind, long years
numberless as the wings of trees! The long years
have passed like swift draughts of the sweet mead
in lofty halls beyond the West, beneath the blue
vaults of Varda wherein the stars tremble in the
song of her voice, holy and queenly.

Who now shall refill the cup for me?

For now the Kindler, Varda, the Queen of Stars,
from Mount Everwhite has uplifted her hands like
clouds, and all paths are drowned deep in shadow;
and out of a grey country darkness lies on the
foaming waves between us, and mist covers the
jewels of Calacirya for ever. Now lost, lost for
those from the East is Valimar!

Farewell! Maybe thou shalt find Valimar. Maybe
even thou shalt find it. Farewell!

And, in case you haven’t got enough, here is Tolkien again, reciting the Song of Durin (in English). 

Have a great weekend,

Elfwriter

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Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist and A Gardener’s Tale. He has written three epic fantasy novels and the first, which reached the Quarter Finals of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2012, is due out in January 2013 by Tourmaline Press. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com and on Twitter (@elfwriter).