I'm delighted to be a guest blogger today on Book Goggles, and I thank Chibi Neko for giving me the chance to talk about my debut work here.
Seranfyll is a fantasy written for readers ages ten and up. It's the story of a thirteen-year-old slave girl called Rain, who lives in the country of Yoan, where slaves aren't allowed to have proper names. After being sold to pay part of a gambling debt, she's bought and freed by an eccentric young nobleman named Domrey Seranfyll. Many rumors surround her unlikely emancipator, such as his house is haunted, his horse can fly, and that he's actually a devil.
When faced with making a choice for the first time in her life, Rain decides to stay with Lord Domrey, as does another freed slave called Coal. The book follows the adventures of these three as they learn about choices, consequences, and what being free really means.
Often when I write, I'm trying to figure something out. I have a question, and in the quest for the answer, sometimes I'll put that matter into a story. Then, I let the characters hash it out until a satisfactory answer arises--in theory at least. Among the many questions that I explored in Seranfyll, one of the main ones was, "What does real love look like?"
I think in our Desperate-Idol-saturated society, the concept of "love" has taken on many different forms. We may not like some family members, but we love them anyway, because we're related. We love our spouses, because hopefully they love us in return. We love things like money and sex and entertainment, because they make us feel good, if only temporarily. In short, love is selfish, obligated, and it often comes with strings attached.
So, what does the unselfish kind look like? The kind that creates bonds that not all the poetry or prose or scientific data in the world can explain? I tried exploring this in all three main characters: Rain in her patience and compassion, Coal in his honor and loyalty, and Domrey in his provision and protection.
All of them show their affections in their unique ways. At one point in the story, the otherwise rough-around-the-edges Coal says something significant to Rain: "You once said that you couldn't think of anythin' that you were better at than yer sister. Well, just bein' around you is good enough. You don't have to do anythin'."
In other words, Rain was valued for her self, no strings attached. I test this selfless love in several more situations, some more drastic than others. The result, I think, is not perfect relationships between Rain, Coal, and Domrey. But they are meaningful ones.
Did I find the answer I was looking for? I don't know. You'll have to read the book and find out :) Of course, I had to have some fun with it, hence the bits of goofball humor that pop up in the story here and there.
Seranfyll is available on Amazon.com, Smashwords.com, and BarnesandNoble.com. Also, I invite you to visit my blog (christinadaley.blogspot.com), as well as follow me on Twitter (@CDaleyAuthor), or find me on Facebook (Books by Christina Daley) to keep up to date with future projects and other "shtuffs."
Thanks for having me, and happy reading!