ScatteredThoughtsandRogueWords is happy to have Blaine D. Arden here today to talk about her inspiration for her Forester Trilogy and her latest release The Forester II: Lost and Found.
Contest: Blaine D. Arden and Storm Moon Press are giving away one copy of The Forester (The Forester I). To enter to win, leave a comment and an email address in the body of the comment where you can be contacted. Contest ends 4/18.
Where the world of the Forester came from by Blaine D. Arden
Inspiration for a story is never a straightforward with me. Often different segments of a story are inspired by different sources. I started out with my idea for the Forester itself because of a number of Christmas story/winter celebration calls and the word Solstice got stuck in my mind. But that was only the beginning. I had yet to come up with where my story would take place, and who the people were.
The magic system was something that I’d been playing with for a while. Though a big fan of fantasy, I never quite understood why magic was used so often as an elitist item. Only a few would possess it, and those often held all the power. I also wondered why magic seemed something you needed as a weapon. I liked the idea of magic as an everyday commodity, something used in everyday situations—think Mrs. Weasley doing her dishes—and not just by the elite few.
In real life the talents we were born with in combination with studying hard, dictate what we become. Some have a head for numbers, some for creating things with their hands. In more than one of my worlds, a person’s energy core dictates where their talents lie and what their profession will be. And their magic? Their magic helps them with their jobs. A smith can keep his bellows going while he works, a Truth Seeker can scan objects for traces of a killer, a Forester’s energy helps him turn trees into dwellings—with the trees’ cooperation, of course.
This last profession came to life because I wanted my elves to live in trees, which in turn was inspired by a comic series I’ve always been a big fan of Elfquest (which you can read online these days). But I didn’t just want simple hollow trees. I wanted ‘real’ houses for my elves real dwellings. And that’s where the Forester comes in. He’s someone who works with trees to create the dwellings the elves live in.
An excerpt from Oren’s Right describes a Forester’s job best.
The tree was the right age to mold into a dwelling for a soon-to-be vowed couple, but it was one of the late bloomers. I smiled. Late bloomers were very much like striplings—rebellious and single minded.
The first tree I treated when I arrived here had been a late bloomer as well. I looked around the center. Children played as parents sat at the tables chatting. It had looked so different then. This tribe had been without a Forester for over a turn, and the village had been littered with tents to house all of the elves. They must have been so cold in winter.
A soft breeze reminded me of what I was doing, and I pulled myself out of my thoughts. This late bloomer refused to let me open up its core. I wasn’t worried. I would get the permission I sought, but it would take time. Rubbing my hands together until they were warm, I could feel my energy bursting to get out. “It’s all right,” I whispered as I laid my hands on the thick bark. “I won’t do you any harm; I just want to take an image.”
It was a silly suggestion. Trees had no idea what I was talking about, but it would the moment I pushed my energy into it. I needed to get the layout. I already knew it would suit the wishes of the couple perfectly, but I needed to lay the foundations, to put my markings in the right places and show the tree what I was planning.
The tree balked. Not literally, but I could feel it trying to retreat even though that wasn’t possible. Trees could do many things. Moving was not one of them.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Oren approach, but I couldn’t remove my hands now. The tree finally gave in and let my energy soak into it. It was like drawing, this phase. I could see the lines, could see the shape it would get. The tree calmed down, and I could sense its permission. Until I suggested swelling. It balked again,
then. I’d teased the tree for long enough, and with a nod and a whispered greeting, I removed my hands. I’d be back tomorrow, and the tree would let me continue then, I hoped.
Slowly this little village in the middle of the forest took form, with tree dwellings and elves with and without wings living in harmony (well, not counting murder and kidnapping for the moment). And then the world grew in my head, and I realised this little tribe wasn’t the only one in this world. There were other tribes with, maybe, slightly different habits and different characters to write about. And I can barely wait to write the stories they want me to tell you all.
Blurb from The Forester II: Lost and Found:
One turn has passed, another Solstice is just around the corner, and having an illicit affair with not one but two lovers-smith Ianys and shunned Forester Taruif-is taking its toll on Truth Seeker Kelnaht. If it isn’t sneaking around to find some quality time with his lovers, it’s heavy rainfall hiding traces of a missing stripling, or waiting for the elders to decide whether or not to set Taruif free. And if that’s not enough, Kelnaht fears that in gaining one lover, he might be losing another, as Ianys seems to be pulling away from them, and it looks like someone is, once again, trying to frame Taruif.
ebook, 88 pages
Published December 21st 2013 by Storm Moon Press
seriesThe Forester Trilogy #2, Tales of the Forest #3
Blaine D. Arden is a purple haired, forty-something writer of gay and trans* romance with a love of men, music, mystery, magic, fairies, platform shoes, and a penchant for wearing mostly black and purple, who sings her way through life.
You can find Blaine at
Contest: Blaine D. Arden and Storm Moon Press are giving away one copy of The Forester (The Forester I). To enter to win, leave a comment and an email address in the body of the comment where you can be contacted. Contest ends 4/18. By leaving a comment, you are automatically agreeing you are over the age of 18.