Tinkerbell is practically the poster child for the term ‘fairy’. With her bright and bubbly personality, she’s probably the first creature to pop in your head when you hear the term. But the world of Aluvia is a bit different, filled with fairies that have a certain “bite.”
“I find it delicious when a book turns something on its head,” said Bearce. “I love fractured tales and new twists on old fantasy and fairy tale stories.”
Aluvia, of course, is the dark and magical world where Amy Bearce’s debut novel Fairy Keeper takes place. In Fairy Keeper, Sierra carries the mark of a Fairy Keeper and with this power can communicate with the fairies and possibly control them. But fairies in Aluvia don’t adore Sierra the same way Tinkerbell adores Peter Pan, especially since Sierra’s father is a dark alchemist who illegally deals Flight, an illegal elixir to produce dreams and hallucinations.
Fairies produce nectar, a key ingredient in Flight – so it’s alarming when Sierra discovers all the fairies dead from unknown causes. With the dealer operation stopped, her father plans to trade her little sister to another dark alchemist. To protect her, Sierra decides to find the lost fairy Queens and get the business up and running again.
Bearce had been reading about a bee colony collapsing and wanted to create a darker world.
“It seems as if almost every story I write morphs into something magical,” Bearce says, “Fairies were logical to mirror bees.”
Morphing a bee colony’s collapse into a magical world wasn’t Bearce’s first experience with the dark and the fantastical. Growing up, Bearce loved reading about fantasy and magic. She read tales from both Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm that helped shape the fantastical way she writes today. Though soe originally tried to write in other genres, Bearce was always drawn back to the mysterious and dark fantasy tales.
And like the tales of Anderson and Grimm, there’s always a silver lining to the story. Bearce found herself adding a little piece of herself to each character to write Fairy Keeper andhopes that despite the darkness, people receive a message of hope from the story.
“I think many characters have some part of the writer in them. If I lived in that world, I would want to take care of all magical creatures,” said Bearce. “The fantasy world [of Aluvia]is still quite broken, but it’s not as dark as I originally thought it was going to be.”
Bearce is currently working on a companion novel set in Aluvia four years later and centered around another character named Phoebe and Aluvia’s magical merfolk – though Sierra will make an appearance. Fairy Keeper is available now. For more on Bearce, visit her website or follow her on Twitter.