I don’t know where Lorelei came from.
In truth, I don’t know where most of the imaginary people in my head lived before they moved into my head and started whispering their stories in my ear. Part of me thinks she was born from the attributes I gave one of my characters while playing Elders Scrolls V: Skyrim, while another part of me thinks she was in there all along, just waiting for the right moment to speak up.
Raised a princess in the kingdom of Leithe, we first meet the heroine of Edgelanders as a little girl wandering the market faire with her sister, Mirien, and Pahjah, her nursemaid. She’s a bold child, outspoken and daring, always itching for adventure and usually getting herself into mischief. I could tell the moment I met her in that imaginary place I meet all of my characters she was going to be trouble, and I immediately grew very fond of her. The two of us were going to have a lot of fun together, and as her history began to unfold before me, I knew she was going to become one of my favorite imaginary friends ever.
Lorelei doesn’t think she’s spoiled or privileged, but her actions sometimes speak to the contrary. She may have been raised in a palace by a strict Alvarii nursemaid, but she’s never been afraid to speak her mind. Unfortunately, the world in which she lived before I began writing about her did not value women as individuals. She spent her teen years railing against her father–the king’s demands that she marry in order to make him alliances, not because she was in love. Sadly, her well-being was never a priority, but she thought she caught a break when the dashing young prince of Hofft, Trystay, came to barter for her hand and ally their kingdoms.
Trystay wasn’t just handsome, he was gorgeous, and he really seemed to like Lorelei. For the first time since she realized she had no choice in her future, she felt like the Gods were playing to her favor in sending Trsytay to her father. Too bad Trsytay was planning to kill her on the way back to Hofft.
I guess she’s lucky, though how a young woman marked for death can possibly consider herself lucky is beyond me. She was fortunate enough to overhear his plot the night before he meant to have her killed, so she did the only smart thing: she ran.
She wasn’t thinking about adventure or excitement when she ran from the wedding caravan. She wasn’t even really thinking much about where she was going. All she wanted to do was survive, but the odds were stacked against her the moment she crossed into the Edgelands. An isolated strip of woodlands along the western coast of Leithe, the Edgelands are home to the U’lfer, a band of savage, shapeshifting wolfmen, and everything she’s ever learned about them terrifies her. They are wolves, after all, and wolves eat people, but she quickly reaches a point where she would rather be torn apart by savage beasts than die at the hand of the man she was supposed to marry.
But the U’lfer aren’t nearly as savage as she was led to believe. When a young warrior named Finn saves her from the hounds that chase her through his woods, his instant connection to her is woken. She is familiar–her scent, her essence, her soul–they are known to him, and though he never realized it until he caught scent on the wind, he becomes instantly aware that she is the very thing he’s been searching for since he was old enough to recognize there was an empty space inside him.
As Lorelei is introduced to a strange new world filled with men who can embrace the spirit of the wolf they keep hidden beneath their skin, she discovers that much of what she was taught about the U’lfer and the world in general was lies. In fact, up until the point her story begins, her entire life was a lie.
She’s like a child opening her eyes for the first time to the world around her, and that world has expectations of her she doesn’t know if she can shoulder.
One of the things I like about Lorelei is that from the beginning, I knew who she was even though she didn’t seem to. I knew exactly what she was meant to do and how difficult it was going to be for her to do it, and that is one of the beautiful things about being a writer. I know her story, and I absolutely cannot wait to share it with all of you!
Edgelanders is coming very soon. Stay tuned to the site for more details about the characters, their stories and when you can grab your very own copy of Edgelanders!