Featured, Guest Posts, Memes & Features

{Featured} Elfhunter: Guest Post by Author C.S. Marks

Welcome to another exciting day here at Mother/Gamer/Writer! Thanks to our wonderful friends at Sea Lion Books, today it is my pleasure to welcome on the blog author C.S. Marks and her novel, ELFHUNTER. Set in the remarkable realm of Alterra, ELFHUNTER is the first novel in this three book series, an epic fantasy filled with adventure, danger, and suspense. In today’s feature, C.S. is sharing a guest post about an Elfmobie (yes that’s right), fantasy writing, elves, the beautiful land of Alterra, and we even have a unique one of a kind sketch made just for the blog. How AWESOME is that??!!


So without further delay here is C.S. …




[image_border img=”http://empyreanedge.com/wp-content/uploads/Elfhunter-11.jpg” pos=”left”/]
[gap /]

  •  Title: Elfhunter
  • ISBN-13: 9780983613138
  • Publisher: Sea Lion Books
  • Publication date:7/10/2012
  • Pages: 570
  • Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble
  • Purchase:Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

[gap /]


This is the tale of Gorgon Elfhunter, a monstrous, mysterious creature who has sworn to destroy all the Elves of Alterra—until none remain. It is the story of Wood-elven heroine Gaelen Taldin, who has sworn to rid her world of the Elfhunter even as she is hunted by him. The conflict between them is a tangled web that blurs the line between Light and Darkness, love and obsession, free will and fate. Filled with moments both tender and terrifying, thrilling yet thought-provoking, it is a timeless epic fantasy suitable for readers of all ages. Join the Company of Elves, dwarves, mortal men, and delightfully intelligent horses. Come to Alterra—the ‘World that Is.’








[gap /]
[image_border img=”http://empyreanedge.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/enjoy.jpg” /]
[image_border img=”http://empyreanedge.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/black-divider.gif”/]


Because I’m the Dark Overlord, that’s why!


So, I drive around in an Elfmobile. No, really–I included a photo to prove it. Needless to say, it draws a lot of comments from people in parking lots and working drive-up windows. A few examples:

“Hey…Elfhunter! That’s my favorite video game!” (Elfhunter is not yet a video game)

“What IS that on your car?”

“What’s a ‘trilogy’?”
[image_border img=”http://empyreanedge.com/wp-content/uploads/elfmobilefromweb-e1333633184312.jpg” pos=”right” caption=”VROOM, VROOM“/]

But seriously, people want to know about the pictures. In this world of WOW and Zelda and wondrous film adaptations of LOTR, the general population is more appreciative of fantasy than ever. Mind you, there’s still a contingent that pulls their children to the other side of the street–those people who, for some reason, are threatened by the imagining of a world other than their own, where their comfortable set of expectations might not apply. I overheard a woman (with several children in tow) call Elfhunter a ‘devil book’, hustling her little ones past the Walden’s so that they would not be unduly influenced by my gigantic, pointy-eared poster. You can’t please everyone.

[quote pos=”right”]Fantasy writers are not taken seriously by literary types, many of whom place us in the same category as romance writers…[/quote]

Fantasy writers are not taken seriously by literary types, many of whom place us in the same category as romance writers. In some respects, I cannot disagree with them, and I’m not unhappy to be lumped in with my romantic colleagues. After all…we share some of the same motivations. I have to smile when I hear my learned academic friends give thanks for their Kindles, because now they can read those trashy fantasy, sci/fi, and romance novels in public without anyone’s being the wiser. Hey—if it makes anyone more comfortable, a really effective dust-jacket can be made from a brown paper grocery bag. One can print ‘Quantum Physics’ or ‘The Iliad’ on it.


So, why write fantasy? Is it ‘wish fulfillment’? Most certainly. Does it allow me to express my own personal world view? You betcha. Can I have scads of fun creating a world according to my own design? And what about those Elves, eh? Are they cool, or what?


I’ve always loved Elves (and other fantasy tropes), and must admit to a pointy-eared obsession since the days of ‘Star Trek’. Tolkien got the ball rolling, of course, but I also fell headlong into the Elfquest universe. I had a parrot named ‘Weehawk’. (If you get that reference, you are indeed an Elf-geek.)


In fantasy, I can write about topics that trouble me without having to restrict them to this world. I don’t have to be ‘historically accurate’, nor do I need to worry too much about political correctness. For example, Gorgon Elfhunter is a metaphor for all those lost souls who were raised in a loveless environment.  There are people on this planet now who have been poisoned by an atmosphere of hatred and xenophobia from birth–we see them with explosives strapped to their chests or toting automatic weapons or screaming fanatical hate-speech aimed at a particular group of people, mindlessly targeting them. To write about this in our world would be impossible for me without a great deal of research, yet I can create a character like Gorgon and make my point.
[image_border img=”http://empyreanedge.com/wp-content/uploads/gorgonblog.jpg” pos=”left” caption=”He’s Awesome right??!”/]

In fantasy I can have the outcome that I desire, regardless of what might happen in the ‘real world’. If I want a war to end so that the good guys win, or if I want to glorify the virtues of enlightened thinking, loyalty, and strong character, I can. In some sense, fantasy is an escape from depressing reality.


Escape it may be, but that doesn’t mean the characters and the world can’t seem ‘real’. Here’s where my experience as a field biologist pays off. Alterra is earthlike…with a few differences. Anyone familiar with North American ecosystems will feel right at home…sort of. There is some ‘magic’ in the world, but it exists in harmony with physical/chemical laws. And the characters, even the Elven ones, are not perfect. Because the world is real enough, and sufficient description is provided to get the readers’ imaginations going, it feels like taking a journey. When I’m immersed in Alterra, I’m not at home.


Writing fantasy allows me to put my own spin on things. Alterran Elves are quite ‘earthy’ at times—they behave like people you’ve met. They might be intelligent, immortal, and annoyingly good-looking, but, brother, can they screw things up once in a while!  Even better, writing fantasy allows me to fully indulge my horse-loving nature with a fine array of equine characters, all of which have distinct personalities.

[quote pos=”left”]Writing fantasy is fun. Not only that, it really exercises my imagination.[/quote]

Writing fantasy is fun. Not only that, it really exercises my imagination. I get to be the dastardly evil being who sits in her disgusting, fetid realm rubbing her hands together and chortling while planning the downfall of all that’s cuddly (no…that’s not the villain—it’s the author). I get to get inside the brains of the plucky (yet annoying) heroine, the eminently likeable hero who just can’t seem to make any sort of decision, the Dwarf who defies every stereotype, and the bitter, reclusive character whose personal obsession with grief has the potential to bring Alterra to its knees. And then I get to shut down the computer, make a tuna fish sandwich, and go play with the dogs/horses.


A person could get used to that kind of control. I don’t have to worry about following any ‘formula’. I only have to worry about staying age-appropriate, and not asking my readers to stretch their imaginations too far. Would I give all this up for ‘respectability’? Not a chance. But the good news is that I might not have to. I’m perfectly comfortable with whatever level of respect my readers are willing to give me.


So when people ask me about the Elfmobile, I smile and state (with some pride) “They’re fantasy books. I wrote them! This is my artwork on the car.” Usually, what I get in return is that most gratifying of single words:



[image_border img=”http://empyreanedge.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/black-divider.gif”/]
[gap /]














About The Author:
[image_border img=”http://empyreanedge.com/wp-content/uploads/c.s.-marks.jpg” pos=”right” /]
Christine Stewart-Marks (C.S. Marks) has often been described as a “Renaissance woman”. An accomplished horsewoman, illustrator, musician, and educator, Chris has also been an endurance rider-one of the very few Americans to have completed the Australian National Championship hundred-mile race. She is an archery enthusiast   skilled in the making of longbows, holds a Ph.D. in Biology, and is currently a full professor of equine science at a small Midwestern college.


Inspired by her father, a Professor of English and American Literature, she has dedicated her first published series to his memory. This internationally beloved fantasy writer now leaves the ranks of independent publishing to join the team at Sea Lion Books with pleasure and pride. She shares her Indiana home with husband Jeff, a dozen friendly dogs, three horses, and a couple of cranky barn cats. Discover more about the author C.S Marks and her worlds at http://www.elfhunter.net






About Sea Lion Books:
[image_border img=”http://empyreanedge.com/wp-content/uploads/Sea-Lion-Books.jpg” pos=”left”/]
Located in Atlanta, Georgia, Sea Lion Books LLC is a newly established publishing house which specializes in all formats—hardcover, trade paperback, and mass market and in urban fantasy and young adult genres. Sea Lion Books LLC recent roster of authors include: International Bestselling author, Anne Rice, Paulo Coelho, New York Times Bestselling authors, Richelle Mead, Richard A. Knaak, F. Paul Wilson and Becca Fitzpatrick.  You can visit Sea Lion Books at www.sealionbooks.com








Mother/Gamer/Writer would like to thank Sea Lion Books and C.S. Marks for making this feature possible! 🙂









[gap /]
Check Out Our Interview & Giveaway with Sea Lion Author, Richard A. Knaak:

[list_posts show=”4647″ /]