One Fair Eve: a Goblin Market inspired short story

Hello lovely bookish humans! How are we doing this fine October day?

I spent this weekend watching some of the Escape the Plot Forest summit, especially Kristen Kieffer’s seminar on narrative potential and the three act story structure. Kristen is one of my biggest and earliest inspirations as a writer, having stumbled across her blog She’s So Novel way back in the day, before it became Well-Storied.

As a thank you for signing up to the summit, the organiser sent out a really handy guide to plotting short stories with impact, and I spent some time going through it and compiling my thoughts and ideas for One Fair Eve into a coherent outline. I plan to draft it in November while The Solitary King is with my editor, and I’m really excited about it now I’ve got a strong outline. I really think you guys are going to enjoy it!

So, shall we find out a little more about this Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti-inspired tale?


One Fair Eve by Lyndsey Hall

Hartwood, 1880

Pip is an accomplished harpsichord player, but his dreams of travelling the world, playing with an orchestra, are dashed when his application to a prestigious musical fellowship is rejected.

On the Spring Equinox, Pip visits Hartwood market to buy a new string for his instrument and discovers that old Master Dobson sells more than just instruments and sheet music at his stall. He offers Pip the chance to achieve his wildest dreams and ambitions, in return for one thing…

On the day Pip turns eighteen, he must return to the market and accept his fate. Pip must take the place of the current Goblin King when the time comes.

Will Pip take the chance for fame and fortune, sealing his fate with the hobgoblins? Or will he resist the temptation to cheat his way to success?

Find out in One Fair Eve, a short story set in the world of The Fair Chronicles, in the Enchanted Forests anthology, coming July 2022!

What do you think? Are you a fan of fantasy stories that feature musicians and unnatural pacts that promise to grant your deepest, darkest desires? If you loved Wintersong by S. Jae Jones, then you might like this goblin king origin story.

Preorder Enchanted Forests for just 0.99 for a very limited time! This price will be going up in December so don’t hang around, and next July you could be diving into not only this story, but eleven other enchanted tales of woodland creatures and forest-dwelling witches, faeries, dryads, unicorns, and even a talking raccoon.

Lyndsey

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Interview: fantasy debut author Ashley Steffenson

Hello book dragons! How was your September? Did you read many books? I’ll be honest, I didn’t finish a single book in September because I was focusing on my revisions for The Solitary King. It’s coming along nicely and will be off to beta readers in October and my editor in November, and I’ve really enjoyed being immersed in the Fair Realm again!

Today, I’ve got a really exciting interview to share with you. Ashley Steffenson is one of the incredible authors that I’m collaborating with on Enchanted Forests, the follow up to Enchanted Waters, as well as Once Upon a Name! I’m so excited to have my name on two beautiful covers with Ashley, and I can’t wait to introduce you to her.

So, without further ado…

Hi Ashley! Thank you so much for joining me today. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m Ashley and I currently write under my married name – Ashley Steffenson. I’m a born and raised California girl turned Southern. My husband (a 50% Irish hottie – swoon!) and I moved to South Louisiana about a year ago and we are LOVING it. I received my BA in Intercultural Studies from William Jessup University, and am now working as a Librarian Page at our local library. I also have a small candle-making business on the side called Estellian Treasures, originally inspired by my debut novel. We have three wily cats – Ember, Milo, and Piper – and we are expecting a third tiny human heart in the family in April 2022.

Oh, congratulations Ashley! What an exciting adventure you’re about to begin, I’m so happy for you! Can you tell us when you started writing and what inspired you?

Funnily enough I haven’t always been a writer. My passion for writing began 3 years ago when I started a new job at a jewelry shop as a saleswoman. I hated that job, but I loved learning about gemstones. That led me to the birth of ‘Estellia’, my debut novel. Furthermore, Adrienne Young (an ah-may-zing YA writer) also indirectly inspired me. Now I’m beyond blessed to be a part of Enchanted Forests with all these incredible award-winning, and up-and-coming authors!

That’s so interesting, I can totally see how learning about gemstones could be the inspiration for a fantasy novel. I love world building, personally, and one of the things I did when I was creating the world for The Fair Queen was to choose gemstones that symbolised each of the five different types of Fair. OK, I’ll pick your brain about gemstones later! What are your favourite books or your favourite genre?

Favorite genre would definitely have to be Fantasy/High Fantasy/Sci-Fi. And I have too many favorite books! A few of my favorite authors include J.R.R. Tolkein, C.S. Lewis, and George MacDonald (originally known as the ‘master of the fairytale’). Joseph Campbell is pretty awesome too. I listened to The Hero with a Thousand Faces on audio three times and still didn’t understand all of it lol. He’s a philosophical mastermind!

Those are some of the greats right there! I love high fantasy and portal fantasy, and I’m so excited to read your upcoming debut novel, can you tell us a little about it?

Estellia is now officially ready for preorder on Amazon! Click here to read the blurb and get your copy.

My short story ‘A Lesson in Refinement’ will also be coming out in another anthology titled Once Upon A Name in 2022.

I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of Once Upon a Name! It’s such a cool project and I’m really glad we’re working together on it, along with eighteen other awesome authors! Where do you find inspiration for your stories? 

Oh I 100% go to Pinterest and type in all sorts of fantasy creatures/places and if a picture speaks to me then I base my characters/story on that!

Also, I’m blessed to have an amazingly talented artist for a cousin who can help bring my characters to life based on my descriptions. You will be able to see some of her artwork in my debut novel!

Oh you’re so lucky, I love character art and illustrations in books, that’s one of my favourite things about the Enchanted Anthologies. Do you consider yourself a plotter, pantser or plantser? 

I use the ‘Save the Cat’ Blake Snyder Beat Sheet, but sometimes my characters take the reins and the story goes in a different direction lol. So I’d say I’m a plantser. Guess that’s what happens when you have such headstrong characters! 

I’m exactly the same, I love a strong, detailed outline to keep me writing and on the right track, but I also like a little wiggle room for those pesky characters to have their say! What are you working on right now?

Final edits for Estellia, beta reads/editing for Once Upon a Name, and I need to start plotting out my story for Enchanted Forests. Also working on a book review for the library on Enchanted Waters which will eventually be posted on our Staff Picks webpage at lafourche.org

You’ve got some really exciting projects on the go, I can’t wait to read them all! Thank you so much for chatting with me today, Ashley, it’s been lovely. Before I let you go, what one piece of advice would you give aspiring authors? 

Don’t give up. Be patient with yourself, and with what life throws at you along the way. Enjoy the journey of creating a masterpiece and be proud of your work. You wrote a freaking NOVEL for heaven’s sake! That’s something to be proud of.

Don’t rush yourself. George R.R. Martin has been writing for over 20 years. And J.R.R. Tolkien didn’t finish his books overnight. You got this. And KEEP WRITING. No matter what it is, always try to write something each day. Even if it’s a simple journal entry. And never stop reading.

Yes to all of this! We should all be so incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved by persevering and finishing an entire story, whether it’s a short story, novella or full-length novel. Not many people do it and it’s a hugely impressive achievement.

How can we find out more about you and your books? 

Instagram: @authorashleyanne

Facebook page/group:  Writerly Adventures in Estellia and Beyond

Other: @estellian.treasures

Amazon: Buy Estellia now!


How incredible is Ashley? If you’re a writer I really hope you found her advice helpful, because she’s absolutely right! And if you like the sound of Ashley’s debut novel, Estellia, or our upcoming anthologies Enchanted Forests and Once Upon a Name, then you can preorder them on Amazon right now!

Happy reading,

Lyndsey

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Feathers of Blood release giveaway! Win SEVEN fantasy paperbacks

It’s the day you’ve all been waiting for! (OK, I’VE been waiting for, but hopefully you’re excited too.) It’s Feathers of Blood release day!

To celebrate, the absolutely fabulous author, Alice Ivinya, has joined together with some other incredible fantasy authors to host a huge giveaway.

Click here or on the image to enter this fabulous giveaway and be in with a chance of winning these SEVEN paperbacks, worth over $75! (UK, US and Canada only.)

Prizes include:

The giveaway will close on 22 October, so get your entries in quick. All you have to do is enter your email address, but you can get extra entries by following the authors on social media, checking out Alice’s books on Amazon or sharing the giveaway with your fantasy-loving friends by email.

And don’t forget to buy your copy of Feathers of Blood, Kingdom of Birds and Beasts #2!

How gorgeous is that cover??

Need a refresher of book one, Feathers of Snow, before you dive into the new book? You’re in luck! Click here to read Alice’s recap and find out more about books two and three.

I’ll be sharing my reviews of Feather of Snow and Feathers of Blood soon, so keep an eye out!

Lyndsey

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