My Favorite Bit: Spencer Ellsworth talks about THE GREAT FAERIE STRIKE
Spencer Ellsworth is joining us today to talk about his novel The Great Faerie Strike. Here’s the publisher’s description:
A revolution in Faerie!
Ridley Enterprises has brought industry to the Otherworld, churning out magical goods for profit. But when they fire Charles the gnome, well, they’ve gone too far. And against a gnome’s respectable nature, he takes to the streets, fighting for workers’ rights.
The Otherworld’s first investigative reporter, Jane, is looking for a story. And she finds it, witnessing a murder and getting sucked into a conspiracy within werewolf high society.
Jane and Charles team up to unite the workers and bring the Ridleys to justice. But a budding romance complicates everything. Can they bring change to Faerie or will dark powers consume both worlds?
What’s Spencer’s favorite bit?
Whenever I am asked for “my favorite bit” in a book, I feel a little bit like a parent asked to pick their favorite child.
I love all of them, even the weird ones who test my patience!
But, with apologies to the weird ones, in The Great Faerie Strike, I immediately knew what my favorite part was. It was built into the book’s conception from the beginning—the main character Charles, a cantankerous and hotheaded gnome, laid off from his factory job, would have to find the inspiration to start a strike.
Charles is unusual for a gnome already. They’re typically known for steadiness, reliability, and a tendency to go along with authority and never be the nail that sticks up.
Charles has been trying to reform his unreliable ways, despite the layoffs. He… doesn’t do so well. He gets laid off again, this time from a butler job. He then gets in a fight and gets himself captured by vampires and thrown in a larder, waiting to be eaten.
Our heroine, Jane, an investigative reporter, is determined to save Charles from the vampires, since he has a lead on her best story. While he’s in there, she gives him a random pamphlet to read, something that she grabbed because it looked interesting.
That pamphlet is The Communist Manifesto.
I’ve never more had more fun as a writer than this: taking a hotheaded, stodgy little gnome and turning him into a revolutionary. Charles immediately sees how Marx’s philosophy applies to the Otherworld, and starts babbling on about Marx like an excited college sophomore, and determines to bring the bourgeoisie down.
I squeed with joy, just a little, as I wrote that bit. I love it when a character really, really, REALLY believes in something, especially when it puts them in conflict with their world, family and friends. And I may have been a bit like Charles myself, in college… and a bit like him still. In that way, he’s always been my favorite bit.
Spencer Ellsworth has been writing since he learned how. He is the author of The Great Faerie Strike, out in August 2019 from Broken Eye Books, and the Starfire Trilogy of space opera novels from Tor. He lives in Bellingham, WA, with his wife and three children, writes, edits and works at a small tribal college, and would really like a war mammoth if you’ve got one lying around.