The World of Faehunter: The Tuann (and New Release Update!)


I am so pleased to announce that I have a novella in the works, a small project that I work on when Faehunter gives me agida.

Potentially titled Into the House of Souls, it will be set in the same world as Faehunter but far away up in the mountains of the south with characters completely unrelated to Mara, Deaglan, Finnian, and Shannon. My tentative release date will be some time in November for another Pippi Longstocking birthday gift to all you dear readers!

Instead, it focuses on The Tuann (too-ahn), a loose group of people who gather in family clans and travel from place to place as it pleases them, inhabiting houses and castles left behind by others, are known for being skilled craftsmen and artisans, and operate with a very loose set or rules and laws. The Tuann do as they please.

Looking For Group

Tuann clans can be as small as 20 and as many as 200 people, generally big extended families with long histories together.

Each Clan has its own colors, banners, and sigils, although these vary wildly. Some Clans may adopt elaborate coats of arms like the nobility in the North, while others may carry flags with simple stripes or checkered patterns with their family colors.

One simple way to distinguish which Clan someone belongs to is by their cloak, or taeocai (tay-oh-kai), huge quilted fabric pieces designed to keep the Southern chill at bay. Each one is sewn and dyed with the family’s crest and colors and are worn at all kinds of Tuann gatherings – or whenever it’s cold.

The main character of my upcoming novella, Hopper, belongs to Clan Dennach who wear orange and blue.

Say What You Want to Say

While most Tuann have since learned the Common Language of the North, there are many words that lack translation. These words are often spoken in Tual (too-ahl), their unique language.

Few speak it fully, however, aside from some remote Clans with little outside contact.

What’s In a Name?

Tuann names generally refer to a characteristic, talent, or appearance of the person. These names are given by the Canneral (can-uh-rul), the head of the Clan on the person’s fifth birthday but can be changed at their fifteenth and fiftieth or with specific petition. Until their first Naming, children are often called various terms of endearment (“my dear”, “sweetheart”) or by their relationship with others (“Potter’s daughter”, “Fletcher’s son”).

Tuann names include Hopper, Weaver, Mason, Tailor, and Walker.

Heavy is the Head

Tuann may lack a central organization or government, but one Clan has been the representative of the Clans to the nations of the North for generations. Generally, the Clans accept this but some – often the more wild or remote groups – resent the “oppression”.

The Canneral of this Clan and his closely chosen allies help settle inter-Clan disputes, visit with foreign dignitaries, maintain a roll of all recognized Clans and record and legitimize new ones.

Faery Friends

The Tuann are much closer with their local faery Firelights Court than the other peoples of the North. Faeries will often travel and trade with mortal merchants, entertain the children, offer healing to the sick or elderly, and are known to be generous gift-givers.

Unlike the mortals of Twinefold that see the closeness of the fae as a curse, there is a much more benevolent relationship between the two among the Clans.

Tensions can sometimes be high, however, Hopper and her Clan struggle with a local faery noblewoman who has less than good intentions for her people.

Stay tuned for upcoming news on the Tuann, Hopper, and Into the House of Souls!

See Also:

The World of Faehunter: Magic
The World of Faehunter: Magical Plants and Other Herbaceous Things
The World of Faehunter: The Solitary Fae
Short Story: “Shannon in the Wilderness”

The Magic of W.B. Yeats

W.B. Yeats is one of Ireland’s most celebrated writers and a Nobel Prize winner. A poet, a playwright, a journalist, and a collector of folklore, he is also one of the primary collectors of local tales surrounding the sidhe or fairies.


Born in the suburbs of Dublin in 1865, he spent his childhood days in County Silgo, and it’s no coincidence that so many of his stories and folk tales come from there.

His first book of poetry, published in 1989, may have been a daunting and drawn-out love letter to poets like Edmund Spenser, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, but he soon came into his own style, earning the Nobel Prize in 1923.

Reading W.B. Yeats from a modern perspective is something of a wild ride. In many of these rural communities, people would blame anything from bad weather to bad luck on the fae.

Sometimes it was an explanation for mental illness, those who “heard voices” or had strange behaviors were believed to be plagued by faery mischief. Sometimes it looked like an easy way to win an argument to say “the faeries did it”.

Many of these stories came from the turn of the century, “modern” to Yeats. Reading them makes it apparent that the coming of that age was an odd clash of the new and old. In one such tale, a child is driven out to a superstitious location by a car.

Not only that, but these stories are an intriguing blend of pagan and Christian themes. Some believe the fae were fallen angels, or ones who weren’t wicked enough to be cast into Hell. Some thought they were the old pagan gods or ancient Irish heroes – many famous faery figures share the same names.

I ended up borrowing a lot of Yeat’s writing and research to use for inspiration for Faehunter.

Creatures such as the aquatic merrows appear (although none of Yeats’ green-toothed, pig-faced men) appear beside the noted house-spirits and capricious faery Queens. Locations like the faery rath, which feature often and with great importance in these tales of folklore, are the centerpiece of numerous scenes. In many of Yeats’ stories, herbs such as hawthorn and sage are mentioned to be sacred to the fae which are a major aspect of faery culture in Twinefold.

Reading Yeats in the modern age may take a fair bit of patience – it’s amazing how much language has changed, nevermind when thick Irish accents are written phonetically. That being said, I highly recommend taking a look for anyone interested in faery folklore or Irish myth.

Further Reading:

W.B. Yeats on Project Gutenberg
Irish Fairy and Folk Tales Barnes and Noble Library of Essential Reading
Mythologies by W.B. Yeats on

See Also:

Short Story: “Shannon in the Wilderness”
The World of Faehunter: The Solitary Fae
The World of Faehunter: The Court of Air and Darkness


Update: New Twinefold Map and Post Updates

Hello, ladies and gentle-faeries!

I just finished up a brand new map of the city of Twinefold, showing the three districts, the neighborhoods, and some major landmarks and features.


I kept it a really simple grayscale because believe you me, if I marked all the trees and greenery in this city, you wouldn’t be able to see a single other thing!

There are also some new updates to the post about the city, I recommend checking it out!

See Also:

The World of Faehunter: The Court of Air and Darkness
Twinefold Begins
Short Story: “Shannon in the Wilderness”

The Characters of Faehunter: Character Handwriting

There is a lot you can tell about someone based on their handwriting. Is it a quick scrawl without a care? Is it a well-thought out script? Do they dot hearts or open circles over the i’s?

You can glean as much information about how they write as the what!

Here is what some of the characters of Faehunter write like:




Much like the quick, slapdash writing of the famed bath-bomb-and-more brand, Mara’s handwriting is a bit masculine in nature, written in all caps and slightly uneven.

Her father writes in a similar way, with random capital and lowercase letters thrown in and he never corrected her when she did the same.


“Anke Calligraphic” – Font Grube AH


Shannon writes with careful precision and even height, always perfectly in line, although sometimes he presses down too hard on the pen.

As a young child he didn’t go out often, with the faery Sight he was too frightened of the things he saw. Instead, he would practice writing over and over again to make it perfect.


“Estrya’s Handwriting” – Jellyka Nerevan


Quick and playful, Deaglan’s handwriting is legible but written very fast, like the words aren’t being put down as fast as he’s thinking.

He also holds his pen in an unusual way, between first and middle fingers!


“Southpaw” – Tyler Finck


Finnian’s handwriting is slanted, uneven, and all over the place – he writes quickly and doesn’t care much about this thing you call “legibility”.

It also doesn’t help that he’s left-handed and holds his pen wrong with his finger wrapped all the way around the pen. Most of the time it’s smudged hopelessly so he doesn’t often bother – or get much practice.


“Better Together” – Misti’s Fonts


Looping, swirly, feminine, and cute, Adalee has the habit of dotting her i’s with hearts – but only if she really likes you. (Shannon has only gotten a note with this once, and that’s after he bought her candy.)

She spent a lot of time practicing and developing this handwriting to make it “just right” and get all the loops perfect.

See Also:

Faehunter Characters
Short Story: “Shannon in the Wilderness”
The World of Faehunter: Twinefold

The World of Faehunter: Magic

Magic is an important part of the culture, industry, and lifestyle of Rosinaire and the world of Faehunter, but it isn’t always an easy matter.

Mortal Magic

Magic for mortals is incredibly difficult and cumbersome, usually requiring long preparations or very involved rituals for anything but the most simple of tasks.



At the very least, a spell requires a catalyst, some kind of stone or cut piece of glass with many facets to multiply weak magical powers. The average person can light a candle or cigarette with a small piece of glass, but the more geologically complex the stone the more powerful the potential for magic. Diamonds are highly sought after for this reason.

Those who regularly draw on magical powers will often wear a number of rings with inset stones to have spells ready on-hand (so to speak). Bars and inns will have small bowls of cut glass for lighting smokes, and jewelry among the rich usually serve some magical purpose.

Furthermore, stones can be carved with runes and symbols to “tie” a spell to it. Instead of constantly concentrating on one action, one can focus that energy into the stone where it will last until the spell or catalyst is broken.



Herbs are an important part of any major ritual, from purifying sage to banishing nettle and rosemary.

Herbs will often be burned as a part of the ritual, the smoke permeating a space with its magical effects.

Symbols and Runes


Symbols, runes, and other powerful imagery and writing can help guide energy as well as focus it to certain places, objects, people, or intentions.

Runes are most commonly used although the Shard Islanders of the North use Ogham lines and the Challissani to the West are famous for the symbols of dots and lines.

Limit Break

Mortal magic is extremely limited, only certain people are able to harness it, and even then there is only so much that can be done.

While there is no true ceiling on the possible, the common person can really only light a candle, generate a small breeze, freeze a small amount of water into ice, or change the color of a small object.

When one reaches the limit of their powers, they feel weak and fatigued. Often, food or drink – especially the variety high in sugar content – will remedy the physical affects, but continuing on will only worsen these feelings.

If one pushes their limits too hard, the results may even turn fatal.

Faery Magic


Faery magic is different in mortal magic in that they do not need catalysts or symbols or really any other focus on their energy.

The main component of faery magic is concentration as well as intention; so long as the faery wants something strongly enough, it is done.

That being said, should that attention divert or their concentration break, so does the spell.

Always Glamour-ous

The fae are also capable of powerful transformation magic, called a glamour. They can transform any object into another, change their own appearances, and even generate new matter so long as they concentrate, focus, and remember the changes that were made. The spell will break, however, as soon as the object leaves the faery’s line of sight. Transforming a copper coin into gold may serve its purpose only up until it is placed in a pocket.

See Also:

The World of Faehunter: Magical Plants and Other Herbaceous Things
The World of Faehunter: Twinefold
The World of Faehunter: The Solitary Fae
The World of Faehunter: The Court of Air and Darkness

Images from and Wikimedia

The World of Faehunter: Magical Plants and Other Herbaceous Things

Please do not use the following information to treat, prevent, or cure any ailment or disease. Talk to your doctor before taking any herbal supplements for treatment.
And don’t eat Tide Pods.

Herbs, plants, and roots are all very important to the people in the world of Faehunter. They’re used for healing, for food and, of course, for magic.

So, to research a bit more about the plants and herbs that appear in Faehunter, I went to Flower Power Herbs and Roots in New York City and took a look at what magical stuff was in store.



Baskets of candles, potpourri sachets, and bundles of sage for smudging sat between shelves heavy with scrying glass and magic mirrors and other helpful tools of the trade.

In many cultures from Native American tribes to Witchcraft, burning sage (or “smudging”) is used to purify an area, person, or even an object.

Sage for smudging will often come in small bundles that make burning easier and the smoke smells fantastic.

In Faehunter, sage smoke is often used for similar purposes, to purify before conducting any major magical undertakings. Magic for mortals – beyond something simple like lighting a candle – takes a lot of effort and preparation.



The clearing before her spread a wide circle tucked into the cradle of a gently rising slope, ringed with small, white stones and dotted with thorny Hawthorn trees.

One of three plants considered sacred to the fae in Celtic literature, hawthorn is often viewed as the most holy. It is believed to mark the entrance to the Annwyn (an-NOON) or the “Otherworld”.

Legend tells that it is incredibly unlucky to cut down a Hawthorn bush when it is not in bloom, although it is an integral part of Beltane (May Day) traditions.

In the city of Twinefold, hawthorn shrubs grow abundantly, especially in Langley Park. They surround and protect the holy faery Rath where the Court of Air and Darkness meets under every quarter moon – and every seven years for the Tithe.

Milk Thistle

Deaglan swept a fingertip along the delicate trickle of crimson blood at Mara’s wrist before Shannon could apply the pungent ointment, sticking it in his mouth.

“Sleep Toxin,” Deaglan named, “And a lot of it. Concentrated essence of nightshade, we need milk thistle.”

Milk thistle is currently being studied for its detoxifying properties and potentially as an aid for alcoholism, liver problems, and cancer prevention.

As large-scale agriculture is hard to maintain in the dense forests of The Cradlelands, milk thistle roots are often eaten for food in the city of Twinefold, most typically roasted with butter.

Its healing properties are also invaluable when healing magic is often difficult for others to manage. It is used in oils, ointments, and poultices and is integral in first aid when it comes to poisonings and toxins.

Morning Glory

More and more arms of ivy, living and green, climbed up and around the spindly metal desk and twined with morning glories and lilacs.

Morning Glory is said to have magical properties relating to peace-keeping and preventing nightmares, much like lavender.

In the city of Twinefold, morning glories often climb up walls of buildings as well as twining in the trees, blooming in the late mornings when the sun climbs over the treeline.

Outside the city, the “water spinach” variety blooms in the Adalasia River which forms the city’s southern border. The water spinach is harvested and eaten for food.

And who can forget, of course, the most powerful spice of all?


Thanks again to Flower Power which is located at 406 East 9th Street, between Avenue A and 1st in New York City.


See Also:

Short Story: “Shannon in the Wilderness”
The World of Faehunter: The Solitary Fae
The World of Faehunter: Twinefold
The World of Faehunter: The Court of Air and Darkness

Book Review: The Lies of Locke Lamora

I stole my copy of The Lies of Locke Lamora without realizing at the time how apt that was. Granted, I didn’t “coat-charm” it from a wealthy publishing executive on Fifth Avenue or run out of a Barnes and Noble with it under my arm, but I like to think Locke would be proud (as dangerous as that can be).


Someone left it behind at work. They then mysteriously had no way of finding it again.

The Lies of Locke Lamora details the life and times of the eponymous master thief as he dodges the grasp of the organized crime and totalitarian government both, trying to make a quick buck and survive in the waterlogged city of Camorr. It features a huge cast of characters on every possible side of the law, a world of complex cultural aspects and of course, an intricate web of lies.

Generally speaking, I don’t like “depthy” books. I’ve had numerous false starts with Lord of the Rings and Shannara and Dune. While world-building can be fun, too many invented words or exposition dumping tends to lose me.

Early 00s me insists that “awesomer” is so a word.

Locke Lamora is like someone’s dad at the pool: it shoves you in the deep end and just sort of hopes you’ll make it out okay. It throws all kinds of cultural complexity, pseudo-Italian language, a cast of intricately related characters, multiple timelines of flashbacks, and multi-layered political backstabbing right at you and doesn’t stop to make sure you’re keeping up. There’s a single, tiny map and nary an appendix or cast of characters index in sight.

But I wasn’t lost. Somehow I kept up. Maybe it’s a product of the one time I tried to learn Italian through Duolingo but the language wasn’t too hard to figure. I mixed up a few words here and there as it went on but the writing always managed to gently remind me their meanings.

Those of you who know me personally know that I had a minor brush with theft this past summer which has left me ever so slightly on edge ever since and this book did not help. That guy handing out religious pamphlets on the corner? Definitely a distraction for someone rifling through my coat. Those guys pretending to be Buddhist monks in Central Park are certainly scammers, but what about that wallet left behind at the dollar pizza place? Has to be a “tease”. Needless to say, it’s got me endlessly paranoid. But you know. In a good way.

I highly recommend this book to authors, and not just creators of fantasy or speculative fiction. It made me really rethink how I’m presenting my world in the text of Faehunter (you know, outside of some fantastic blog posts). It’s especially valuable to writers who play with timelines as Lies goes fast and loose, flashing back and forth relentlessly. It also features deep characters on wildly sliding scales of morality and idealism which is excellent for writers of any genre to study.

We don’t speak of the “Lost Ones”.

In fact, I recommend this book to just about anyone who doesn’t mind a bit of swearing and gore.

It’s something of a masterpiece.

And while I can’t outright condone thievery (and I’m sure the publishers and author certainly wish I wouldn’t) but you know.


This one is completely fair game.


See Also:

Book Review: Walkaway by Cory Doctorow
Book Review: The Girl Who Drank the Moon

The World of Faehunter: Twinefold




Twinefold is a city that isn’t simply tucked away into the forest, it grows and twines around the trees, it is a part of the forest.




The city is plagued by what many call “The Great Curse” or “The Jinx”. Doing anything that may displease the fae, from using or carrying iron, operating factories that pollute the air or even doing so much as picking a flower often has tragic consequences. Men have gone mad, women have turned murderous, and children have been carried off if the faeries think they have anything to do with such a transgression.


Where the Maps Don’t Help

Streets, buildings, and other infrastructure within the past century or so has to be built around the trees due to The Great Curse. Buildings tend to be very tall and narrow to accommodate tight spaces, and the streets are winding and twisting, and often forming rotaries and roundabouts around larger trees. It’s said that anyone caught cutting down a tree will be driven mad by the fae, although this wasn’t always so.

The Boulevards are the only straight roads in the city. Some one hundred years prior to the setting of Faehunter, a woman named “Tressa the Tree-Killer” is said to have personally cut down over a thousand trees before driven to madness and death by the fae. Her work paved the way – quite literally – for the three major Boulevards: Norwood, Branch, and Morningside.

Distinct Districts

The three Boulevards form the border between the three major Districts of Twinefold: Benwick, Greenleah, and Oakton.

Much of Faehunter takes place in Benwick, it’s where the Wayworn Inn where Mara and Adalee live and Shannon’s shop – “Enchanting Magical Needs and Spell-Gems” – are.

Where We Call Home

Benwick divided into six Neighborhoods: Birch Hills, Endralaine, Clannshaven (a neighborhood where former Rovers of the south gather), Forest Grove, Benwick Beach, and Nor-Low (named for its bordering streets, Norwood Blvd. and Wilow St.)

Shannon’s shop and the Wayworn Inn are in the Nor-Low neighborhood which is known for being a popular spot for travelers.

Park it Right There

In the heart of the city is a large clearing sacred to the fae, nobody is permitted to build or develop this valuable, empty land.

When some intrepid builders attempted to make use of this space, they found the land had already been bought by one of the city’s wealthiest families, the Langley’s, who declared the area belonged to the fae in perpetuity. Thus, it has since been called Langley Park.

Twinefold is a city unlike any other. While they may have their problems with the fae, it’s a part of what makes the city unique. One wonders, however, how long this uneasy peace can last…


See Also:

The World of Faehunter: The Court of Air and Darkness
Short Story: “Shannon in the Wilderness”
The World of Faehunter: Magical Plants and Other Herbaceous Things
Twinefold Begins

Faehunter Characters



The World of Faehunter: The Solitary Fae


Time and Tithe

The Tithe is a very important and sacred ceremony for each faery Court, it ensures the fealty of the Solitary Fae who live in their lands. For the Court of Air and Darkness, this is the Cradlelands, The Court-Upon-the-Sea holds Jewelhaven province, and The Firelights Court has Dunsmere in the south.

The Court monarch makes a sacrifice, either transforming a mortal into one of them or killing them. Often this mortal is someone valuable or intriguing to the fae: a poet, an artisan, one with the faery Sight.

This show of blood and power reminds the Solitaries the consequences of rebellion.

The Court holds their Tithe every seven years in turn (i.e. The Court of Air and Darkness one year, Firelights the next…) on holidays sacred to each Court.

For the Court of Air and Darkness, this is Samhain, for Firelights this is Beltane, and the Court-Upon-the-Sea is Twelfth Night.


Mortal Matters

The Solitary Fae – much more than the Court Fae claim – are facinated with mortals and their lives. Many will watch around the windows of inns and taverns and even homes, following their daily tribulations the way one would follow a novel series or a serial play.

They also become deeply offended by the seeming rejections of the mortals. Skeptics and scientists who attempt to disprove their existence is one of their greater sorrows and they take growing industry and urban sprawl as a personal slight.

They are much more friendly – and have a more tangible influence – with the Rovers of Dunsmere to the south who are far less industrious and leave a less permanent impression on the earth.



A House is a Home

Solitary Fae often gather in Houses, Clans of fae who share common interests. Examples include The House of Masks, The House of Music, The Equestrian House (for riders and centaurs alike), or The House of Magic. There are hundreds of Houses as small as 10 members and as popular as over two hundred.

Fae can join as many Houses as they like and are asked to make no Vows, but as the politics of alliances and enemies can be complex and dangerous, a faery must be careful of the company they keep.

Any House found conspiring against their monarch is put down very quickly and some fear Houses may not be permitted to form or meet in the future.

See Also:

The World of Faehunter: The Court of Air and Darkness
Faehunter Characters