Interview: Leslie Claire Walker on “Faery Novice” and “Faery Prophet”

Welcome to Leslie’s series The Faery Chronicles, a fast-paced world of magic, intrigue, and romance, where faeries, angels, and demons are all very, very real!

Faery Novice and Faery Prophet are the first two books in this series.

After his mother’s death, Kevin fights to build a new life on his own terms in Faery Novice. When he begins to hear others’ thoughts, he fears losing his grip on reality. Until he meets a charmed girl who reveals the thriving Faery underground in the shadows of his city…

In Faery Prophet, Rude is everyone’s friend, the life of the party with uncanny luck, but only because no one has discovered his secret. He is a faery seer’s apprentice, training to enforce magical law, and magic is the only true family he has. When a troubled girl asks him for help, he realizes too late that she—and her supernatural emergency—are way out of his league…

Will Rude’s blossoming powers be strong enough to prevent a demon from rising? Or will he lose, and become a demon himself?

Faery Novice and Faery Prophet are both available for a limited time in The Realm of Faerie bundle.

Enter the Realm of Faerie, a world of beauty, danger, and enchantment. But remember the legends if you want to make it back home again…


When I came to—when both of us swam out of unconsciousness—we lay in the street beside the car. The bus was gone.

I could’ve tricked myself into believing I’d hallucinated it all, from Rude’s nu-metal vocals to the name the fae girl had given me. But the asphalt in front of us was stained with freshly leaked oil and the name hovered on the edge of my tongue.

It took a minute to stand up and brush myself off. I felt like I should say something, but didn’t know what.

Rude made four attempts at running his mouth, fifth time the charm. “You okay, dude?”

Not even close, but I nodded anyway. “Where’d the bus go?”

“To Faery. That’s where it always goes when it disappears, according to Oscar. Always before dawn.”

I stared at him.

“It’s no weirder than anything else that happened tonight,” he said.

—from Faery Novice: The Faery Chronicles Book One by Leslie Claire Walker

The Interview

In Faery Novice, the first book in The Faery Chronicles series, Kevin discovers a faery world thrives underneath the real one—and now the fae are after him! 🙂 What inspired you to create this fascinating world and series?

I was inspired by two things. One, I love YA. Two, I’ve always been fascinated by all things fae, from fairy tales to folk beliefs to the idea that there is a veil between our world and theirs. Some folks believe that veil is a physical barrier, but I wondered if it was something different—a veil over the hearts and minds of humans that keeps them from noticing the non-human world around them. Kevin wants nothing more than a normal life, but every choice he makes only draws him deeper into a world that’s anything but normal. In that way, he reminds me of myself. I’m always interested in what happens when someone gives up on the idea of being what other people expect and allows who they truly are inside to be reflected on the outside. That’s the seed from which the series blossomed.

Faery Prophet, which can be read standalone, is the second book in The Faery Chronicles series. The protagonist is Rude, aka Rudolph Diamond Davies III—he’s the class clown and, unbeknownst to his friends, is a faery seer’s apprentice! How did you come up with Rude’s character, and what was your favorite part about writing his story?

Rude appears as the best friend with a secret in Faery Novice, the first book in the Faery Chronicles series. I wrote Faery Prophet because several readers loved Rude so much, they wanted to read his story.

My favorite part about writing Rude’s story was giving a voice to what was going on with Rude beneath his happy-go-lucky exterior.

I knew someone like Rude when I was in school. He’s the kid who always seems happy and always seems to get away with breaking the rules, but there’s a lot more going on under the surface that others don’t or can’t see and understand. One reason for that is that we, as human beings, spend a lot of time comparing our insides to other people’s outsides.

A thing about Rude that very few people know is that his Hawaiian shirts are an homage to Jay Lake. I spent two weeks in a workshop intensive on the Oregon coast with twelve other writers, including Jay, and have a lot of amazing memories.

In addition to faeries, there are demons in Faery Prophet. What inspired you to come up with this combination, and what have you most enjoyed about interweaving the different elements of folklore, mythology, and legend?

Faeries, demons, and angels have been a part of many human spiritual cosmologies or understandings of the world. Whether we consider them to be real or metaphors for natural forces we can’t otherwise explain depends on place, time, and culture. In Faery Prophet, I most enjoyed exploring the edges between reality and metaphor, and the understandings—or misunderstandings—among those who have always been human and those who have never been.

Bright and Dark Fantasy with an Edge is your (super awesome!) author tagline. Tell us what this means to you, and how this phrase comes through in your fiction.

To me, Bright and Dark Fantasy with an Edge brings together the bright (hope, love, chosen family), the dark (the ways in which we deal with our inner and outer demons), and the knife’s edge we sometimes walk between the two. I’m not really interested in telling stories that only explore the bright or the dark. And all of my stories, no matter how edgy, always contain a spark of hope.

You play the lever (Celtic) harp! Has this wandered its way into your fiction?

It has, but not directly. One of the other characters from The Faery Chronicles series, the Singer whose true name is Simone, has a voice that can touch the deepest dreams and desires of anyone who hears her song. I feel that way about the harp as a modern instrument, and there are several stories from folklore about that sort of thing. My favorite song to play on my harp is Turlough O Carolan’s “The Fairy Queen.” I couldn’t yet read music when I learned that song, so it took months to be able to play it properly. It’s a big part of the soundtrack for the series.

The sixth and final book in your Soul Forge series is coming out soon. This series is interwoven with The Faery Chronicles series. How are the two series connected?

The Soul Forge books are set in the same world as The Faery Chronicles. I didn’t start out intending to interweave the stories, but a handful of the characters in each are destined to play a part in averting the end of the world. Those destinies began to come together in the third book of the Soul Forge, Angel Falls. From that point forward, the characters in each series have played crucial roles in each others’ lives, both in the novels and in the associated short fiction.

A number of your urban fantasy novels (and short stories) are set in Portland, and the city itself has a presence that makes it almost like a character. How much of this is based off of the real Portland, and what’s it like to write stories set in a city you know so well?

It’s all based off the real Portland, although the names of the businesses don’t reflect any real establishments. I try to capture the feel of the city as a whole rather than specific places within it.

I think setting is crucial to any story. No city is interchangeable with another. Each has its own flavor that suffuses everything and everyone within its borders. I love that I can include Portland’s unique flavor in my tales.

Tell us about your cats!

There are two—Kaywinnitlee, named after the Firefly character Kaylee, and Addams, named after the Addams Family. Kaylee (or, as she prefers, Miss Wee) is a brown tabby with one blue eye and one green. She’s thirteen, and I adopted her as a two-month-old kitten in Houston, Texas. At the time, we also had a dog, and she learned all of her manners from him. Addams is six, adopted from a shelter near Portland. He’s an enormous black cat with a tail as long as his body, and he adores belly rubs. They both like to be sung to—Miss Wee prefers something to melody of “You Are My Sunshine,” while Addams loves the tune of “Rubber Duckie.”

What are you working on now, and what’s fun about what you’re writing?

I’m putting the finishing touches on the last book in the Soul Forge series, Angel Burns. I’m at the place in the book where all the important threads from all six books finally come together, including some that surprise me. I love those kinds of surprises.

I’m also plotting the book that follows, a supernatural action-adventure romance about a retired spy. Everything about this book is fun, from the situations to the dialogue between characters, to the creative ways they find to stay alive while falling in love.

About Leslie

Since the age of seven, Leslie Claire Walker has wanted to be Princess Leia—wise and brave and never afraid of a fight, no matter the odds.

Leslie hails from the concrete and steel canyons and lush bayous of southeast Texas—a long way from Alderaan. Now, she lives in the rain-drenched Pacific Northwest with a cast of spectacular characters, including cats, harps, fantastic pieces of art that may or may not be doorways to other realms, and too many fantasy novels to count.

She is the author of the Awakened Magic Saga, a collected series of urban fantasy novels, novellas, and stories filled with magical assassins, fallen angels, faeries, demons, and complex, heroic humans. The primary series in the saga are the Soul Forge, set in Portland, Oregon, and the Faery Chronicles, set in Houston Texas. She has also authored stories for The Uncollected Anthology on a mission to redefine the boundaries of contemporary and urban fantasy.

Leslie takes her inspiration from the dark beauty of the city, the power of myth, strong coffee, whisky, and music ranging from Celtic harp to jazz to heavy metal. Rock on!

Find Leslie

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Amazon ~ Goodreads ~ BookBub

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