Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels!  And don’t forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book.  This one is available for FREE!  There’s also a giveaway at the bottom to win a fun little prize!

Author’s name:
RJ Conte
Title of book and/or series:
Lucent Sylph: A Short Story
Brief summary of the story:
Lucas Thissel has something he fears: an alien species of palm-sized glass fairies called Lucent Sylphs. They came through a portal from a metaphysical dimension, and they indenture themselves as slaves to human beings. Too much neglect or unkindness, and they will cloud over and disintegrate. Too much love and their hearts are overcome and burst.

And one has attached herself to Lucas.

Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
Unlike our universe, which is physical and scientifically measured by our five senses – the dimension of Sylpha is completely metaphysical, meaning that everything is boiled down into single energy/emotion forces.  Sylpha has a “sun” type of inner core blasting an umbrella of love and positive emotion.  Lucent Sylphs don’t have bodies in Sylpha.  They are love/energy forces.  However, the umbrella of their “sun’s” core only extends so far.  Outside of its reach, Lucent Sylphs die. 
How are Lucent Sylphs born?
Lucent Sylphs are born from moments of extreme joy.  They are asexual and genderless creatures, taking on a gentle female appearance in our world.  When they are extremely overwhelmed by moments and feelings of love and happiness, they spontaneously produce an infant version of themselves which are encased in self-sustaining energy cocoons.  Lucent Sylphs live for just under one of our human years in these cocoons, maturing.  When they are born, they feed off of the “sun’s” positive energy force and go on existing in Sylpha.  They have homes and living spaces of sorts, which would be indiscernible to a human’s five senses.
Lucent Sylphs cannot give love-energy to each other on Sylpha or on earth.  On Sylpha, they get it from their “umbrella-sun.”  On earth, they can only get it from humans, who are conduits of emotion.  They can feel attachment to others – and they feel strongly – but it translates into nothing that they can ingest.  Therefore, on earth, Lucent Sylphs don’t seek out each other, because they would starve and die.  They are only equipped to take in affection, not give it out – unless it is in birthing other Lucent Sylphs, something that could never happen on earth due to the inability to sustain great joy in a stable, positive environment.
How do they die on Sylpha?
When a Lucent Sylph dies of old age, and they are inside of the Love-Sun bubble’s umbrella, they are sucked back into the sun’s life force, and continue the circle of life.  They live much longer than we do.
What made them seek contact with earth?
Too many years of peace and success on Sylpha has led to an overpopulation problem.  Not only are too many Lucent Sylphs being born, but too few are dying, which causes the Love-Sun to shrink.  The Lucent Sylphs end up crowded and unable to bear their numbers, which leads to poverty and positive-emotion-starvation.  After hundreds of years, this will lead to unrest and unhappiness, which will reset the problem of overpopulation and help them build, but, in the meantime, it’s hard to watch your own kind get pushed out into the negative atmosphere and disintegrate, as well as poverty and starvation slowly killing off your family members you birthed back when you were happy.
Since this is not a three-dimensional world, things we’d find physically impossible, like traveling to the nearest star, is easy for them.  Channeling a sufficient amount of positive energy, they opened up a portal to a parallel point in a physical realm (earth) where they can barter for an element that can be turned into more Love for their sun’s umbrella: our gold.  The element Au, when passing through a dimension-sorting, metaphysical portal, turns into positive energy on their planet.
Therefore, when new Lucent Sylphs are born, many are marked for “death on earth” right away and sent in their cocoons – with a certain emotional wavelength (that turns into a pod) included to send the gold back – to earth. 
Here on earth, we are a people of sinful, negative, selfish emotions.  Love is small, corrupted, and we are stingy with it.  Our physical bodies are weak compared to love-energy forces.  We have no driving “sun of love” to keep emotions stable.  Living on our planet, for them, is like living with too little oxygen that occasionally just turns off for the fun of it.
Why does a Lucent Sylph look like a glass fairy on earth?
The translation of one alien creature into another is incomplete.  Due to the suffocating lack of love on earth, a Lucent Sylph – a powerful, strong, long-living creature on her planet – ends up translating into a fragile, tiny, see-through being on earth.  There just isn’t enough positive emotion present on earth, as the conditions aren’t perfect, to give her size, flesh, or many internal organs.  She has a “heart” and veins that hunger after love and search out positive energy sources, but not much else of them translates well into a 3D physical universe. 
My book cover was designed by me, and I chose the images, leaving it to a graphic designer to put the images together.  However, due to not being able to communicate the circulatory system well, I went back in and drew all of her veins in by hand on the cover.  😛
I’ve also included a sketch I drew myself of Nissa – the main Lucent Sylph in the story.  It’s light, since I only did it in pencil, but I hope to someday paint it in watercolor. 
Lastly, here’s an anime picture I inverted.  It is also a good, glassy representation of what Nissa might look like.  🙂
What language do they speak on Sylpha?
“Lucent” means “transparent,” and “sylph” means “fairy.”  Humans named them.  Even “Sylpha,” the land, was named by a human.  There are no such thing as names or language on Sylpha.  People recognize and communicate with each other on specialized emotional wavelengths.  Languages on earth are easy for Lucent Sylphs to translate and mimic, since they are tangible and auditory.  They don’t require controlled emotion and are simplistic in nature compared to how Lucent Sylphs communicate on Sylpha, which requires all of their heart and soul.  A Lucent Sylph can speak in any language required of it on earth.
What dangers do Lucent Sylphs encounter on earth?
Our atmosphere, weather, heat, cold, etc. doesn’t harm them in the slightest.  You could take a jackhammer to a Lucent Sylph and you wouldn’t crack their thin, fragile-looking bodies in the slightest.  Drop them in boiling water, throw them off a cliff, pitch them into outer space, etc.  It wouldn’t harm them.  They are not made of physical elements, even though you can touch and feel them.  They don’t need our air, water, and sunlight to stay alive.  They have wings because gravity works so much less on them, and, on Sylpha, they, more or less, “swim” through their atmosphere like a sound or light wave.  The flying or swimming translates into wings on earth.
However, ignore them or feel hatred for them in your heart?  They’re dead in a flash.  Obsess over them and adore them?  They explode.  They’re vulnerable in a very unique way.
Why bother paying the gold?  Why not just cheat them and enslave them fully?
Dishonesty, deceit, and cheating a Lucent Sylph fails every time.  Even if you don’t say it out loud, your selfish negative emotions will kill them.  The first Americans that tried to get away without paying their dues back to Sylpha for their Lucent Sylph pet, saw their fairies disintegrate in seconds.  They come over willingly to keep the overpopulation problem lower and to beg for gold to be sent back and be converted into love-like energy.  They promise servitude in exchange.  They expect to be treated fairly.  No Lucent Sylph is going to leave the portal area without making sure the gold goes through. There’s no way you can cheat them.  You emanate a non-physical emotion that can’t be measured by science.  But it is food, water, and oxygen to a Lucent Sylph.  They will see through you in an instant and die on you.  Do what they say if you want to enjoy their unique company.
Is there a particular religion practiced in Sylpha? 
Lucent Sylphs worship God, our Father, and the Maker of their world – the giver of Love.  He is the creator of their love-sun, that set their planet in emotion.  Unlike human beings, they need no words to be spoken or written down to teach them about God.  Instead He speaks straight to their hearts about His tangible love, righteous holiness, and power.  J
What is the political or government structure in Sylpha?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
Elders are respected, on the whole, and everything is peaceful, devoid of negativity and ill-will, due to living under a love-umbrella, and being creatures of love.  No one is elevated above anyone else.  Decisions are made, typically unanimously, as a group.  They aren’t quite a Borg group out of Star Trek or anything – they have their own will – but it is very much muted compared to humans’ individualistic thoughts and ideas.  Lucent Sylphs are focused on the greater good, organization, and peace.  However, they are not angered by humanity and its blatant negativity and sinfulness.  Instead, they are compassionate, and consider themselves mere observers and servants.  They are incredibly humble creatures, who would do whatever their master told them to do.
Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
I have gone through some very, very difficult circumstances this year.  I have lost people in every way imaginable: I moved away from where I had been living for a decade, I lost people spiritually and emotionally, and I lost a little sister to death.  The balance of loving others and being willing to be hurt was weighing very heavily on my mind when I wrote this story.  I wrote it in 24 hours, in a fit of emotion, and then took the next four months to edit it.
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
Alcoholism, neglective parents, and the brevity of life.
Author Autobiography:
RJ Conte, formerly Rachael Lynn Thomas, has kissed only one boy in her entire life. And she married him, inspiring her to write about sweet or powerful love stories ever since.

RJ Conte writes realistic, issue-driven fiction that explores human nature and the depths of the soul, while pointing readers to their Creator.  She has four other novels and novellas (all featuring a unique love story) here on Amazon.com

Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)?  Please include links.
All for free!
I want to make Lucent Sylph available everywhere for free, but I am currently trying to convince Amazon.com to do so for me!  If you’d like to support me and pay the 99 cents, it’s available on Amazon.com in ebook form here.
And, in paperback, on Lulu.com

Where can readers connect with you online? 
I write a blog on parenting, publishing, painting, and perorating at http://blonderj.wordpress.com/
I also have an author Facebook account and am on Twitter.

I am currently running a giveaway for only today.  Win your own glass fairy (pictured at left)!  Simply share a link to Lucent Sylph on your blog, wall, or any social media TODAY, and comment on this post or my blog telling me you did so.  Winners will be announced tomorrow, the 4th.  🙂

If you’d like to test your heart, and see if you would be able to keep a Lucent Sylph alive, there’s a fun quiz on Playbuzz that will tell you your result!  🙂

I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Sylpha.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to the Underworld, in Realm Explorers Part LIX!
-Annie Douglass Lima