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. 

Author’s name:

Mindy Hayes
Title of book and/or series:
The Faylinn Novels: Kaleidoscope (#1), Ember (#2), and Luminary (#3)
Brief summary of the story:
Calliope doesn’t see the change coming. She’s compelled to fight the pull that pulses like a second heartbeat, drawing her into the depths of the forest. But, the more Calliope denies it, the stronger it becomes until she finally surrenders and is pulled into a secret world of enchantment.

Kai and Declan need her to accept what she is. Knowing their fate lies in her hands, they’ll stop at nothing to protect and prepare her for what lies ahead.

Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
In Kaleidoscope you’re introduced to the world of Faylinn, a parallel universe where the fae live. It’s nestled deep in the forest. But the story in Kaleidoscope takes place in the real world—Wahalla, South Carolina. In Ember, Faylinn comes into play.
If we were to visit Faylinn as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
Two of my favorite places in Faylinn are the Harvest Borough and Novalora. The Harvest Borough is where all of the fruits and vegetables are grown, so there are acres and acres of different kinds of colorful vegetation. I’d stay there and eat all day!
Novalora is the land of the pixies. It’s filled with bright overgrown trees and flowers—flowers big enough to sleep on. The pixies might pester you, but they mean no harm.
What dangers should we avoid in Faylinn?
Falkurs and branaaghs are the fiercest animals in Faylinn. Falkur teeth are the strongest and used to create weapons—definitely not a creature I’d want to come in contact with. Branaaghs are like panthers, but larger and their fangs curl below their jowls. They could probably kill a person with one swipe. But, you should be more concerned about who to trust in Faylinn. No one is safe. They disappear all the time.
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Faylinn?
A common animal that’s served is radik. It looks like a large rat. It’s kind of gamy, tastes like rabbit. Another animal is chocat. They are similar to deer, but smaller. But the fae mainly eat the fruits, vegetables and grains they grow.
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Faylinn?
The faeries in Faylinn are allergic to all types of metal, so all of their weapons are made from animal bones and animal teeth/fangs (falkurs and branaaghs). They use daggers, arrows and long blades.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Faylinn?
There is a magical ward set up around Faylinn called The Hedge, making it invisible to humans. The only way to pass through it is with a faery. And faeries travel on foot. They’re fast and agile.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Faylinn that we don’t see on Earth?
There are all kinds of different vegetation and animals. Calliope’s favorite fruit is a pruila, which is a pinkish, opalescent fruit that looks like a nectarine, but tastes sweet like a strawberry. There’s also the viga, which is extremely sweet. It’s a purple melon with yellow spikes. The spikes are flexible to the touch.
What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Faylinn? If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
The Royalty in Faylinn use a power called Supremacy. Supremacy is essentially mind control. If they want a task done, all they have to do is ask and it must be done. It takes away free agency. Some use it sparingly, while others take advantage.
The fae in Faylinn are very one with the earth, so they don’t need elements to make nature grow. The power comes from within them. They could make anything grow inside, through stone or wood.
They also have enchantments like Enticement, which can make another faery or human drawn to them, pulled into a sort of trance of lust.
They can also heal one another with their hands. It takes a little bit of concentration, but once their hands are placed on the area affected they can heal it completely.
If another fae is in trouble or desperately needs to contact another faery, they can use the Given name of said faery. By saying the name of the faery, that faery will have to immediately come whether they want to or not.
Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in Faylinn as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there?
Time runs differently in Faylinn. It’s a bit slower. When only a few months pass in Faylinn, a year or two could go by in the real world. And they don’t have calendars to keep time. They use moon cycles. Their holidays aren’t the same. They celebrate things like a new harvest season or bondings (weddings) or dawnings (inaugurations of royalty). Honestly, they’ll find any way to have a celebration!
What is the political or government structure in Faylinn?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
There is a monarchy. A king or queen rules the land, but they have personal advisors. In Kaleidoscope, Favner is king. He’s a bit of an evil narcissist. Not the best combination! He wants to kingdom to revolve around him. Most want to overthrow him, but due to Supremacy, that’s a little difficult.
Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
Yes! My mom is from Finland, and my grandparents own a cabin in the woods there. We just visited this summer, and I think subconsciously I invented Faylinn from the forests in Finland. When we arrived it was as if I’d stepped into Faylinn. It was such a dream.

Author Autobiography:

I’m the author of the YA Fantasy Faylinn Novels, Kaleidoscope (#1), Ember (#2), and Luminary (#3), as well as the Contemporary Romance, Me After You (Willowhaven #1). Currently, I’m working on Me Without You (Willowhaven #2).

I grew up in San Diego, California, exploring my interest for singing and playing the piano. I first discovered my passion for reading when I had to make my first flight alone to South Carolina to visit my, then, fiancé. My love for writing followed shortly after. My husband and I have now been married for seven years and live in Summerville, South Carolina.

Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)? 
Where can readers connect with you online?
I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Faylinn.  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 another fantasy world, in Realm Explorers Part XXVII!
-Annie Douglass Lima