- Hollis Jo McCollum
Character Spotlight: Eithne Alfrey
Hello All! Apologies for the long hiatus with the blog. Unfortunately, had some personal matters that took over for a bit and wasn't really able to focus on writing. Anyway, let's get to the subject at hand, the new character spotlight in the blog!
So, my book has officially gone to print, and should be in circulation in a couple short weeks! Eeeek! Very excited indeed. I thought it would do a sort of character spotlight of the main characters in the book in the order of appearance. First up, the rebellious elf maiden, Eithne Alfrey.
Eithne is a member of a large elf tribe called the Aranni. I loosely based the tribal elves on the ancient cultures of the Picts and Gaelic tribes of the British Isles. The Aranni elves of Raashan are a large population and generally live in widespread villages that are all part of a greater tribal group. Gender roles are very clearly defined in their culture with woman being forbidden to have anything to do with fighting or battle. Education of women is not frowned upon, and they are encouraged to pursue medicinal practices and studies; however, to learn how to fight with weapons or to blacksmith is against their laws. Women are expected to grow up modestly, be courted by a good suitor, get married and raise families.
Eithne doesn't really care for all that. It's not that this red haired beauty doesn't want to be courted by a handsome suitor, or that she doesn't have any interest in medicinal studies. She is interested in and wants those things, but something in her wants to fight, and learning to use a weapon gives her a satisfaction that she cannot acquire through any other legal avenue in her culture. She practices with weapons in secret, and stealthily watches the men practice swordsmanship in the training fields in order to learn proper techniques. Every elf in the Aranni tribe receives a spirit guide tattoo upon their coming of age (when they are considered to be adults in their culture). Eithne's tattoo is that of the phoenix, the mythical bird that is reborn in flames. The tattoo is down the entire left side of her body.
Eithne loves her family, and respects her culture...but she can't help feeling like a bird in a gilded cage. She longs for that personal liberty that only comes from fully being yourself without having to hide it from anyone. She has reached a pivotal point in her life. It's now or never to set herself free.
I drew this portrait of Eithne back in 2009. Of course, she wouldn't go around topless, but I was trying to be a glimpse of that large phoenix tattoo of hers ;) She's quite proud of it, you know.
Want to get to know Eithne better? My book will be available in a couple weeks!
Next up! Captain Darian MacAllow!