Outside, heavy clouds had gathered over the city, but State Street was still bustling with life. People huddled under umbrellas or hurried from store to store with their faces hidden under their hoods.

Kayla bowed her head into the wind and rain. She should’ve taken an umbrella. By the time she reached Harold Washington Library, her wet hair was stuck to her face and neck. Without lifting her head, she continued her way up to the seventh floor. She walked through the long rows of bookshelves, occasionally stopping to take out a book, and when she was balancing a stack of six books on her arms, she sought out a table at the back.

She dropped her backpack on it and it toppled over. Her cellphone slipped out of the bag and Kayla caught a glimpse of the screen.

Her Mom had texted. Again.

Kayla shoved the phone back into the bag. She flipped open a book titled A Treasury of Irish Fairy and Folk Tales and leafed through it until one section caught her eye. The first line of it read: Faeries are deenee shee or fairy people. Who are they?

Great. That wasn’t very helpful.

Kayla tucked a strand of wet hair behind her ear and flipped through the pages again. One headline read “T’yeer-na-n-oge”. Kayla leaned in.

There is a country called Tír-na-n-Og, it read, which means the Country of the Young, for age and death have not found it. Further down it read: According to many stories, Tír-na-n-Og is the favorite dwelling of the faeries.

Yet none of those stories mentioned where to find such a place.

Kayla slammed the book shut and opened another one. Her eyes flitted across the pages, until the letters began to blur. Nothing she’d already known.

She leaned back, rubbing her eyes. This was not going to work. She needed coffee. She got up, shouldered her backpack, and gathered all the books in her arms. Head down again, she hurried back towards the shelves.

And knocked right into someone.

If you want to find out more about The Seelie Princess, check out this post.


THE SEELIE PRINCESS – What’s it about?

I’ve briefly talked about this before here – but I want to tell you a bit more today. THE SEELIE PRINCESS is my first full-length novel, which I finished revising back in August. As of now, it has not been published, but I’m querying and excited to share this story with you. So today I want to rave about my book baby. 

A quick recap of what to expect:

  • YA Fantasy with LGBTQ rep
  • faeries! lot’s of them
  • f/f romance
  • strong female characters
  • a magical realm 
  • elements of Celtic mythology
  • names that are pretty on the eye but you won’t be able to pronounce them (sorry, not sorry)

Meet the MC – Kayla Whittemore

Everyone knows that faeries only exist in stories, but Kayla is certain that they are real and the reason why her father vanished when she was little. Even almost 10 years after his ‘death’, she holds on to the hope of finding him. When she finally receives word from the faeries, she doesn’t hesitate to strike a bargain with their queen. But finding her father is not as easy as she’s hoped and Kayla has to face treacherous faeries, hidden family heirlooms, and her first heartbreak. How far is she willing to go? 

Kayla was born in 1998 in a small down in Illinois. After her father disappeared, they moved to the bustling city of Chicago. When Kayla isn’t researching how to find faeries, she spends her time cuddled up with a good book or drinking way too much coffee with her best friend Abby. 

What inspired it? 

1 – Celtic Fairy Faith

In the summer of 2014, I was obsessed with Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter Chronicles. And even though I was a huge fan of all the badass Shadowhunters in the books, what fascinated me even more was her portrayal of the faeries as beautiful, cunning, and complicated creatures. So I began to research how she’d come about that idea and I soon learned she’d taken a lot of her inspiration from the Celtic Fairy Faith (as did her wonderful writer-friend Holly Black).

The Celtic mythology is filled to the brim with magical creatures and fantastic folktales. I could write for hours about this topic! But I don’t want to digress, so I’ll give you a little overview of characters that found their way into my story: 

  • faeries: also known as Daoine Sidhe, inhabitants of the magical Tír na nÓg, divided into the Seelie Court and the Unseelie Court
  • pookas: the underdogs of the faerie realm, shapeshifters and forest creatures
  • pixies: smallest inhabitants of Tír na nÓg, also the friendliest of the Fair Folk
  • merrows: merfolk living on a small island off the mainland, telepaths and constantly suspicious of the faeries
  • faerie cats: an ancient type of faeries who can perform magic and shares both a cat’s furry ears and its heightened senses 

2 – Diverse Storytelling

When I began this journey of writing THE SEELIE PRINCESS, I had decided on two aspects early on: there would be faeries (plenty of them!) and my main character would be a girl falling in love with another girl. Throughout my writing process, many ideas appeared, shifted, manifested, or disappeared again, but these two facts persisted until the very end. 

There has been an abundance of great stories where girls were whisked away to far lands by incredibly handsome boys (I’m looking at you, Jace Herondale!). I believe it’s time for girls to get whisked away by gorgeous girls, too. Or boys being seduced by other boys. Or just generally people falling in love. All mixed with a fair amount of faerie dust! 

So who’s the Seelie Princess? 

I can’t tell you just yet… but keep your eyes open for little excerpts and sneak peeks! If you’re interested in reading more about faeries and Tír na nÓg, please check out my two short stories: The King’s Daughters and Broken Bonds. Feel free to talk to me on twitter @sarah_tanzmann or leave a comment below!