Let’s meet Sarah Birch from A Little Elfy in Big Trouble, a young adult urban fantasy/romance by Barb Caffrey. Welcome to Romance Lives Forever. I’m Kayelle Allen, author and owner of this blog. Happy to have you here! Please tell us about your story.
A Little Elfy in Big Trouble
Genre: Young Adult urban fantasy/romance
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): PG
Young Bruno the Elfy and Sarah, his mostly-human teenage girlfriend, are in deep trouble. Bruno’s Elfy mentor Roberto the Wise is about to be sacrificed by a Dark Elf, and Sarah’s parents have decided to help the Elf rather than the Elfy. Things look bleak and are getting worse by the minute, but Bruno and Sarah have a number of allies — human, Elfy, and ghosts — that the Dark Elf can’t possibly expect. Can young love, desperation, and great unexpected power win out despite it all?
When someone dies, we say they “kicked the bucket.” Therefore, a list of things that a person wants to accomplish, places to go, situations to experience, and so on have become known as a “Bucket List.”
Age: Seventeen, nearly eighteen
Birthplace: Davis, California
Ethnicity: Anglo (apparently)
Species (for scifi/fantasy characters): human with some Elfy heritage
Please provide a physical description of yourself.
I’m about four feet tall, with long brown wavy hair and deep brown eyes. My fiancé, Bruno, says I meet his expectation of classic beauty, but I don’t see myself as anything special. (Glad he does, though.)
Please tell us a little about yourself.
Until about a week ago, I thought I was only ten years old. My parents lied to me my entire life. I didn’t know I was part-Elfy until I met Bruno by accident, after he’d been captured by my parents. (Long story; look up An Elfy on the Loose for further details.) I knew I was short, and they thought I had a condition akin to Dwarfism, but that wasn’t it at all; my mother, unbeknownst to me, was half-Elfy, part of a race of extremely short Elfs. (Do not call them “Elves,” please, if you value your life. They hate that.)
Anyway, Bruno came into my life, and I figured out a number of things. We found my original birth certificate, proving I’m seventeen, almost eighteen. While I’m still an intelligent person – and I’d better be, as it looks like a GED is in my future considering how my screwed-up parents had enrolled me in a much lower grade than I should’ve been in – I’m probably not a genius. And I have a talent to feel other people’s pain, as well as use magic…none of which I knew a week ago.
Who is the significant other in your life?
Bruno the Elfy, AKA Bruno Johnson, an Elfy from a parallel universe called the Elfy Realm, though he holds an Irish passport. Bruno is a very good guy. He cares about me, and, like me, he thought he was much younger than he actually was. And we met by accident; my parents captured him, because they wanted an Elfy to perform for their friends. (Some friends! But I digress.)
He managed to get away to the Elfy Realm, taking me with him. But then, we somehow were backlashed to Earth, along with his mentor, Roberto. Because my parents can’t seem to tell one Elfy from another – despite my mother’s Elfy heritage – they took Roberto captive while Bruno hid in my bedroom. (Don’t worry. He slept on the floor.)
While trying to aid Roberto a bit (as my parents refused to feed him or get him any medical care), Bruno and I fell in love. He’s only a bit older than I am, and he, too, was lied to his whole life, so we have a lot in common.
I never felt understood before, so this is the most amazing thing in my entire life. And I hope it never ends.
If you haven’t made a bucket list before, perhaps now would be a good time. Who knows? It might inspire another book. While you’re at it, how about telling us about some of your other favorite things? Here are the questions.
What is your birth order?
I’m an only child. (Considering my parents, perhaps it’s just as well. They’d just have screwed someone else up, too.)
Tell us about your favorite toy as a child.
A Slinky. I liked how it moved around. It hinted at so many possibilities, you see…
Describe your favorite food and how it’s prepared.
I like potato soup. I haven’t figured out how it’s prepared yet, but I do know that I enjoy the potatoes, the onions, the sour cream, and the feeling of fullness I get after I eat it.
Tell us about your best friend.
Aside from Bruno, you mean? (Your intended husband should be your best friend, right?) Well, my friend Mikayla Andrews and I have been tight for three years, ever since she started going to school with me down at St. Betsy’s. She knew she was sixteen, and she thought I was much younger, but she never cared and neither did I. She’s from Jamaica, originally, and her parents are a reverend and a teacher, respectively. She has a lot to live up to!
Of course, now that we know I’m older than she is, it’s a little strange. But she still accepts me, and she likes Bruno a lot. So it’s working out.
What are two places you would like to visit before you die, and why?
I’d like to go to Paris. It’s the city of love, right? I think Bruno would enjoy the history, and I’d enjoy watching him go into paroxysms of rapture over it. (He does love his history, especially cross-species history.)
Otherwise, I think I’d like to go somewhere a bit closer: Vancouver, British Columbia. I’ve heard that’s an interesting place. We could walk around, look at the flora and fauna, and just be by ourselves for a bit. That sounds really attractive right now.
Where is a place you would never like to return, and why?
God knows, I can’t stand Bruno’s home, the Elfy Realm. (Earth in a parallel universe.) Those people frighten me. They all have magic, and most of ’em waste it. And they all wanted Bruno dead because they felt he had “too much power,” whatever that means.
Anyone who wants Bruno dead is someone I definitely don’t want to know or be around. Because he’s the best and kindest and most decent person I have ever known, by far.
Who is someone you would like to meet, and why?
I’d like to meet Nelson Mandela. (With Bruno’s talent of talking to the dead, I still might be able to do so someday. How’s that for something I never expected?) He was a strong leader, someone who had to deal with many uphill battles, and was imprisoned for quite some time before being freed. I think I understand at least some of what he went through, and would like to know how he withstood all that to win through to his own truth and power. (Besides, he was a great man. Who can’t learn from someone like that?)
Who is someone you would like to avoid, and why?
I’m sorry, but I can’t stand President Trump. He seems like he is easily led. The Dark Elfs would have a field day with him, and my hope is that whoever has strong magic that is of the Light will try to stay around him, providing they have strong stomachs of course, to keep the Dark Elfs away so the current President won’t do even more damage than he’s already done.
If you could time travel to any date, what would it be, and what would you do there?
I’d like to go fifty years ahead, just so I’d be able to see how many children Bruno and I have had, how we’ve managed to make the Elfy Realm see reason when it comes to Bruno, and just know that we’ve overcome it all. I think that would be cool!
About the Writer
Barb Caffrey is a writer, editor, musician, and composer from Wisconsin. She’s the widow of writer Michael B. Caffrey, and is continuing her work and his, as a way to keep their love alive. Find her at https://elfyverse.wordpress.com for conversations all and sundry, as she loves hearing from readers!
What was your biggest challenge in writing this book?
Writing it wasn’t hard, but revising it was. My husband died during the revision period, and it took almost eight years to find a publisher interested in my work. At that time, An Elfy on the Loose and A Little Elfy in Big Trouble were just one book: Elfy. My publisher, Lida Quillen of Twilight Times Books, said it was more likely people would find my work if the book was split. Which meant more revision, so the second book would feel a bit more like it was supposed to be separate in the first place.
Why did you choose this character for the interview today?
I’ve never done an interview solely from Sarah’s viewpoint. Bruno is the point-of-view character, but Sarah is the person most of the readers I’ve heard from have appreciated the most. (I didn’t expect that.) I thought maybe they’d like hearing more from Sarah, as a “Thank you for reading” sort of thing.
When writing the book, what did you discover about this character that surprised you?
Sarah is incredibly complex. She thinks she’s not, but she truly is. She’s had to hide a great deal of herself until Bruno shows up, and it took a toll. But now that Bruno’s here, and she’s able to be fully herself, she’s gaining self-worth by leaps and bounds.
Are any sequels planned for this book?
Absolutely! I have a sprawling sequel planned called An Elfy Abroad, which is a horrible pun. (Bruno’s the Elfy, Sarah’s the “broad.” Though if you called her one, she’d probably stun you with her magic. And rightfully so.) This book looks like it’ll end up as three separate books as the “Elfy Abroad” trilogy down the line, and it’ll take us to the Troll Realm, the Elfy Realm (again, as much as Sarah hates it), and different parts of the Human Realm (our Earth).
What genre(s) would you like to write that you haven’t tried yet?
I would like to write a straight romance someday. But so far, I’ve written military SF, milSF/romance, funny fantasy, urban fantasy, romantic fantasy…so far, I haven’t had a story idea that didn’t have some sort of SF or F element to it. And until I do, I just won’t write that straight romance as it would be an utter bore.
What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?
I have two degrees in music, a Bachelor’s and a Master’s. I play the saxophone, clarinet, and oboe, and compose music.
Why should readers who haven’t picked up one of your books before give this one a try?
I think most people will enjoy the romance, the humor, the coming of age stuff, and the fact that the story doesn’t take itself too seriously. (I also would like to think that Sarah isn’t the only one who loves Bruno. Though perhaps only Sarah should love him romantically, as that last would just be weird.)
Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers?
Thanks for giving a little-known author a try! I hope you’ll enjoy my work.
Where to buy A Little Elfy in Big Trouble
Publisher (sample chapters): http://www.twilighttimesbooks.com/ElfyinBigTrouble_ch1.html
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-little-elfy-in-big-trouble-barb-caffrey/1123003283
Barb Caffrey Social Media
Amazon Author Page https://www.amazon.com/Barb-Caffrey/e/B00H8EROC8