» Elaine Corvidae Biography
by Marion Phillips - November 5, 2003
Elaine Corvidae is a new writer, whose books are available only online, because when she offered her books for publishers, they refused her stories, due to the "twist" she gives to her tales. But maybe what happened is that they didn't recognize her talent yet and the unusual quality of her stories.
A Different Perspective
Elaine Corvidae was born in 1967, and when she was 8 years old, she decided that she wanted to be a writer and through her teens, she developed her first werewolf characters, based on several sources, from the movie "Ladyhawke" to the illustrations of Robert Gould and as a means to escape the frustrations of life.
Corvidae already worked as an office assistant, an archaelogist and still keeps a part-time job as a raptor rehabilitation assistant. In 1996, after much writing, she released her first e-book called "Wolfkin".
Her stories are carefully crafted. Corvidae does a lot of research on historical and religious backgrounds, and to describe her werewolf characters better, she even studied wolf behavior and body language, so that her character's attitudes would be more "realistic".
Another example of her care in conceiving her stories is that for the "Wolfkin" story, she created another race of non-humans, the Aclytes, to counterpart with the werewolf one.
Basing on the conflicts that have been common throughout human history, on humans fighting amongst themselves due to cultural, racial and religious differences, especially anti-semitism and racism in Southern US, she created this race, that is ostracized and oppressed by the human society and which has as many rights as ancient Roman slaves had.
Corvidae also changed some details of the werewolf legend to a more realistic approach, when she realized that the traditional werewolf legends weren't very accurate when they described the mind of the werewolf, as always they are described as keeping a human mind.
So she decided that her characters needed to have a different kind of consciousness when in the shape of wolves, they needed to see and rationalize things in a different way. The result is that Corvidae's characters have as much of the human element in their attitudes as the wolf element.
Against The Current
But she doesn't only write about werewolves. Her "Winter's Orphan" story is about a half-dark fae called Mina Cole, who discovers that due to her father's nature, she has the powers of winter and night.
And at the same time that she has to learn how to deal with her powers, she has also to escape the light faes who want to destroy all those with her powers and still keep her job in a textile mill. For this book, she earned several awards, including the Dream Realm Award in 2002.
This book shows other differences from the general fantasy stories: the story is placed in the 19th century, the heroine is a blue collar worker and the hero is a venerable 53 years old man that relies on a wheelchair for moving.
There's "Tyrant Moon", a novel placed in the Bronze Age that tells the story of a warrior tribeswoman, who with the help of a mage called Thraxis, tries to stop a rogue wizard from destroying her people. Its sequel, "Heretic Sun" is about Thraxis and his wife Arrow (his warrior companion in the last story), who get back to his homeland to fight against the Black Council and on the way several shocking truths are revealed about his life.
Then there's "The Ghost Eater" a story placed in a quasi post-conquest North America, that is about an undead Cherokee shaman who's member of one of the last three free native people.
Her Method Of Working
Elaine Corvidae is an avid reader, like all good writers need to be, and she devours 2-3 books a week and even more when she's researching for a story. Her method of working is doing some writing in the morning before going to work and her ideas come more easily when she's listening to music while driving her car.
She's the kind of writer who prefers to have a plot to follow and who makes all kinds of lists to facilitate access to information and to organize her ideas on the characters personalities and backgrounds.
When imagining the characters, Corvidae puts together characteristics from all kinds of sources, either from people she knows or things she read and saw. Then she starts to answer simple questions to develop her characters' personalities and backgrounds, and then she purifies the ideas, so that they won't be too clichéd.
Being totally against discrimination, Elaine Corvidae tries to be fair to all kinds of people in her books, including people of all ages, sexual preferences and racial differences. In summary, Elaine is a writer of complex and non-clichéd books. Her purpose is to offer something new or at least to give a different answer of those that most writers give.
She's currently earning her M.S. in Biology and she recently published the sequels to "Wolfkin", "Crow Queen" and "Dragon's Son".
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Copyright © 2003 Marion Phillips