German-Cheyenne Crossover? Seriously?
I’m German bred and raised but always had a huge interest in American Indian mythology and history. Which isn’t as weird as it sounds – there is a massive interest in US Western history in Germany, mainly due to late 19th century writer Karl May who strangely never made it to North America. His main heroes are blood brothers Old Shatterhand and Winnetou, Chief of the Apaches. The books are still as popular today as they were 120 years ago. Doesn’t hurt that the 1960 actors Pierre Brice and Lex Barker (of Tarzan fame) were seriously gorgeous!
I don’t personally know any Cheyenne people and while I will do my best to be respectful to beliefs and culture, Spirit Elfen is fiction. So if any Cheyenne out there feel like they want to help me with local and tribal knowledge, please contact me! I would be very appreciative 🙂
So What is Spirit Elfen About?
I got up early, wrote 1500 words yesterday, feel motivated to write more today and generally, had a blast researching images for my pinterest board Spirit Elfen. So here is my quick and dirty summary:
Adi who dreams of earning her hostile family’s respect, begins to suffer from hallucinations that rapidly drive her to the edge of sanity. Honiahaka, a young Cheyenne student, has the answer to her problems but isn’t sure that helping Adi is worth interrupting his studies. Soon the situation spirals out of control and both Adi and Honi are drawn into a whirlwind of spiritual and physical danger. Can the knowledge of Cheyenne and German mythology offer the answer to survival? Or is the difference in their backgrounds too large to overcome?
I love the tension between the heroine’s mundane life and her heritage. She’s been forced to fight against her family’s and her own expectations. Even harder to find out that everything she thought she knew, doesn’t apply anymore. Good thing she meets a mysterious boy who might help her?
Ooooh, I’m excited to write this!
Meet the Romantic Leads of Spirit Elfen
The images are representative of the casting I envisage, should this book ever be optioned for a movie (one can dream, no?) Obviously they’re totally cliche, but hey, it’s my Kopfkino (cinema inside my head) as we say here 🙂
Adi’s mom was German and her dad is from a very wealthy family. When he married beneath his station, his family wasn’t happy and particularly his mother (Adi’s Grandmother) hated her daughter-in-law. Adi stayed in Germany for most of her childhood and teenage years because of the friction. Her father wisely set up a trust-fund in her name that his family can only access if Adi is declared mentally unfit to handle her own finances.
The story begins as Adi pursues a German degree to fulfill her dream of one day teaching the language and culture herself.
Adi is very plain looking (at least at the beginning), a hard-working student who suffered some trauma in her childhood when she experienced visions. Her parents were so worried about the mental health that Adi had to undergo psychiatric treatment until her hallucinations went away. She has very low self-esteem and is desperate to gain respect from her peers, her teachers and above all, her family.
Honiahaka Clearsight Fisher
Honi is a young Cheyenne student whose studies are financed by his extended family and tribe. He is mentored by a family friend who understands Honi’s gift of being able to see Spirit Animals. In this ‘verse, Spirit Animals represent people’s souls and character, and Honi has spent years of rigorous training learning to control his gift. He is a gorgeous dork, isolated from the rest of the students who think he’s weird. When he’s with his family, he comes into his own, proud, self-confident but at Uni, he’s introvert and ill at ease.
When he meets Adi, he sees her for who she is but has to take a decision whether helping her is worth interrupting his studies and potentially disappointing his sponsors.
The two are such odd-balls, pushed apart because of totally different backgrounds and goals in life, but drawn together because of their shared Gift but also very very strong chemistry. Yep, there will be physical reactions like lighting strikes!
And yes, I will allow my kids to read an edited version of the final book 🙂
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