Monday, 26 May 2014

Sharp Dark Things III - Sprax


I can't continue telling you about SDT without explaining about Faetaera (pronounced Fay-terra). The novel is nothing without this fairy world. It is intrinsically linked with events in Alanna's life. She inadvertently becomes aware of it when she discovers that her mother is ill.

"Alanna was certain she saw a previously unnoticed jaundiced nimbus around her mother's seated figure. And a host of nightmare creatures consisting mainly of sharp dark claws and daggers were hacking away at Moxi's aura, tearing jagged holes, leaving ugly serrated edges; all the while grimacing with pleasure." © Rae Stoltenkamp

Alanna is pulled into it further when she meets the pixie Sprax who she believes she has manifested through a kind of spell she created when she wrote a WANTED ad at the back of her sketch book.



She is fully convinced she has conjured him into being when he appears shortly after she has written this ad.

He mentions other characters which sound vaguely familiar to her but Alanna is unable to establish why they seem so.

Sprax's Prejudice
"gnomes is double snake eyes"

Through Sprax's tales of his world Alanna becomes familiar with all the major players in Faetaera as well as certain of Sprax's prejudices, particularly towards gnomes.

Sprax is crucial to helping Alanna come through her grief as whole as possible. His role in her recovery cannot be stressed enough, especially since Alanna feels she can't rely on the help of Aunt Fran or her father.



The Low Down on Sprax

He's a pixie. Usually they hang around in big gangs called a paggle.

"From his vantage point on the roof of the cathedral Rufus watched the action below. Pixies always wandered round in paggles but this was different. They milled seemingly aimlessly by the fountain in the main square. Their eighteen centimetre high bodies were covered in images like nothing Rufus had ever seen before. He blinked to allow his vision to zoom in closer. Their pink and orange tinged skin was covered in a series of chunky white ticks; interlocked letters, a y interlocked with an es and an el; stylized crocodiles and words in elaborate fonts he did not know the meanings of. These letters and images covered their bodies so fully that he could scarcely see the original pixie tones beneath them.© Rae Stoltenkamp

Sprax is rather different as he prefers the company of one so has opted to be a Questor Solus. This means he has devoted his life to acting as a muse figure to someone with significant artistic talents. Each questor is assigned a particular person and Alanna is Sprax's person. This is a job for life and once the questor's person dies so does the pixie. 

*****
I plan to bring you regular updates on the Faetaera drawings Sarah is creating for me and with each drawing I'll give some information on the character and his/her importance in the scheme of things.


Sarah in her own words  
I am an artist/writer. I studied fine art at Winchester School of Art, majoring in Sculpture.  My visions are grand.  My ability to make anything stand upright without falling apart, usually relies on a miracle!!!

"If you have a smile on your face and a song
 in your heart, your toes are tapping then you've got the world."



For this reason I have turned to the safety of my sketchbooks and writing pads where I channel my thoughts and ideas into stories. I also paint and illustrate.




Currently I am working as a waitress. Think Bridget Jones in an apron and there I am! I love whatever I do.


With grateful thanks to Sarah Pennock for the illustrations contained in this and subsequent blogs.

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