Monday, April 08, 2013

FIRE! It's Elemental

Today's guest, Heather James, tells us how she uses the four ancient elements in her fantasy series. First up, we have FIRE. FREE COPY OF FIRE TO ONE COMMENTER.

My decision to use the elements initially stemmed from my desire to have characters who could form and manipulate fire; I liked the idea of the power, particularly the dangerous edge to it. The concept of a world with four realms, each with an affinity for a different element, seemed to fit in nicely with this, as it created a balance, but also an immediate conflict between the locations. I wanted to write a story which explored ideas of racism, but didn't want it to be solely based on skin colour or religion - the elemental links gave me another method.

Everything about each realm can be linked to their element: the people's personality, the climate, the geography, the way in which their people live.

Although each of the four realms is linked to an element, only certain members of those realms have fantasy, element-based 'powers'. They are called 'Protectors' since it is their job to guard their realm. The power is inherited, but having a parent who is a protector doesn't guarantee that you will be one; sometimes the gene will lay dormant for a few generations

Protectors in the fire realm (Helians) can produce and manipulate fire - their power is therefore a very literal representation of the element. Helians also have very 'fiery' personalities: they are quick to anger and also have darker, more menacing intentions than the other Realms. They also live inland and avoid water as much as possible.

In the air realm (Arcans), Protectors can manipulate the air to form anything from a gentle breeze to a small tornado. I tried to play on the insult 'air head' and members of the other realms all believe that the Arcans are a bit dim. Their realm is cold and mountainous.

Brizan Protectors from the water realm can produce and manipulate water. They are a very emotional people and are also changeable, like the sea: one minute they will be calm and happy, the next explosively angry. They live on a collection of islands and spend much of their time out at sea.

I had to take a slightly less literal approach for the earth realm (Sephans) since producing dirt didn't seem very useful. Instead, Sephan Protectors can create earthquakes, prompt the growth of plants and also communicate with animals. They are the 'hippy' realm, with handmade clothes and rustic, outdoor homes. They are also the only realm to have a democracy, since I felt that it fitted in well with their philosophy.

The Synopsis:
Is control over the elements a gift, or a curse?

Roxy thinks that she is in control of everything: with flames flaring at her fingertips and an equally fiery attitude, what more could she need? Then she meets Brae, a prince from a rival Realm, who turns her assumptions of superiority upside down.

Jasmine has none of Roxy’s confidence or intensity. But she does have a secret - and Brae - and she’s not going to give either up willingly.

"Fire" is available for only 99 cents (or equivalent) at Amazon, Amazon UK (plus other countries), B&N, and Kobo.


Heather James is a young-adult author who writes about heroines with amazing powers, heroes who will break your heart and fantasy realms that you will want to move to.

She works in the attendance office of a South-East London secondary school and spends her school holidays writing, reading, playing flag-American football and using Pinterest.

Find Heather on her website: 


  1. Thanks, Heather. I have an elemental spirit in one of my stories, so familiarized myself with the four elements. Good post on how you use this ancient concept in your book.

  2. An interesting sounding set of realms. Will be interesting to see how the different elemental types play out against each other

  3. Congratulations on the release of FIRE. So many new series focusing on elementals ....