I've been spending my day today mocking up covers for my trunk novels. Could there be any more pointless use of one's time, I ask you.
"A party of elves are going on a quest. Their aim is to steal a gigantic ruby from a unicorn."
(from the Magic Realism Bot on Twitter)
Next thing I knew, I was down a rabbit hole, researching everything I could on elvish lore, Old Norse customs, mythology, and rituals, and all things fae. I think I came up for air twice. I had too many sources to list here, but suffice to say, I did my due diligence on this one, for sure. And there was more world building happening, too. Couldn't be helped. A few months before NaNo, I signed up for Neil Gaiman's Masterclass on Storytelling. One of the exercises had to do with taking a fairy tale/myth/legend and twisting it. I wrote a long short story/novella based on Beauty & the Beast, and titled it, "Tale As Old As." I discovered a character that wanted me to put them in everything from that point on. This member of the Seelie/Unseelie court is an agent of change, and is so much fun to write about that they got their way.
They have a substantial role in "The Stolen Heart," which is about a group of elves who go on a quest to a cave along the West Coast to steal a giant heart-shaped ruby, part of Oberon's horde, which is guarded by a fae security group. They're duty bound to do this, since the head of their House answered a young woman's plea during an álfablót. The ruby is integral to the young woman's destiny. Where the ruby came from, why she needs it, and where it ends up, form the plot of the tale that spans multiple generations. And I work in my re-imagining of the Wild Hunt while I'm at it. And there's dogs in it, too.