Elfhunter by C.S. Marks

Welcome to Author C.S. Marks

C.S. Marks has often been described as a ‘Renaissance woman’. The child of an English professor, Chris has always loved classic literature as well as epic fantasy, and decided to try her hand atwriting and illustrating an epic series. The result: The very successful Elfhunter trilogy, which has sold over 40,000 copies both in print and e-book form. This epic trilogy has garnered awards (Reviewer’s Choice Best Fantasy, Best Series) and nearly 200 reviews. She is now hard at work on an exciting new Alterran series, the Undiscovered Realms.
An experienced  field biologist and avid horsewoman, Chris holds a PhD in Biology, and has competed both nationally and internationally in the sport of endurance riding. She is a full professor of equine science at a small liberal arts college in the midwest. She is in demand as a lecturer and presenter at conventions, academic fairs, and publishing workshops.

While Chris has enjoyed an ample measure of success as an independent author, she is now looking forward to a long and productive relationship with Parthian Press, bringing her wonderful Tales of Alterra to an ever-widening group of appreciative readers of all ages.


If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you?

1. My computer (with internet access)

2. A solar battery charger for said computer

3. A lifetime supply of Atkins caramel double chocolate crunch bars.

Presumably, if I had my computer,I could not only continue writing and editing, but I could probably e-mail someone to come and rescue me. Then I wouldn’t feel compelled to strand the editor on the island with me. The caramel double chocolate crunch bars could be brought back to be consumed later, after I’ve been rescued. Now, of course, if the desert island is Australia, I’d be fine anyway. No worries.
If you were a superhero what would your name be?
Well, according to one method, which is to combine the color of the shirt you’re wearing with the object to your immediate right, I would be known as “The Black Credenza”. All in all, I’ve given a lot more thought to what I would be called if I were a pirate. “Cap’n Fistulous Withers” at your service! 

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
Breakfast? What’s “breakfast”?

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
IF the book appeals to you, then you should read it, because it will make us both very happy.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
Currently working on a new novella for the “Alterra Histories” series, as well as the second book in the “Undiscovered Realms” series. “The Fire King” graphic novel is planned for 2013, as well.
Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
I’m going to cheat and group these all together. Without a doubt, the greatest reward comes from the readers–particularly the young ones–who have been thrilled, inspired, and even supported by these books. One reader in particular rises to the fore: according to her father, she had been bullied at school, but she overcame all her anxieties about it once she learned to “take Gaelen with her”. My books helped that wonderful, intelligent young soul survive a very difficult time. That’s more than enough reason to keep writing them.
If you could jump in to a book and live in that world, which would it be?
I do that every time I sit down to write in Alterra.
Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters?
Actually, “Dante’s Prayer” is Gorgon’s theme song. (That, and “Another one Bites the Dust”…)
What is your favorite Quote?
From Milton: “The mind is its own place, and of itself can create a heaven of hell, or a hell of heaven.”
When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
Actually, I wanted to be a horse.
Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
Most definitely. After all, it’s not really their POV, is it? It’s my POV interpreted through the framework of each character. Since I direct them, a part of me lurks in every one of them. However, the two characters who most closely reflect me as an individual are Gaelen and Fima. Gaelen behaves the way I would like to be able to behave; Fima is a more realistic portrayal. Both have been afflicted with heavy doses of my personality.
If you were a super hero what would your kryptonite be?
“Froot Loops”.
What do you do in your free time?
Free time? What’s “free time”? Does it have anything to do with “breakfast”?
What’s your favorite season/weather?
Ok, I’m weird. I love autumn, and that’s not weird, but my favorite weather is blustery, grey, chilly–you know, “Heathcliff on the Moors” weather. The only down side is the velcro required to stay on a snorty horse in such weather.  The up side: it’s perfect writing weather.
Who or what inspired you to become an author?
Actually, it was my Dad.  A Professor of Literature, he surrounded me with classics, encouraged me to delve into them, and instilled in me a love of words. He taught me the value of a good book–that it can be so much more than mere entertainment. Good books are thought-provoking; they foster empathy and introspection. He did not live to see my work in print, to my great regret.

What is your guilty pleasure?
“Froot Loops”.

Favorite music?
Celtic.  I love Loreena McKennitt, Clannad, Moira Brennan, etc. I have a good voice for it myself.

Favorite smell?
Personally, I’m partial to “Avid Elfhunter Reader”.
If you had 24 hours alone how would you spend it?
Probably yelling “Help! Somebody lemme out!”

Favorite quote from a movie?
“You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”
–Chief Brody, from”Jaws”
C.S. Marks’ Office

How long do you generally let a story idea ‘marinate’ in your brain before you start the book?

Usually, I marinate the story for at least twelve hours, or overnight. Then I bake it at three hundred twenty five degrees, or until golden. THEN I start the book!
If you could take over the world, would you?
Lord, no! I already have my own world to deal with. (Interpret that however you like…)
If you were on Death Row what would your last meal be?
Definitely NOT “Froot Loops”.
What words or expression do you overuse?
This is a totally awesome question, and I have an awesome answer. I’m so totally awesome that I never overuse any expression, no matter how totally awesome it might be.
What is your favorite scene in the book? Which scene or characters were the most difficult for you to write and why?
Favorite scene is tough to describe without spoilers, but I can definitely state that Gorgon Elfhunter was the most difficult character to write. To put myself in the place of a twisted, sociopathic killer is not something I do every day, and it challenged me. That said, I truly enjoyed writing Gorgon. He’s my favorite character in the series.

Do you write as you go or do you have the book all planned out from page 1?
I’m not a hard planner. I know where each book begins, and I know where I think it will end, but I  let the characters drive–they choose the route taken, and they never fail to get me there.

Do your friends or enemies ever find themselves in your books?

Write a Haiku about your book
Elf and Monster bound,

Will either find redemption?

Read it and find out!

Favorite Authors:

Charles Dickens, Stephen King, J.R.R. Tolkien, Richard Adams, James Herriot, and, if cartoonists count, Bill Watterson and Gary Larson.

Pieces of advice you would tell the “teen”you:
“One day, you will accept the fact that you’re a geek. You’ll marry the most wonderful geek in the world, and you’ll both be happy. Get over it!”

“Never, ever whine. Whining is the mind-killer. Whining is the little death that brings total obliteration…probably from the people around you.”

“Keep riding, keep reading, keep writing. These things will being you joy until your dying day.”

“Start thinking about how you can use your talents to enrich the lives of others, not just your own.”

“When the opportunity comes for you to trade for that little grey mare, the Naborr grand-daughter, TAKE it!”
Movies you never want to see again:

“The Dark Knight”.

Anything featured on MST3K, unless it’s while enjoying MST3K.

Movie you watch over and over again:

“Rango”, “Watership Down”, “The Gamers: Dorkness Rising”, “A Christmas Story”, “Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion”, “Real Genius”, “Revenge of the Nerds”, “Finding Nemo”, “A Knight’s Tale”.

Pet peeves:

Rude, inconsiderate people. Hateful people. Unnecessary vulgarity. Being interrupted by some trivial matter while writing. Meddling Sanctimony. Whining and making excuses for lack of performance/achievement. People who “play the victim”.

Author This or That

Night owl, or early bird? 

Early bird. It’s obligatory when you have livestock.

Print or Ebook? 

Print for favorites, e-books for all.

Regular or Diet? 

Diet. It saves on embalming costs later.

Coke or Pepsi? 


Pizza or Pasta? 

I have to CHOOSE??? (Runs off to commit Seppuku)

Skittles or M&Ms? 

M&Ms, preferably with almonds.

City or Country? 

Country with occasional infusions of City

Harry Potter or Twilight? 

Harry Potter all the way!

Gum or Breath Mints? 

Gum. It keeps me from falling asleep at the wheel.

Spontaneity or Planning Ahead? 


PC or Mac? 

Mac. I have an excellent personal reason for this–it helped me get rid of a stalker who worked for Microsoft.

Beach or Pool? 

Beach. There are relatively few interesting creatures in a pool, and I doubt I’d enjoy anything that has “washed up” from a pool. (shudder!) I love beach-combing.

Shoes or Sandals? 

Shoes! I have horses.

Cats or Dog? 

Dog. I love my barn cats, but the dogs share the house.

Apples or Oranges? 

Apples. Love the HoneyCrisp ones, especially if they’re organic.

Heads or Tails? 

Well, heads are more interesting…I mean, they talk, and have facial expressions, and all that. If I’m paying attention to tails, they’re either wagging happily, or switching in preparation for kicking me.

Facebook or Twitter? 

(I don’t know…I haven’t learned to use Twitter. I’m so ashamed…)

Truth or Dare? 


Text or Talk? 

Talk. (Is the fact that I’m a dinosaur apparent to everyone yet?)

Introvert or Extrovert? 

I’m an Introverted Extrovert! 

Character This or That with Gordon

Hot or Cold?
I prefer my Elves cold, thank you.

Night owl, or early bird?
Night owl. Duh.

Horror or Romance?
I’ve always been partial to horror. Ummm…what’s “romance”?

Action or Drama?
Action, followed by a LOT of drama!

Sweet or Salty?
Can I pick “bloody”?

Gum or Breath Mints?
“What are ‘breath mints’?”

Spontaneity or Planning Ahead?
Well, let’s see…it kinda depends. I mean, if I happen to see Elves in the area, I might spontaneously kill them. If, on the other hand, I know where they’re going to be in advance, I’ll plan to kill them.

Cats or Dog?
I prefer cats. They torture their victims really, really well.

Truth or Dare?
Try to handle the truth. I dare you!

Introvert or Extrovert?
I see myself as introverted. I mean, as one who enjoys spending time deep under mountains in dark caverns, reflecting on past kills, I’d say that qualifies. I mean, I do this for YEARS sometimes. On the other hand, I enjoy pina coladas and getting caught in the rain…


This is the tale of Gorgon Elfhunter, a monstrous, mysterious creature who has sworn to destroy all the Elves of Alterra—until none remain. It is the story of Wood-elven heroine Gaelen Taldin, who has sworn to rid her world of the Elfhunter even as she is hunted by him. The conflict between them creates a tangled web that blurs the line between Light and Darkness, love and obsession, free will and fate. Filled with moments both tender and terrifying, thrilling yet thought-provoking, it is a timeless epic fantasy suitable for readers of all ages. Join the Company of Elves, dwarves, mortal men, and delightfully intelligent horses. Come to Alterra—the “World that Is”.

Newly remastered by Parthian Press, with illustrations by the incomparable Hope Hoover, this second edition will intrigue and delight fans of the series as well as those who have yet to discover it.

The Fire King

The first in the Alterra Histories series of NOVELLAS from the author of the Elfhunter trilogy:

Invincible. Unconquerable. Fearless.

It’s no longer enough…

…not for Aincor Fire-heart, the first High Elven King of Alterra.
For Aincor’s reign, his power, his life itself – is about to change.

After charging headlong into a conflict that plunges all of Alterra into war, Aincor must face a force of such power and terror that none may stand against it. Despite unrivaled skill, pride, and valor, no one is truly invincible…or fearless. As the Flame struggles against the Shadow, Aincor’s secret, hidden dread rises up to torment him. Will it stand in the way of victory?

If the King falls – what of the Kingdom?

From the creator of the beloved ELFHUNTER Series comes a tale of fate and faith, of the eternal but never certain struggle of Light against Darkness, of the power of love itself – as a King is forced to confront that which is in himself, that which is in us all.


Giveaway Details
1 print copy of The Fire King + Ebook of Elfhunter
4 ebooks of Elfhunter
Ends 2/15/13

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