by Urmila Ramakrishnan, Isanti County News
Craig Yelle mingles enticing plots with fantasy and the supernatural.
The Elk River resident is a seasoned fantasy fiction author. He wrote his first novel back in the ‘90s. “Reclaiming Ter Chadain” combines sorceresses with an epic tale of royalty, and the story continues in the second book of the series, “Black Stones of Ter Chadain.”
But it’s Yelle’s novel, “Taking Angels,” that hosts his favorite character, Kendal. The story takes an ethereal twist on addiction, following immortals called “eternals.” These characters, including Kendal, have special powers to take away mortals’ guardian angels, which guide them to the after life when they die. Kendal — the antagonist of the story — is addicted to pulling these guardian angels out of humans, essentially killing them.
“He’s kind of one of those what-you-see-is-what-you-get characters,” Yelle said. “He has no apologies for it, but yet he doesn’t necessarily like what he is doing. I liked writing him because he was kind of snarky.”
Yelle developed Kendal based on his own obsessions.
“I tried to think of my addiction,” Yelle said. “I love chocolate, so I tried to intensify it. From what I know about addiction, it was fun to develop him in a way that made him not all-bad. He can evolve, but addiction is pulling him back from things.”
Yelle weaves fantasy into stories that could do just as well on their own, he said. With “Taking Angels,” the story mixes love with addiction and murder.
“A lot of people spend too much time on the supernatural, and get lost in the plot,” Yelle said. “ I like to think that I write good stories, and the supernatural just enhances the plot but doesn’t carry it.”
If Yelle took out all the supernatural elements in “Taking Angels,” Kendel would still be a serial killer, stated Yelle.
“There’s still a plot there,” Yelle added.
He’s already well on his way to continuing the series and other fiction works.
“With series writing, you get inside the characters’ heads,” Yelle said. “You can just kind of pick up where you left off. It’s like visiting old friends.”
Ter Chadain’s third installment will be available for readers in the fall.
Yelle will also be releasing a young adult urban fantasy e-book in the near future. It follows genetically-modified teenagers generated by the CIA after the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001. The teens are forced to serve as spies in Northern Minnesota when they turn 16.
For more information, visit www.scoutandmorganbooks.com.