OH MY GOSH!!!!
Now that I'm done freaking out, today's FAQ is the most asked question of the year. And it's the most complicated to answer, but I'll try to keep it as succinct as possible.
FAQ--Why do the Alfar have jewel-toned eyes?
First of all, trying to create a different race of people is just as difficult as creating a new land, but the same principles apply. Readers have to have an anchor, something that helps tie fantasy to reality. The trait must be distinguishable but not get in the way of the storyline.
The difference between human and Alfar eyes is explained in The Secret of the Keepers, and so today I'll concentrate on why the characters were given their specific eye colors. As with everything, there is significance in the choices made.
Gavin--I researched personality traits of eyes and discovered that people with green eyes yearn for lasting relationships. They are extremely passionate and long for the touch of another. Symbolically though, Emeralds in the Bible reference the glories of God, flourishing, essence of life, growth, and prosperity. Sounds like Gavin, doesn't it? :- )
Nora--In the beginning of the book, Nora's eyes are hazel. They actually are fashioned after Kate's (my daughter) eyes. It made perfect sense to me that people with hazel eyes are known to be beauties. They have unusual relationships, and are masters of diversity. They also jump in when trying new things, and they rarely say no to a challenge. After the golden lake changes Nora's eyes to light brown topaz, symbolism takes over. Biblically the topaz family represents beauty, worthiness, and honor.
Malachi--Obviously there are no personality traits that I could research on diamond eyes, but Malachi came into my head that way and so that's what I went with. Symbolically, however, diamonds represent stability, brilliancy, virtuous, and right standing with God.
Tark---Tark's a lot like Malachi in that no one has Lapis stone colored eyes. Symbolically though, Lapis is known best for its healing powers and bringing a sense of peace. It is said to have calming effects and was a gem for the kings of Egypt. It also is known to protect the wearer from emotional harm. I liked the fact that Lapis protects. Just seemed right that Rena's mate would have Lapis eyes.
Elias-- Ah, my man, Elias. He had have to have Sapphire eyes. People with blue eyes are intense, they love long lasting relationships, and they are kind. Symbolically, sapphires are mentioned several times in the bible, from Exodus in the old testament all the way to the book of Revelations. In most of these passages, sapphires represents guarding or protecting in someway. Aaron's breastplate and the new Jeruseleum wall in Revelations both have Sapphires in them. But what I really love is that Sapphires represent foundational truth.
Elaine--Jade has been used for thousands of years in ancient Egypt and by the mayans. It is said to have a connection to the divine and the eternal, but what I love about Jade is it is a stone that brings balance. Between Elias' intensity and Gavin's passion, Elaine does just that, doesn't she?
Queen Lera--light purple in Lera's opal eyes was an obvious reference to royalty. The reason for the opal is the fact that it's my mother's favorite gemstone, and it seemed appropriate being that my Great grandmother's name was Lera. Thought I'd keep it in the fam. :-D As to the symbolism, opals are known for their ability to help the wearer see both sides of an issue. They help bring balance when giving and receiving.
This will the be last "behind the scene" post until the third book gets ready to go live. In a little under 48 hours I'll be starting a new frequently asked question pile, so keep the questions coming!