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Feechies And Hobbits

I love Hobbits. I loved them before I became a writer, and I love them more now. In my way of thinking, the ultimate in creativity is to concoct legend, starting with legendary creatures. Hobbits are just such beings, springing […]

I love Hobbits. I loved them before I became a writer, and I love them more now. In my way of thinking, the ultimate in creativity is to concoct legend, starting with legendary creatures. Hobbits are just such beings, springing entirely from J. R. R. Tolkien’s imagination.

Among Christian fantasy writers today, there are other writers who are in the imaginary creature creation business. Donita Paul comes to mind with her seven high races and her seven low races. Another such writer is Jonathan Rogers, he of The Wilderking Trilogy (B&H Publishing).

This month the CSFF Blog Tour is featuring his The Charlatan’s Boy (WaterBrook), a story set in the same world and featuring his delightful creature creation, the feechies.

In thinking about how an author goes about creating an entirely other race, I see several components that both Tolkien and Rogers did. First, hobbits and feechies both have something distinct about their physical appearance.

The former are quite short, averaging three and a half feet in height, and they have curly hair covering their leathery (no shoes necessary) feet. They live long lives, somewhere around 130 years.

Feechies, on the other hand, are known “to be wiry and sinewy” according to Dr. Rogers. They have one long eyebrow that runs almost from ear to ear. Their ears stick out from their heads and their chins are weak.

Unique physical appearance, while necessary, is not the most significant part of these legendary creatures, however. Habits, habitat, and culture are more important.

Hobbits, for example, are known for their love of food. They are homebodies, living when they can, in holes in the side of a hill, and prefer to keep to themselves. Family lineage is quite important, to the point that clannish rifts develop.

Feechies are primarily denizens of the swamp, though there have been known to be beach feechies and mountain feechies. The key is that they live away from civilizers. Their lives are free from the restrictions of city life. They might best be known for their love of fighting.

Tolkien gave his hobbits unique traditions such as birthday parties thrown by the one who is celebrating. Rogers gave his feechies a unique voice. Their conversation is coarser, more honest, lighter, as evidenced by their feechie love poems that hold a prominent place in the Wilderking Trilogy. (For Dr. Rogers’ feedback in connection to the Feechie Love Poem Contest, visit Sally Apokedak‘s site.).

Interestingly, both hobbits and feechies have their own system of governance, not so different from human forms, and both are susceptible to outside forces that wish to harm or undermine their way of life for some greedy purpose.

Perhaps those are the only similarities. If I had to summarize each people group with a single word, I’d probably say hobbits are staid while feechies are wild.

That I can think of a single word to characterize these imaginary beings is a testament to the creative powers of their respective authors. May feechies become as well known in the years to come as hobbits are today. (For more information about feechies, visit the Feechie Film Festival).

I’d also like to invite you to visit other bloggers participating in the CSFF Tour for The Charlatan’s Boy

Sally Apokedak
Amy Bissell
Red Bissell
Jennifer Bogart
Thomas Clayton Booher
Keanan Brand
Beckie Burnham
Jeff Chapman
Christian Fiction Book Reviews
Valerie Comer
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
April Erwin
Andrea Graham
Tori Greene
Katie Hart
Bruce Hennigan
Christopher Hopper
Becky Jesse
Cris Jesse
Jason Joyner
Julie
Carol Keen
Shannon McDermott
Allen McGraw
Matt Mikalatos
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Nissa
Donita K. Paul
SarahFlan
Sarah Sawyer
Chawna Schroeder
Tammy Shelnut
Kathleen Smith
James Somers
Donna Swanson
Robert Treskillard
Fred Warren
Phyllis Wheeler
Nicole White
Elizabeth Williams

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[…] K. Paul SarahFlan Sarah Sawyer Chawna Schroeder Tammy Shelnut √ Kathleen Smith James Somers √ Speculative Faith Donna Swanson Robert Treskillard Fred Warren Phyllis Wheeler Nicole White […]

Jonathan Rogers
Guest

If I’m not mistaken, several chapters of the Silmarillion are devoted to the feechiefolks. Maybe some of the Tolkien experts around here can clarify that.

Seriously, it’s an honor to have the feechies mentioned alongside hobbits. The feechies are honored too. I should point out, though, that the feechies are a tribe, not a race. This fact is significant by the end of the Wilderking Trilogy, for reasons that I won’t spoil here for any readers who haven’t read the Wilderking Trilogy.

We need to figure out how to revive the Feechie love poetry contest. That was fun.

Krysti
Guest

If you do revive the Feechie love poetry contest, Jonathan, please be sure to let us all know!

Sally Apokedak
Guest

Great post! I hadn’t thought about the fact that all the really great fantasy writers make up races…you have one of those made-up races, too, Becky. One day we will be reviewing your books and talking about your brilliant ranja (am I spelling that right?).

And thanks for the reminder about the feechie love poetry contest. It was so much fun. I lost a hunk of my blog shortly after that, wiped out my database. I was so happy when I found the old feechie poetry posts through Google’s cached pages feature. I reloaded them onto the site so they look a little odd, but at least the content is there. If I’d known you were going to link to them I’d have cleaned them up a bit.

Let’s have another contest. I really think this one should be a cowboy song contest, though.

Maybe.

Did you all go see the movies at the Feechie Film Festival? Those are a lot of fun.

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[…] Sarah Sawyer Chawna Schroeder Tammy Shelnut Kathleen Smith James Somers Spec Faith Donna Swanson Robert Treskillard Fred Warren Phyllis Wheeler Nicole White Elizabeth Williams Dave […]

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[…] Sarah Sawyer Chawna Schroeder Tammy Shelnut Kathleen Smith James Somers Spec Faith Donna Swanson Robert Treskillard Fred Warren Phyllis Wheeler Nicole White Elizabeth Williams Dave […]

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[…] wrote reviews, a number have linked to the hilarious Feechie Film Festival, as I did at Speculative Faith in my look at how J. R. R. Tolkien’s creation of hobbits has similarities to Jonathan […]

Kaci Hill
Member

Just popping in to say I’m looking forward to this one. I happened to order from the online store and have a full set of signed copies of the trilogy with lovely gators drawn on them. 0=)