Mark J. Grant, a graduate of Occidental College, has been on Wall Street for thirty-seven years in various senior management positions. He has run capital markets for four investment banks and been on the boards of directors of four investment banks. Grant also writes “Out of the Box,” a commentary on the financial markets that is distributed daily to approximately 5,000 large money management institutions in forty-eight countries. He is the author of Out of the Box and onto Wall Street: Unorthodox Insights on Investments and the Economy (Wiley, 2011). LILA: THE SIGN OF THE ELVEN QUEEN is his first novel.
7 Things About Lila: The Sign of the Elven Queen You Might Not Know
by Mark J. Grant
1. It all began at a dinner party at my house. I had some friends over and they were complaining that there were no nice books, no fairy tales, no Alice in Wonderland’s available in the world any longer. They said every book had he who could not be named or giant spiders or monsters or vampires or skulls and crossbones. There was nothing out there to read to their kids or have their older children read. This was quite a topic of conversation. I said that they had to be kidding, but if that was the case then I would write such a book. It would be a lovely fantasy that would not scare any child. They all looked at me with some disbelief but I did exactly what I promised. Lila—the Sign of the Elven Queen is my answer to their distress.
2. The novel is the world seen through the eyes of a six-year-old girl. Each day is a new adventure as she confronts the wonder of daily life that is experienced by a child. She not only becomes older day by day, but mama is constantly teaching her to be a young lady as part of her growing up.
3. Lila lives in New York City and her building will not allow her to have a dog. Lila thinks and thinks about this, and finally concludes that she wants an invisible dog, to which her parents agree. On a cold and snowy day Lila and Papa go to the pet store to buy the invisible supplies for her new dog. As they reach the entrance, around the corner comes a black and white Australian Shepard who sits down in front of Lila, extends his paw and says, “Hello Lila, I am Fluffy.”
4. Fluffy then introduces Lila to the invisible people of Iceland who live in the cornerstones of downtown buildings and in the boulders of Central Park. There is quite a stir in their community, as they rarely allow people to see them. It is apparent that Fluffy has something in mind.
5. Lila has a birthmark on her left forearm and it is discovered that Lila has “The Sign of the Elven Queen.” This is something that has not been seen on a human in almost two thousand years. This causes a lot of fuss for the invisible people, and Lila and her parents are invited to “Boulder I, Parliament House” in Central Park to have lunch with the current Queen and Princess of the invisible people.
6. The Council of Elders of both the invisible people in Iceland and New York then decide that Lila is to become a princess. Her coronation will also take place in Central Park at “Boulder II, Castlerock.” In the middle of this boulder is a large dome where two trees have grown thrones for the current Queen and Princess, and next to them is a sapling that is hurriedly growing a throne for Lila.
7. At the coronation it turns out that Fluffy is much more than he seems and he reveals his secret just as Lila become a Princess. Lila is crowned, turns seven and learns just who Fluffy really is as the invisible people can barely contain their joy. Now how good is that?