June 14, 2022

Meet Thistle the Fairy in Human Form + Giveaway

Last year, I cosplayed as Thistle Greenbud from my mom’s middle grade chapter books Bad Fairy and Bad Fairy Strikes Again. I bought a black wig, put on a black frilly dress I’d worn for Halloween once, topped it with a dark red T-shirt, clipped a flower to the fake hair, and trained my voice so I spoke as I imagined a fairy would speak. Thus, Thistle was born. Or, more accurately, Thistle became human-sized.

I was looking for ways to help my mom market her books, to attract more readers, to stand out. Honestly, while it did stand out in terms of a unique way to promote a book, it didn’t garner the result I was hoping for; we didn’t see an increase in book sales. Not all ideas work in the way you imagine.

Still, I had fun.

Uh-oh! Thistle is human-sized!

What trouble will Thistle get into now?

After I shared images of myself as Thistle, I created short videos that I turned into reels on Instagram. A lot of people don’t like videos on Instagram because it started as a photos-only platform, but everything evolves and evolution is a good thing. Reels can be a creative and fun way to promote a book, which is 100% acceptable to do on Instagram or any other social media platform. Reels/videos can also be used in informative and educational ways, as well as a way to connect to followers more than through immobile images and captions, no matter how long they are.

So, I recorded myself as Thistle.

Here’s the first reel I shared to my mom’s Instagram account:

NOTE: When you click the play button, the video will be small because it’s a reel, not a full-sized video. You can watch the full-sized reel by clicking the “View on Instagram” links below each short clip.

Thistle’s Cry For Help:

0:12 seconds 

View on Instagram 

After the initial video explaining how Thistle got to be as big as a human, I created short clips to introduce her, share fairy secrets, talk about fantasy creatures mentioned in the books, and highlight some fairy slang.

Thistle Reveals Fairy Secrets:

0:21 seconds

View on Instagram

Thistle Greenbud:

0:22 seconds

View on Instagram

Facts About Thistle:

0:18 seconds

View on Instagram

What’s A Batty-Eye?

0:19 seconds

View on Instagram 

What Does Okum-Sokum Mean?

0:09 seconds

View on Instagram 

The above reels/videos are the ones that I think are good introductions to Thistle and are a couple of my personal favorites, but I also want to share the most-viewed reels on Instagram because it’s usually not the images and videos we think will do well that get a lot of interaction. From the ones above, Facts About Thistle (currently 1,090 views) and What’s A Batty-Eye (currently 1,509 views) are among the most-viewed on Instagram, but here’s more:

What Do You Call A Group Of Fairies?

0:11 seconds

View on Instagram

Currently 1,064 views

What Are Brownie Fairies?

0:17 seconds

View on Instagram

Currently 1,395 views

What Are Flower Fairies?

0:28 seconds

View on Instagram

Currently 1,380 views

What Are Goblins?

0:14 seconds 

View on Instagram 

Currently 1,365 views

What Are Boggarts?

0:14 seconds 

View on Instagram

Currently 1,347 views

What’s A Pixie?

0:13 seconds

View on Instagram

Currently 1,079 views

I’ve been VERY slowly posting all the Thistle reels I made for my mom to my TikTok, because it is perfectly acceptable to post videos from Instagram to TikTok and vice versa, and it’s not only acceptable but considerate to cross-promote the same content across your social media for the followers who aren’t everywhere and who would otherwise miss it if you only shared it in one place.

So far, it’s interesting to see the differences between these two platforms. I’ve noticed the videos that did well on Instagram don’t do as well on TikTok, but also the ones that do well on TikTok hadn’t done as well on Instagram.

For Instance, What Do You Call A Group Of Fairies? on Instagram has over a thousand views. Meanwhile, on TikTok (posted much later), it has 236 views.

Also, one titled The Fairy Realm has 151 views on Instagram but has 1,300+ views on TikTok. I notice the same for my own reels and TikTok videos (the ones where I’m not cosplaying as Thistle).

This demonstrates why it’s a good idea to share the same content widely, just as you’d have your books wide (which means having your books available on multiple book sites so your readers can purchase them from sites according to their device and purchasing preferences).

TikTok is still foreign to me, but I do like to make videos (be it reels or TikToks) from time to time.

If you’d like to see ALL of the Thistle reels I did for my mom, check out her IG reels here.

June 7 - 24

PRIZES: Signed paperback copies of Bad Fairy and Bad Fairy Strikes Again (middle grade chapter books) by my mom Elaine Kaye, pink flower headband, pink fuzzy fashion scrunchie, “Be Kind” rainbow cosmetic/pencil bag.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

QUESTION: Do you believe in fairies? 🧚‍♀️ 🧚‍♂️ 🧚 

P.S. Thistle may come back in human form this year. Follow my mom (Elaine Kaye) on Instagram to see it when/if it happens!


  1. Hi Chrys - these are fun ... well done and must have given you both lots of laughs ... they're great - congratulations ... cheers Hilary

  2. It's always amazing what does well and what does not. And it's never what you expect it to be.

  3. I love these videos. Good for you guys jumping into Tik Tok. I’ll get there one day.

  4. @Hilary, they were a lot of fun to do.

    @Liz, I'm constantly surprised at what does or does not receive a lot of engagement on social media. It's often a very odd photo/video that's kinda silly that does the best.

    @Toi, thank you! I don't do much on TikTok, but that may change...I have an idea of something I want to do that's not book/author related. ;)

  5. This is creative marketing and you are a good actor! Don't give up on Thistle!

  6. @Jeff, thank you! I used to always enjoy doing a little classroom play acting when I was young. At one point, I entertained the idea of being an actress but was too shy to go for it. I may not do videos of Thistle, but I may do a photo shoot.

  7. I like your reels! I also like your costume; you did a really good job with it! I haven't figured out how to make a reel on Instagram yet. I'm not very tech-savvy and I honestly didn't even understand the concept of Instagram stories and how to make them or what to put in them for far too long. I've noticed that a lot of authors are on Instagram, and I think it's a good way to market your books, as well as connect with readers. I posted a couple of positive reviews of books written by two authors I admired, and they wrote kind comments on my Instagram posts in response, which made my day.

    1. Thank you!

      It's always a lovely surprise when an author responds to a positive post their tagged in about their books.

  8. So interesting to read this post. I remember when you became Thistle in human form. I would have expected that to help book sales, but I am often surprised by things that do/don't sell books. I also found it interesting to see the difference in views between Instagram and TikTok. TikTok is a platform I know very little about. I have watched videos on it- but haven't tried any myself. Thanks for sharing all this. It gives me a lot to think about. :)

    1. I am always surprised by what does well on Instagram/TikTok and what doesn't...what helps to sell or not sell books. It's never what I think.

  9. That's awesome of you to help your mom out.
    Hope she does well. Looks like the contest had a fair amount of entries.
    I wrote a humorous piece for the June WEP prompt.
    And I have my favorite book world narrowed down for the IWSG July prompt.
    July 03 is Plastic Bag Free Day, which hopes to eliminate single-use plastic bags.
    Over at Operation Awesome, our Pass or Pages query contest opens Monday with July's family saga genre. Know any writers who might want to enter?

    1. I am my mom's editor, head of marketing, cosplayer, and so much more. lol

  10. LOVE you as Thistle, Chrys. You resemble a pixie in so many good ways. Cute video clips.

    1. Thank you! I just might possibly be part fairy. ;)