Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Why I write Fantasy

Someone once asked me why I choose to write fantasy. At the time I thought it was a very odd question. Why do any authors write what they write? Why is Fantasy any different?

I think for a long time people associated Fantasy with "geeks, or weirdo's". You know the people that hung out in their mothers basement and played D&D, or the people that would dress up as their favorite characters and act out a scene. I think what you have to look at is why do these people choose to do these things? It's an easy answer, its an escape. Haven't you ever dreamed you could just pick up and leave your life just for a little while? To go somewhere no one would ask you "When is that report done? Hurry up we have a deadline. Mom, can you drive me to the mall?" That is what Fantasy is for me. I can sit down in my little quiet corner and open my book and be whisked away to another world. So you might be thinking, "Yeah, but I can do that with any book, and don't have to deal with all the magic, monsters and gore." I agree with you, you can do that with any well written book, but there is always that level ground of the places you know and the people you could imagine to be real. The illusion is very thin.

Fantasy is different but the same in many ways. A lot of people think that all fantasy is, is magic, epic battles, and fantastical creatures, with no relatable characters, but that is not true. Of course Fantasy novels are filled with all of those things, but there is also a story. Everything that a person goes through in their lives can be found in a Fantasy novel. Just because our characters may not look quite human, that doesn't mean they don't act like it, after all a human created them. The characters fight for whats right, make mistakes, fall in love, and yes sometimes do unspeakable evil. When you were children didn't you ever imagine you could fly, or that you could be a knight and defeat a dragon, or maybe if you were lucky catch a glimpse of a unicorn? I know I did, and I guess maybe as we get older that part of our imagination dies along with our childhood innocence, but that doesn't mean we can't remember it and secretly enjoy the feelings we had when we thought monsters were real.

Writing Fantasy for me was an easy choice. I wanted to create my own world, that no one else could touch. I wanted to control what happens and not worry about messing up facts or history. Everything I write comes from my heart and I bleed that into my characters. To me they are very real and go through very real emotions and trials.

I want you to know that I didn't write this to convert anyone into reading Fantasy, I just wanted to try to answer that long ago question I was asked. I hope I did. So next time you see a book cover and see a dragon, or vampire, or wizard on the front, don't automatically pass it by. Pick it up, read the back, and listen to that child inside your heart. You never know you might be pleasantly surprised.

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