Indie e-Con 2018 Day 6 - Fantasy Author Panel

And here we've come to fantasy - my favorite genre - and the last day of Indie e-Con. Let me just say, but this week has been INTENSE.

We're also representing the new genre Kingdom Fiction today. Kingdom Fiction is basically a blur between Historical Fiction and Fantasy - but the opposite of Historical Fantasy. While Historical Fantasy inserts magic into historical fiction, Kingdom Fiction is a fictional world that feels like our world. No weird races, no magic ... but also no Europe, Asia, America, Africa, ect. New world with its own history, but still abbiding by our own rules of physics.

Don't forget, we have a word war going down - so be keeping track of your writing!
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As I said, fantasy is my genre. I love it because you can literally do anything within its parameters. Flying people? No problem. Imagination brought to life? Come on in. Wave a wand, bippidy boppidy, there's just so much freedom in this genre. And, with freedom, comes the need to inflict your own rules: worldbuilding. Ah! But giving logic to my imagination is such fun.

And I ... actually have a good number of fantasy authors here today, covering all aspects of the genre. Let's hear what all they have to say, shall we?

Why do you write Fantasy?

Katy Huth Jones:
I write fantasy because it's always been my favorite genre to read and so my brain is usually living in a fantasy world somewhere. Even though fantasy is an epic journey to another place and time, it also helps one deal with the realities of life, especially the painful ones. And boy, do I sometimes feel guilty for the pain I've put my characters through! Seeing how they handle those situations and come out stronger gives me courage, too.

Savannah Jezowski:
I write Fantasy because I love the freedom of being able to create my own worlds and make my own rules. Fantasy allows me to use my imagination to the fullest, to tie in correlations to the real world in any way I see fit, to create parallels with my beliefs in unique ways that are both entertaining and a little educational. Allegory is a particular favorite of mine: I love how symbols can be used to get a point across without the reader even realizing it's happening. You can lecture at me all day and I won't remember a thing tomorrow, but if you use an object lesson? That sticks with me. I write "make-believe" stories but they are still "real." Every story I write has some sort of point, and I think it's incredibly fun to weave a little moral into every fantastical tale I put together. I enjoy reading (and occasionally dabble in writing) almost any genre but Fantasy will always be my heart.

Emily Mundell:
I think Josh Whedon summed it up quite well when he said "I write to give myself strength, I write to be the characters I am not, I write to explore all of the things I am afraid of." I really relate to that as a writer, there are so many things that come filtering through my imagination - things I'll never get to experience on my own. Writing gives me the chance to live life in someone else's shoes, if only briefly, and helps me empathize with and understand the people around me. I think the creation/consumption of stories is a fundamental piece of civilized society. We need to care about each other if we're going to live a life worth living in this world, and for me writing is a major aspect of learning to do just that. I also just love creating. I don't think I could escape the call to write, it's something I think I was born with. I think I was made to be a story-teller.

What is your favorite thing about Fantasy?

Sarah Addison-Fox
The ability to create without borders, without rules and without anyone telling me I'm wrong.

Laurie Lucking:
My favorite thing about fantasy is the endless array of possibilities. Fantasy isn’t limited by what’s feasible in the real world, the creatures living on earth, or historical events, which leaves so much room for creativity. As a result, these ventures into the unknown can be so much more engaging and unpredictable. And there’s something about fantasy that makes the stakes seem higher. An entire kingdom might need to be saved, or the foe might be far more powerful than anything existing in our world. Not necessarily the type of adventure I’d want to experience in real life, but when it takes the form of a book, sign me up! But I think my favorite aspect of fantasy is how it can portray our own reality from a whole new perspective. Unusual powers raise questions of how best to use them. Extraordinary bonds between characters shed light on how we handle relationships on earth. No matter how otherworldly fantasy books might be, they always come back to universal truths like love and self-sacrifice that add meaning to our own daily lives.

Emily Mundell:
I have two favorite things about fantasy. The first is that I love the opportunity it affords to create and be a "sub-creator" as Tolkien calls it, crafting an entire world and civilization of your own. I think that's awesome and so so rewarding on so many levels (though oftentimes challenging). I am naturally a very creative person, and channeling that energy and ability into making my own worlds has always and easily been a passion of mine. My second thing is that I love how fantasy reflects reality, often in ways that can really speak into our personal lives if we're looking. Though fantasy is often more black and white than reality, I think that serves to ground us a little bit. For me, fantasy has never been about escapism, but about learning to understand real life truths in deeper and more meaningful ways. I think that a really good fantasy story will show you more about life and about yourself than books in any other genre. It's not always about the magic, violence, or fancy world-building, it's about the truths and the fundamental struggle of good vs. evil. To me, it all becomes so much clearer in the bindings of a classic fairy tale or fantasy novel.

Sarah Allerding:
My favorite thing about writing is getting to use my imagination to create adventures for my characters. As I write, it is as if I get to actually be in the world I am writing about. If I don't like how the story is turning out, I can change it.

Why do you write Kingdom Fiction?

Sarah Addison-Fox:
My characters are limited, flawed and bound by the same rules we are. It highlights the struggles they face, and the grit and intensity it takes to overcome.

Erika Mathews:
I write kingdom fiction for three main reasons: 

(3) It requires a specific type of preparation. Kingdom fiction offers the flexibility of creating one's own setting unconfined by limits of history or the extensive alternate system of fantasy/sci-fi. Though I do hope to write historical fiction someday, kingdom fiction provided the best fit for me at the time I began it. 

(2) It fits my target audience. Because some readers prefer to stay away from magic and/or non-realistic elements in fiction, I prefer to keep my books free from these elements in order to provide an adventure story that this audience (as well as others) can be comfortable with. 

(1) It offers unique flexibility specific to the goals of my series. I began my Truth From Taerna series when God laid it on my heart to communicate through fiction specific spiritual truths often downplayed today. My desire is to demonstrate how the real, powerful, lifechanging truths of God's kingdom (the spiritual realm hidden from our physical senses) could play out in a fictional setting. This genre gave me the flexibility to develop a precise setting to best convey these truths in a manner separate from contemporary life yet easily cross-applied to it.

Erika, Emily, Sarah Addison-Fox, and I are here and available to answer any questions you might have. Laurie and Sarah Allerding might pop by at some point, but did not commit. 

Comments

  1. YESSSS IT'S MY DAY. Fantasy is the absolute BEST, and everyone here is spot-on with their reasons why. What Laurie said about portraying reality from a new perspective is especially spot-on. Looking forward to reading today's posts!

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  2. I loved these answers! Thanks for sharing, everyone! I particularly like what was said about finding truths in fantasy -- and, Emily, what you said about "subcreating" like Tolkien: YES! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I love that idea Tolkien used, I don't have a direct quote, but it's always stuck with me ever since I read it. :)

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