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Posts Tagged ‘fantasy fiction’

This snippet is from the most recent book I read, How to Fracture a Fairy Tale, by Jane Yolen.

The passage really speaks to me about the nature of fantasy, and perhaps all story telling. How much is meant to be taken literally? What truths do stories hold, even without an objective basis in fact?


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As I work through refocusing my outreach, one puzzle is how to describe my books when people ask about genre. I try to push myself beyond easy categories and stereotypes, but here’s where it bites me in the butt.

Starting with the broadest definition, I write fantasy. That’s a no-brainer. My books are full of magic and magical creatures. From there is where it gets foggy.

There’s High Fantasy, which involves the great and powerful with their big wars and political intrigues. But there’s also Low Fantasy, which involves the small and powerless, and is often humorous in nature. In Swords and Sorcery, individual warriors struggle against malign magic and corrupt empires, while they themselves are no angels.

Then there’s Urban Fantasy, where mythical creatures/monsters interact with people in the modern world. There’s often a strong element of romantic tension. Last but not least, there are Fairy Tales. People are always re-imagining beloved fairy tales.

So where do my books fit in? I’ve written somethings in almost all of these sub-genres. Aunt Ursula’s Atlas, for example, is contains several stories in the fairy-tale style. The Gellboar is a form of Urban Fantasy. The Weight of Their Souls is Swords and Sorcery. But most of my books are much harder to pin down.

Take The Seven Exalted Orders, for example. It’s High Fantasy because it ponders political and philosophical questions like who decides how mages use their power. It’s not High Fantasy because the protagonists aren’t among the ruling elite. This would make The Seven Exalted Orders a Low Fantasy, except that it lacks broad humor. Calling my books Medium Fantasy just sounds boring.

For those of you out there who have read my books, I’d love your perspective on this question. What should I call my genre in order to attract readers who are likely to enjoy my work? High Fantasy, Low Fantasy, something else… And I’d love to hear your reasoning.


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What am I doing, since I’m not blogging? Besides completing the first draft of my latest novella, that is. Reading! Reading, to me, is a way of “refilling the well.”

A friend recently told me she felt that she was reading too much. She ought to be writing, but instead she was reading. I can sympathize. In 2018 I definitely felt like was taking too much time playing video games. True confession: I got into Dragon Age at the start of school in 2017 and it sucked me in completely. I stopped even trying to write in early December, and every inch of my writing mind was jammed until the middle of May 2018. There were times when I was afraid that my writing career was over!

By the way, it isn’t just me. Dragon Age is notorious for sweeping players off on grand adventures. A different friend of mine said that you think you’re going to Texas for Spring Break and six months later you’re in Honduras wondering what happened. So true!

But, guess what? My career didn’t come to an end. At the end of May, I started a novella. It wasn’t fan fiction, though you can see hints of the situations in the games I’d been playing. Presently, I’m about to finish a second, linked novella and have hopes for a third. Between them all, it should be about 100,000 words — and that’s a novel!

At some point, I’ll have to figure out publishing these three linked novellas. A good problem to have.

If you’re making resolutions and have been scolding yourself to write more, I would urge you to stop and think. Don’t resolve to write more because you feel guilty. You won’t create your best work. (Unless you have a contractual obligation — that’s different.) Instead, look at some of the stories that are absorbing you. See what elements you can bring into a new project.

Reading time or video game time or Netflix time or whatever… It doesn’t have to be time wasted.


Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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A snippet from my fantasy novel,
The Seven Exalted Orders. It was published by Sky Warrior Books in 2012.

It seems I can’t stay away, dear friends. Also, I have this creeping fear that you will forget all about me.

So while I’m in the process of reorganizing my outreach, here’s a snippet from one of my fantasy novels.

These snippets are likely to become a regular feature here at Wyrmflight. I hope you’ll enjoy it!


Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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bane of the dragon kingJ. Keller Ford has been a blogging friend of mine for years now. We’ve supported and encouraged each other, and I’m always excited to hear she has a new publication. This very week, she releases Bane of the Dragon King. This is the finale of her YA fantasy series, Chronicles of Fallhollow.

Now she has kindly offered to visit Wyrmflight and tell us about the dragons she created for her stories. Take it away, Jenny!


Let’s face it. There are not enough dragons in Young Adult fiction. If I had anything to do with it, there would be one lurking about in every YA fantasy novel. I suppose that’s why I put so many different dragons in my series of books, The Chronicles of Fallhollow.

I enjoyed writing all the dragons in my books. The first ones the reader stumbles upon are the palindrakes. These are smallish green dragons, roughly the size of an eagle, and are messengers of the forest. They are kind, curious and gentle and pretty blend in well with their surroundings.

The next dragon the reader meets is a somewhat small dragon named Mirith. He is a mix between a mountain-dwelling, fire-breathing Timberlake Smoothback and an Opernicus, a desert dragon. He is short, and stocky with autumn colored scales, a head like a bird’s, and a mane of autumn colored feathers. He is an ice-breather and a lightning thrower. Even though he appears brutish, he really is a sweetheart, once you get to know him.

The third dragon is the villain, Einar, the Dragon King. He is an immense (think twice the size of Smaug), with scales as black as midnight dipped in liquid amethyst. He’s the epitome of evil.

The last dragons we see are the beautiful, white/silver peaceful Edryd dragons of the Silver Isles. They are wise, gentle and appear as white clouds streaking through the night sky. They are enemies of Einar and play an important role in the final novel in the trilogy, Bane of the Dragon King, releasing November 13.

And that’s it. Those are all my dragons. I hope you read the books to find out more, and please feel free to reach out to me with questions. I love talking dragons and I would love to hear from all the dragon fans out there.

Thank you for hosting me today, Deby. You’re the best. Hugs to all.


J. Keller Ford is a scribbler of speculative fiction and YA tales. As an Army brat, she traveled the world and toured the halls of some of Germany’s most extraordinary castles in hopes of finding snarky dragons, chivalrous knights, and wondrous magic to permeate her imagination. What she found remains etched in her topsy-turvy mind, and oozes out in sweeping tails of courage, sacrifice, honor and everlasting love.

When not torturing her keyboard or trying to silence the voices in her head, Jenny spends time collecting seashells, bowling, screaming on roller coasters, and traveling. She is a mom of four magnificent and noble offspring, and currently lives in paradise on the west coast of Florida with a menagerie of royal pets, and her own quirky knight who was brave enough to marry her.

Jenny is the author of The Chronicles of Fallhollow series. The first two books, In the Shadow of the Dragon King, and Rage of the Dragon King, are currently available. For more information about her books and to sign up for her newsletter, please visit www.j-keller-ford.com.


Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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BabyDragons

Halloween Dragons

Beware the dragons of Halloween? Yes! It appears that dragons will be a hot theme for Halloween in 2018. A couple of friends texted me over the weekend when they spotted a wall projector that puts swirling dragons on your wall. Cool! I ran over to take a look.

Not only was the wall projector there, they also had a couple of other draconic displays. These ones are baby hatchlings with squealing and flashing eyes. There was also a larger animated dragon skeleton with moving head and flashing eyes. (The flashing eyes are always a thing with these animated displays). I tried to get a picture, but there were so many on the shelf that you couldn’t pick one out from the others.

Just one more reason to look forward to Halloween!


Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

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I want to talk for a moment about one of my favorite e-zines, Enchanted Coversation. Enchanted Conversation is dedicated to fairy tales, something I adore almost as much as I adore dragons. Four issues a year are devoted to new approaches and analysis of traditional fairy tales. They also have a blog which delivers flash fiction by some of their regular contributors.

On Monday last, Enchanted Conversation presented a fun flash fiction about dragons and their hoards. I couldn’t resist sharing, so here’s a link to that. Enjoy! Afterward, I hope you’ll take a look at everything Enchanted Conversation has to offer.


Wyrmflight: A Hoard of Dragon Lore — $4.99 e-book or $17.99 trade paperback. Available at Amazon or Draft2Digital.

 

 

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