Hello, readers! Today my blog is being usurped by Kory M. Shrum so that she can promote her upcoming novel.
I “met” fellow author Kory on Twitter awhile ago when she was promoting her first novel Dying For a Living. Now she has released the sequel Dying by the Hour. She was looking for bloggers willing to let her speak about her book, and since I enjoy outsourcing work so I don’t have to do it, I reached out to her to offer up my blog for her promotional purposes. She agreed, and today she will be sharing her thoughts on Urban Fantasy as a genre, why she enjoys writing it, and what she thinks its strengths are.
Why Urban Fantasy by Kory M. Shrum
Urban fantasy. It isn’t a genre that everyone recognizes. I know this because when I tell people I write fantasy, they first ask: “Oh, like Game of Thrones?” and then I try to explain that no, actually I don’t write “sword & shield” fantasy–I write urban fantasy.
What the hell is that?
It gets even more complicated when after I describe it: “A fantastical element in an urban setting–think werewolves, vampires, etc.”–
A gleam of recognition in their eyes.
–I have to explain that I’m not writing typical urban fantasy–that I’ve basically taken the zombie myth, stripped it down, thrown in some angels, and went in an entirely new direction.
So if you break all the rules, why do you even write it?
I grew up reading urban fantasy. I loved Laurell K. Hamilton’s earlier Anita Blake vampire hunter books. Nancy A. Collins had Sonja Blue–both of which featured strong female leads who gave any monster a run for its money–while coming to terms with the monster inside them.
I love this genre because I think it is perfect in the limitless possibilities it offers. The complexity of urban living is a fertile playground: cultural clashes, poverty/income inequality, and discrimination. And on this playground, I have all the old monsters–and new ones– at my disposal. I can explore anything–the needs of the beast vs. the needs of the society–the desire to use your teeth rather than your brain–the instinct to survive versus sacrifice.
All together monsters + cities= primed for social commentary. Furthermore, there are the issues of present day as well as the ageless questions–who are we? Why are we here? What’s our purpose? I’m free to speculate where we are going at the same time I’m exploring how we got there.
But best of all, it’s a chance to play in the dark. Writing this kind of fantasy is shining a light into the darkness, knowing there will be eyes gleaming back at you.
But why a series? Why not just a book?
The best stories IMHO are told in a series. A series gives you time and space to explore the larger issues. You can have a battle in one book, but not a war. And it’s the war that changes you–not the battle. It might cost you something. But it won’t rock your world. It won’t have the epicness–of a series, which is why I gravitate toward this type of narrative arc.
So when someone asks why fantasy? Why a series?
I could say anything. Why not? It’s what I grew up reading. It’s a personal preference, my taste. It offers so much freedom, so much possibility. Because I want to understand the war–
But really writers write whatever they do for all kinds of reasons and each reason is profoundly personal–whether they realize it or not.
You can order Kory’s books on Amazon and check out her site for more information about her and her writing. She currently has a Rafflecopter giveaway going on, so if you want a shot at some neat prizes, including autographed copies of the new book, check it out. She will also be having a virtual release party for the book this coming Tuesday.
I’d like to thank Kory for taking the time to write for my blog, and you should all help me thank her by ordering her new novel (or getting the first one, if you haven’t read that)!