24 November, 2012

Fantasy Overview: Tolkien-esque Fantasy

Part seven of my fantasy overview.

This might seem an odd category, but I think it is a definite subgenre. Some people didn't get enough of Lord of the Rings, so there's more work with a similar feel. I don't necessarily mean the placement here to be derogatory. These stories are recognizable by their use of tropes like Tolkien's elves, Destined Orphans, and quest structures.

Terry Brooks
Author of the Sword of Shannara series, one of the first popular modern fantasies. Though it borrows heavily from Tolkien it is more of an adventure fantasy, with faster pacing and less worldbuilding.

David Eddings
If you like Eddings you're in luck, since he wrote plenty of books. They include The Belgariad, The Mallorean, The Elenium, The Tamuli, and The Dreamers. You may see a pattern. Many of his fans say his characters are what keep them reading.

RA Salvatore
He originally wrote fiction in D&D-related universes. Now he has his own universe, which is D&D-related but not in a legal sense. Creator of the popular character Drizzt Do'Urden, the Drow many roleplayers are pretending they're not playing.

Christopher Paolini
Eragon and the following books feature a farmboy getting a dragon and being called to save a kingdom from an evil emperor. I assume your opinion has been formed by now.

There's also fiction that is explicitly in the same world as another property, like Dragonlance or Pathfinder, but I won't get into those here. I figure you wouldn't be interested in those novels unless you were already interested in the property. If you like World of Warcraft or Dragon Age, there are multiple books out there set in the same world.

07 November, 2012

The Next Big Thing (Week 23)

I was asked by Aaron BradfordStarr to participate in the Next Big Thing chain of author interviews. Let's dive right in:

1- What is the working title of your book?

The Rainbow of Doom. My beta readers were pretty enthusiastic about this title, so it isn't likely to change before it's released in December.

2- Where did the idea come from for the book?

I wanted to do a mystery where the main characters aren't the ones investigating but I also wanted to give them a chance to be the driving force in another plot. It's about loyalties driving people in multiple directions. About the difference between who you are and what you do.

Mix those and you get this book. Well, if you mixed those ideas you'd probably get a different book. Unless you are a filthy plagiarist.

3- What genre does your book fall under?

It is a precious, utterly unique snowflake that throws the very concept of genre on its head. By which I mean urban fantasy.

4- Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I don't know actors, but I can use Google. Ryoko Hirosue could play Aki, visually. Viola Davis is in an older age bracket, but I'm sure she'd do Keisha justice. Blake is trickier, maybe Walter Perez or Jessie Garcia?

5- What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

It's easier to study magic when you don't have a war splitting the campus, a professor replaced by an imposter, and your friends drifting further away.

6- Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?


7- How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

I spend most of my time on the outlining phase, so the actual writing process is a fairly intense push. The developing period was a few months, less than normal since I was writing with characters I'd already established for myself. Actual writing time was 17 days.

8- What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

The urban fantasy elements are similar to Jim Butcher's Dresden Files (thoroughly urbanized). The plot structure has similarities to Brandon Sanderson (steady buildup through peaks, lots of twists at the end).

9- Who or What inspired you to write this book?

I wanted to write urban fantasy with a stronger sense of self-awareness. All too often characters are genre-blind and that just doesn't feel true to the modern world to me. If some people showed up at your door and started talking about destiny, you wouldn't take them seriously. Even if you ended up believing them, you'd have a hard time taking it seriously, and that's what makes this project fun.

10- What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

The title is literal, figurative, and metaphorical. Completely unrelated to said rainbows, the book features a werebear, an asexual incubus, and magic that is more lethal than whimsical.

I'll be passing this along to some other authors when I get their permission, and they'll theoretically post their interviews on the 14th. Given how scattered I am by the combination of NaNoWriMo and work, we'll see how well that goes.