Today I’m joined by David M. Brown, author of A World Apart. David has visited the blog previously and shares a great perspective on the indie world. His new guest post takes a look at the genre boundaries and how authors – and readers – dare to cross them in exchange for unexpected delights!
Across the Genre Boundaries
by David M. Brown
Throughout July I have been taking part in the Discover Fantasy Tour alongside Jonathan Gould, author of Doodling and Magnus Opum, and Jeremy Rodden, author of Toonopolis. Our mission was less about showcasing our respective works but more to show that fantasy as a genre is very broad and no longer bound by a simple definition.
When people think of fantasy they may have images of wizards in pointy hats casting spells, dwarves working mines for gold, elves firing arrows, goblins lurking underground, witches stirring steaming cauldrons and dragons ruling the skies. While those ingredients may still be included in many fantasy novels they are certainly not integral to the overall recipe. A fantasy novel can cover a wide range of areas. A boy who is able to fly or a girl that can teleport to school rather than taking the bus, those ideas could be considered as fantasy.
With my fantasy series The Elencheran Chronicles I am writing on the periphery of the fantasy genre. Yes, Elenchera is a fantasy world and has the likes of dragons, elves, dwarves and magic but I always think of these factors as the background and not the substance of each novel I write. Whether my protagonist is a man, woman, an elf, dwarf or an anthropomorphic creature is irrelevant. It’s about the individual and the type of character that they are not how they appear.
In the real world I am a very open-minded person. I have no issue with a person’s race, sexuality, religion, political perspective, any of that. I treat each individual as a person and only ask that they do the same in return which the majority of people are happy to do. I think my approach filters through to my writing. Characters fascinate me and I believe that they are the key components to any novel. Some critics say that Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings gave more character to the world of Middle Earth rather than the inhabitants. That’s not what I intend with Elenchera. If I wanted you to know about the history I’d just publish the world history of more than 1,000 pages!
When you read a novel set in Elenchera I have no choice but to give you some background information of say a town or land, just to give you the historical context for the story you are about to read but I will be as brief as I can. I don’t wish to bore you with endless description, facts and figures. Once you have stepped into the world then the landscape and the history is pushed to the background and the characters come forward to tell you their stories. Yes, it’s still fantasy but those elements do not intrude greatly on the overall narrative.
I am relieved that many readers have come back and understood what I am trying to achieve with the Elencheran Chronicles. My journey began with Fezariu’s Epiphany in May 2011 and A World Apart has followed in June 2012. I now have 3 Elenchera novels in progress simultaneously. I’m finding that some readers have tried the books even though they are not fans of fantasy but have found something within Elenchera that they can embrace. Hearing that kind of feedback is very heart-warming for me.
Truth be told, many of the stories I want to give you could take place in our own world. Families, friendships and romance – these are relationships we are all familiar with and the essence of what we understand in our own world is no different in Elenchera. If I can reach out to readers who are normally wary of sci-fi/fantasy and show them what versatility this genre has then my work is done and my hopes have been realised.
I beseech you. Do think twice when you protest you don’t read fantasy. There is a lot on offer in this wonderful genre beyond Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. You may be surprised where crossing the genre boundaries can take you.
About David M. Brown
David Brown could be considered a fantasy fanatic, especially since he has spent the last 10 years developing a 47,000-year history for his fictional world of Elenchera. When converting his obsession into literary form, David commits himself to a rigorous writing and editing process before his work can meet his approval. Combined with the critical eye of his wife and a BA Honors in History and English, David’s dedication leads him to his goal of inspiring readers through heartfelt stories and characters.
Although David is inspired primarily by fantasy fiction, he also finds his muse in the form of anime, world cinema, history, and biographies. His own books, Fezariu’s Epiphany and the in-progress A World Apart, combine aspects from worlds both old and new into compelling tales of a world not soon forgotten., David himself certainly does not lack a spirit of adventure; in fact, he left his job in 2007 in order to spend a month traveling. Second only to meeting and marrying his wife, David counts this as one of the most amazing experiences of his life.
About A World Apart
Demetrius makes his first mistake when he lets his best friend Halcyon marry Eleyna, the love of his life, without saying a word. On the day of the wedding, he walks away from the Elencheran town of Dove’s Meadow and joins the army.
He makes his second mistake when the pirate Black Iris tricks him into letting dozens of men, women and children die in a fire. Demetrius is imprisoned in grief and disgrace.
But he can atone. The Black Iris is dead. The Ivory Rose has risen to the top of the pirates and is leading brutal raids on the coast. If Demetrius can capture and kill her, he’ll win his pardon.
And then Demetrius discovers the Ivory Rose is Eleyna. He must decide which will be his third mistake: Losing his last chance at a pardon, or destroying the one woman he’s ever loved.
- Just Add Story: There is so much more to Fantasy than Harry Potter
- Rob Vitaro: Fantasy Series Fatigue
- The Undiscovered Author: Epic Fantasy: Archetypes & Window Dressing