Sunday, May 9, 2010

Why I Write Fantasy - Brenna Lyons

Welcome Brenna Lyons, prolific dark fantasy world builder.

Amber: Why do you write fantasy?
Brenna: I am drawn to fantasy by the simple departure from everyday life and the exaggeration of the human condition, at the same time.

I had a lousy childhood. No bones about it. Fantasy allows an escape from the mundane, which I always found appealing.

Beyond that, everything in fantasy...spec fic in general...can be so much larger than life. Your fantasy characters can live longer, be stronger, survive more abuse/torture, possess powers humans only wish they had, and so forth.
There's something engaging about creating something new, from the ground up. When you get to create not only flora and fauna, but also laws and mores, calendars and language, imports/exports,'s a rush. It allows the writer to put herself into a different mindset. If your laws said X and your mores said Y and your limitations and powers would you think? What would you do? How would you view human norms? What sort of culture shock would there be when dealing with other cultures or worlds?

Or in finding the story behind the story... One of my favorite games is taking old myths or stories and asking the questions couched between the lines. How did the character get from point A to point C here, when moving from myth to myth? What was that character thinking? What if the character was wrong? What is the story that is hidden behind this? What really happened that the historians/storytellers tried to explain it this way?

Amber: Why do readers love fantasy?
Brenna: Readers like some of the same things I do. Certainly, they seem to like the departure from the mundane and reading about a new place and new creatures/characters. They also seem to like the look behind the established stories, the dark underside of what we think we know, and the ethics and mindset of a non-human character.

Amber: Would you write fantasy even if no one read it?
Brenna: Absolutely! I wrote before I had an audience, so I'd continue to write without one. Spec fic isn't all I write. Would I focus there more and on spec fic less, if the market dried up and no one was reading it? Probably not, because I have a character driven process, and the characters are very loud and demanding. I write what I want to read and what the characters have to say, so I'd still tell the stories they give me, even if there wasn't a market for it.

Amber: Tell us the subgenres of fantasy you write.
Brenna: Straight genre- dark fantasy, horror, and science fiction. Romance/sensual romance/erotic romance/erotica cross-genre- urban fantasy, urbanized fairy tales, dark fantasy, horror, science fiction, science fantasy...
Aliens, psychics, super hero-style worlds, angel-like, fairies, vampires and vampyr, ghosts, time travel, zombies, myths, gods, fairy tales, nursery rhyme, weres, and magic users/mages/witches.

Amber: The Night Warriors caught my eye, but then I noticed the interconnected worlds. How DO you keep all of your 21 worlds straight?
Brenna: Every character and world is different, so I don't tend to mix them up. Of course, as you noted, sometimes my worlds want to contact each other. Early on, I had little crossovers, like a heroine in Night Warriors Warriors reading a Night Warriors Beast book...and Alex from Renegades series wearing a "Jorg for President" t-shirt (from Night Warriors series).

As time went on, those connections grew. I hadn't consciously planned to make Council of Worlds as I did. I wrote in that there were three humanoid worlds on the Council of Worlds in the Kegin series without plan of looking at the other two. Then they showed up in the Kegin series, barging in on an established world and forming links. Once I had a taste of them, they took off and demanded their own series that interlinked back into Kegin later. Small details I'd woven into the Kegin series took shape into strong links between the worlds.

Thanks for visiting Wordshaping and giving us a glimpse into your worlds.

Brenna Lyons wears many hats, sometimes all on the same day: president of EPIC, author of more than 80 published works, teacher, wife, mother...member of ERWA, MWW, IWOFA, MFRW, WPM, and Broad Universe. In Brenna’s seven years published in novel-length, she's finaled for 11 EPPIES, 3 PEARLS (including one HM, second to Angela Knight), and a Dream Realm Award. 
She writes in 21 established worlds plus stand-alones, poetry, articles, and essays. She's a bestseller in indie/e fantasy, horror, and erom. Brenna has been termed "one of the most deviant erotic minds in the publishing world...not for the weak." (Rachelle for Fallen Angels Reviews) Milieu-heavy dark work is practically Brenna's calling card, with or without the erotic content.
Brenna enjoys hearing from people who read her work.  

Brenna's series include -
  • Kegin Series - Aliens and humans -fantasy and sci fi ero, 
  • Kielan series - Earth colony, psychics, ar futuristic fantasy erom
  • Xxan series - reptilian alien/human sci fi erom
  • Renegade's Run - psychics horror and sci-fi erom
  • Night Warriors series - vampires and vampire hunter/vampyr -dark fantasy sensual and erom
  • Grellan War series - super hero-style fantasy sensual romance
  • Born Investigators series - alien empath fantasy sensual romance
  • Undead in Blue series vampire military horror comedy straight genre
  • dan Aidan Fairies fairies and humans fantasy sensual romance
  • Bride Ball series urbanized fairy tale erom
  • Urban Grimms urban fairy tale erom
  • Mythos collections mythological straight genre and sensual romance
  • Star Mages series magic users fantasy sensual and erom
  • Instinct series weres and humans dark fantasy erom.erotica
  • Blood Mages series magic users and vampires fantasy sensual romance
  • Afterwar series post-apocalyptic sci fi erom
  • Fire and Ice series gods fantasy erom.erotica
New titles coming out in nearly every series.

You can reach Brenna through her site.

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1 comment:

  1. Brenna,
    I love those examples of subtle ways you bring one world into another.