Sunday, January 2, 2011

Why I Write Fantasy - Denise Golinowski

Welcome Denise Golinowski, author of magical worlds of fantasy and romance!

Amber: Why do you write fantasy? 

Denise: The mystical and mythic just resonate for me and when I took up a pencil, it's what came naturally to me. As they say, we are what we read--okay, I tweeked that a little, but you know what I mean. I've always read fantasy, so that's what I know best. I love to create new worlds to wander through with my characters as my guides. Fantasy allows me to blend cultures, social systems, settings, all to suit the needs of my characters and the story. My fantasy worlds are low-tech, more about the interconnectivity between humans and nature. It's all about exploring relationships in simpler worlds, not easier, just less congested and less distracting.

When I began The Festival of The Flowers: The Courtesan and The Scholar, I wanted to explore a cursed love in an elegant and stylized world. The professional companions guild, the city of Valgate and The Festival of The Flowers evolved from Lisara's being a woman with siren's blood and a family curse. I needed a world where she could learn to control and use her gift. The characters who came into the Festival with supporting roles have now evolved into their own stories which I'm trying once more to capture on paper.

Amber: What are your favorite fantasy novels?

Denise: Marion Zimmer Bradley's Avalon series - I know there have been countless re-weavings of the Arthur mythos, but Marion's drew me in and held me captive. Her books explore and expand that world with such beauty and depth.
Piers Anthony's Incarnations of Immorality - His personifications of the 7 major aspects of humanity were amazing--Death, Fate, Time, War, Gaia, Evil and Good. The way he wove them all around a central event, bringing us all into that event from all point of views, allowed us to see how everything is interconnected, while exploring the "powers" of each specific Incarnation.

Jim Butcher's Dresdin Files, Harry Potter (natch), Jacqueline Carey's first three Kushiel books, Rachel Caine's Weather Wardens, Carrie Vaughn's Kitty series.  I'd better stop there, I could go on for pages.

Amber: Why do you think readers love fantasy? 

Denise: Escapism is my immediate response followed closely by the thought that perhaps fantasy offers readers the chance to explore scary or personal themes in safe settings. When you can say it's all make-believe, it's easier to release old expectations and accept a new set of expectations.

Amber: Would you write fantasy even if no one read it? 

Denise: Absolutely. That pretty much sums it up. I've always written fantasy, I am writing fantasy, and I always will write fantasy. It's what I do.

More about Denise Golinowski -
I'm a mild-mannered office manager by day and an unabashed scribbler by night. I've been writing since I can remember. However, I didn't get "serious" about it until about 2000. I've had several short stories published and when The Wild Rose Press published my novella, The Festival of The Flowers: The Courtesan and The Scholar, I was, and still am, thrilled to death. I'm a member of the Romance Writers of America, the Virginia Romance Writers and several very wonderful critique groups. I live in Central Virginia with my super-supportive husband, Joe, and two less enthusiastic cats, Lovejoy and Serena. 

Find our more about 
The Wild Rose Press 

Learn more about Denise at her blog

15 comments:

  1. Although you write fantasy, do you see yourself maybe writing something in another genre?

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  2. I'm all for escapism. I loved fairy tales as a child - still do. Enjoyed your post!
    Happy Writing.

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  3. Hi Tina! Thanks for dropping by and asking a question. I also write romance which is where my book was positioned, though the world and charactgers are fantastical. Which begs the question--where does one genre stop and another begin? I seem to do a lot of genre blending. I guess you'd say my current WIP is a contemporary paranormal romance. But I do love the room to "play" that you have with fantasy, even with urban fantasy. Thanks for posting such an intriguing question. I'll be pondering it long after today.

    Denise Golinowski

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  4. Hi Gale! Delighted to see you and "hear hear" to escapism. Hope you have a happy new year!

    Denise Golinowski

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  5. Hi Denise! I loved your post. I'm a big fantasy reader and have a three-book series of my own percolating deep in the grey matter. I need to finish a few projects before I can get them down on paper. Jacqueline Carey - Yes, yes, yes! A friend of mine gave me the Kushiel series and I gobbled it up. Every time I read one of her books I feel like a complete hack. If you haven't yet, give her "The Sundering" series a chance. "Banewreaker" is the first, "Godslayer" the second. Unbelieveable story of good vs. evil and unrequitted love. I STILL think of those characters. She's brilliant. AJ

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  6. Hi AJ! Thank you for stopping by and suggesting "The Sundering" series. I'll definitely check it out. I know what you mean about reading other authors and then feeling "why do I bother?" However, to paraphrase what someone once told me, every author has a unique voice and there are readers out there looking for that voice. Best of luck with that trilogy! IMHO, 2011 is the year to get it done!

    Denise Golinowski

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  7. Intriguing post, Denise. I envy the creative freedom of writers of fantasy. We who write conventional stories have to keep asking ourselves if this could really happen--especially if you have a mind like mine with a strong bent toward slapstick comedy. Much sucess to you in 2011.

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  8. Hi Vonnie! Thank you for stopping by and commenting. I am in awe of writers who stay in the "real" world. The constantly evolving whirl of current events and required detail of place just boggles me. Granted I do a lot of research for fantasy, but somehow, it seems so different. Kudos to you and thanks for the well wishes. May 2011 be healthy & prosperous for you.

    Denise Golinowski

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  9. I've never read fantasy and have always associated the genre with sci fi, which for me means odd-looking creatures with odd-sounding names, neither of which holds my interest. :) So when I started reading The Festival of the Flowers: The Courtesan and the Scholar, I wasn't sure what to expect. What I found was a story about an intriguing culture, set against a luxurious backdrop that made me want to pack my bags and get on the next flight for...I'm not even sure where, just that I wanted to be there! The story sucked me in right from the beginning, its characters relate-able and, most important, likeable! I really enjoyed it! I just might have to consider reading more of this fantasy thing!

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  10. I'm an escapist as well. My real life is great but I love to imagine. Congratulations and good luck with sales.

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  11. Leah, you've become a convert. Be careful fantasy is addictive.

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  12. Indeed, Leah, that's the main draw of fantasy for me - being able to go somewhere so marvelous and so different from the real world. Granted the real world has some magnificent and marvelous places, but fantasy takes it and spins it delightfully sideways/longways/outways. Thanks for saying such lovely things about The Festival and for dropping by!

    Denise Golinowski

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  13. Hi, P.L. I think that's the sign of a healthy escape artist, one who values their real life but enjoys the departures from norm. Thank you for dropping a comment.

    Denise Golinowski

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  14. Hi Denise - what a gorgeous cover!

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  15. Hi Leigh! Thanks for commenting. I am delighted with the cover that Nicola Martinez at The Wild Rose Press created for The Festival. It perfectly captured the lavish elegance of Valgate culture and fashion.

    Denise Golinowski

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