Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Why I Write Fantasy - James Hutchings

Welcome James Amber: Why do you write fantasy?
I like the fact that you can have a striking idea and have it in the story in its most direct form. You don't have to justify why the trees in the forest actively want to make people get lost, they just do, and the power of it is that other people have had a similar thought and recognize it.

Amber: Why dark fantasy?
James: What I mean by 'dark fantasy' is that I'm trying to break away from the very narrow idea of fantasy that some people have: huge books, probably a series of huge books, set in an imaginary, medieval-like world (maps of which are at the front), in which a humble hero gets caught up in a battle for the fate of that world...all very much based on the template set down by Lord of the Rings, perhaps as interpreted by games like Dungeons and Dragons and World of Warcraft. I like Tolkien, but he's overshadowed a lot of other ways of writing fantasy which I think are just as interesting, and which have influenced "The New Death and others."
Amber:  What are your favorite fantasy novels?
I like short stories a lot more than novels. But probably The Hobbit.

Amber: Why do readers love fantasy?
Why I love fantasy seems to be quite different to why a lot of other people love it.

A lot of fantasy now days seems to be 'fantasy for people that hate fantasy'. For example it seems to me that Twilight would have almost exactly the same story if the Cullens were car thieves instead of vampires (in the movie he's even looks like a sort of 50s hoodlum). So in that case maybe it's a sort of stand-in for the real thing - like a story about going out with a car thief is too confronting, but having it be about vampires makes it just pretend?

Likewise all those stories about court politics and/or romantic entanglements in an imaginary kingdom. If that's what you're interested in, why not read or write historical novels?

Amber: Would you write fantasy even if no one read it?
Definitely not. I write to be published. But having said that, I can't imagine no one reading fantasy. Even if there was no genre of fantasy (and there wasn't until relatively recently), the actual story elements would still be there.

James Hutchings lives in Melbourne, Australia. He fights crime as Poetic Justice, but his day job is acting. You might know him by his stage-name 'Brad Pitt.' He specializes in short fantasy fiction. His work has appeared in Daily Science Fiction, fiction365 and Enchanted Conversation among other markets. His ebook collection The New Death and others, is now available from AmazonSmashwords and Barnes & Noble. He blogs daily at Teleleli.

The New Death and Others
Death gets a roommate...

An electronic Pope faces a difficult theological question...

A wicked vizier makes a terrible bargain...

44 stories. 19 poems. No sparkly vampires. There's a thin line between genius and insanity, and James Hutchings has just crossed it - but from which direction?

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