Friday, January 13, 2012


Ok, so lately, MATHION has been getting some pretty good reviews, especially on Goodreads. One recurring comment I see is the positivity of MATHION's "traditional" storytelling. Let me say this, I never intended the MAVONDURI TRILOGY to shake the foundations of the fantasy genre in its first installment, so I'm glad that people have taken notice of my attempt to hearken back to Tolkien, Howard, and even Conan Doyle in terms of prose style. These authors have been very influential to me in that they created a sense of realism and depth to their fantasy histories. Be aware, though, that THE LAST ASCENSION and especially BOOK THREE will not follow this same formula; MATHION was meant to ease readers into the world through a mode they were already familiar with, and now that they are familiar with the world of the Lands of Émae I have more freedom to experiment with bringing more influences into the mythology as Mathion's story draws closer to its completion.

In terms of the writing itself, the only way (in my mind) to present this is by "translating" the stories from their source. What I mean by that is to tell the story as if it isn't a "story" at all, but rather a recounting of actual historical events that for one reason or another were lost to mankind over the centuries.

Many fantasy authors today try too hard to shake up the fantasy genre in order to meet the demands of a youth culture that, tragically, has lost an appreciation for the subcreative processes that make fantasy what it is. In a world of Twitter and Facebook many young readers are consistently looking for the "next hot thing" or something of that like. And in my personal perception this thought is a flawed one. I for one can't get enough of old stories that present the idea that "history is not what it seems to be" and takes ancient ideas of valor and honor and breathes new life into those morals. Many "fantasies" today are simply that, fantasies. True fantasy, traditional fantasy, is that mode of storytelling that impresses real world lessons on the minds of readers in a fantastical context.

Fantasy is meant, to an extent, to be "escapist" but not "evasive", especially given the times we live in. In a world that has ingratiated itself with the superficial and materialistic, I firmly believe that traditional motifs of fantasy storytelling will steer the world, in particular the youth of this world, into a more selfless and deeper mindset of setting others before themselves, and in that regard will help them "escape" the constraints of a world which demands they put themselves first.

That is not to say that there is no hope for fantasy! I think that the genre is poised for a return to mainstream prominence, and in order to do that we as fantasy authors will have to keep the minds of our readers in our minds as we continue to write. What are they expecting? How can we meet and exceed those expectations? And how can we keep this genre, which has been around since man first conceived of stories, grand and epic and heroic in a world where heroes are fewer and further between?

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