Published: February 4th, 2014
When Kale mac Tadhg is betrayed by his Lord’s men, he is sent on an impossible quest: slay a witch in a tower, and end a people’s curse. Both Kale’s best friend and brother-in-arms Aaron Smithson and former betrothed Aoife of Westgate set out to rescue him, but their journey takes them into the uncharted waters and Northwestern Nordic colonies, to a land cursed and all but forgotten. They begin to realize that there is some truth to old legends. Kale’s rescue comes at a price—for by the time Aaron and Aoife know where to search, like so many before him, Kale is bound to the ancient tower’s fate.
What do you think about our day fantasy literature evolutions/trend?
A trend I'm not a huge fan of is grey vs. grey morality. Basically what this means, is that the good guys aren't that good, and the bad guys are kind of sympathetic, but instead of one party being portrayed as wrong, we cheer for one rather then the other because effectively the good guys are less horrible then the bad guys. While this might mimic real life - and I think it's safe to say I use flawed characters - I prefer it when the lines are there. That's not to say I don't like complicated villains or who are evil for evil's sake, but generally speaking, when I'm casting my heroes and villains, it's the good guys who realize they're making mistakes, whereas the bad guys, they won't admit to being wrong and will justify their bad behavior.
I think at the most simple, a fantasy story is any story that explores some aspect of humanity. I think while science-fiction is mostly about the human condition, fantasy is usually about our hopes. All stories need to be more then just about the sequence of events that occurred - the bigger sense of the story, so to speak. Most of us don't have magical powers or the fate of the world in our hands, but we can relate to a giant obstacle in our life as that dragon that needs to be slain.
What a Historic Fantasy story must have?
Research. It's one thing to admit that your story is alternative history and thus you're not being 100% accurate to that time. Most readers expect some light interpretation of the time period for simplicity's sake - and let's be really honest, you're probably writing for a contemporary crowd - but like all good fiction, it has to sound plausible rather then be authentic. Unless your target audience is an expert on that era, most of your readers won't be able to follow along with localized sayings or understand gestures specific to a given historical culture because we don't have that context.
If you're going to set your story in a historical era, think about why you want to set it there, and how easily you are going to be able to do research. Part of the reason I was drawn to the Viking Era was because it was so well documented. Something that has come up at several panels I've been on locally is writing from a culture that isn't your own - we usually end up on the topic of religion. I think as a beginner, I would want to avoid difficult subject matter until I became more comfortable in my craft, but I've learned to say "never" is to censor things needlessly.
What would you say to those who refuse to read fantasy?
I'd say it would depend on why they refuse. If they say they can't relate to fantasy, then I'd point out that fantasy is anything that never happened, hence, all fiction is in its own way fantasy - even movies based off real events have to take some creative license to fit a narrative structure.
Another common reason for not wanting to read fantasy is that it's associated with childish fairy tales (at least, the stories that are now made acceptable for children; the original Grimm was rather morbid by today's standards). C.S. Lewis has something better to say on it then me:
“When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty, I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.”
L.T. Getty started writing her first novel in junior high, and hasn’t really stopped since. She’s studied kendo, is an open water scuba diver, and has recently taken up archery, and hopes to learn to do it horseback some day. When she’s not writing, she works as a paramedic. When she is writing, it tends to be rather cheeky.
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