Wednesday, April 5, 2017

#IWSG and Jen Chandler's 5 Reasons to Write Fantasy

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is an awesome hope that encourages authors and gives us all a place to vent some of our insecurities, as needed.
Started by Alex J. Cavanaugh, this hop has multiple guest hosts, 

My insecurity this month: feeling far behind and out of it.
 I meant to take part in the A to Z challenge. I had a week's worth of posts written. I realized that I really didn't think I could keep up this year with all my health issues. I had some amazing blessings pour in last month with some short story publications, but I didn't even know about them to post about them properly on twitter and other social media sites. I guess I feel like I've lost my social media savvy - if I had any to begin with (doubtful).

However, I do know I have an awesome team of fellow authors in The Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life 2017 IWSG Anthology

Please welcome Jen Chandler winner of the IWSG anthology contest and author of the title story "Mysteries of Death and Life"

5 Reasons to Write Fantasy

1. Fantasy lifts us out of current situation and plunks us down into that of another. The people in the fantasy are always embroiled in issues worse than those of my reality. I'm able to let go for a while and let someone else battle the orcs.

2. Fantasy speaks to the deep need in all of us for wonder. Even the most level headed, practical realist needs something of wonder in their lives. I know they'd argue with me; I know a couple. And perhaps I'm wrong but I don't think so. People who cannot believe in anything higher than themselves are never happy. They constantly argue their perceived superior intellect and position over that of us poor, ignorant bearers of faith in things unseen. Frankly, I have to believe in the magic and wonder, and, yes, the horror of fantasy. It sheds light on the reality around me, helps me make sense of the horrors of the world and reminds me that life really is beautiful.

3. Fantasy is rebellious. Oh yes! Think about it: it's very anti-establishment. I'm not just talking about the current trend of dystopian fiction. I'm talking about every singe epic fantasy out there. The essence of fantasy is a person or group of persons going up against a seemingly insurmountable foe who has declared absolute rule over some aspect of the world in which the hero or heroes live. The Lord of the Rings is always a superb example. The establishment is that of Sauron and the darkness that wishes to cover the entire world. Tolkien wrote LotR after his experiences in WWI as well as in response to what he was seeing with Industrialization in Europe. Every time I read or see the scene where Sarumon's tower and caverns - filled with breeding Uruk-hai and the forges that outfit his army with weapons - get flooded I like to think it was Tolkien's beautiful, literary way of sticking it to the horrible waste of Industrial era England. 

4. Fantasy, as I touched on in #2, helps us to make sense of the reality around us. When I write something fantastic I feel I am at liberty to really delve deeply into the hard issues of life. It's easier to put myself outside of the hurting and the pain and write about it in a fantastical setting and yet I feel that when I write it, I tell it truer than if I were to write an op-ed piece for a newspaper. When I read it in horror, I feel I am able to better understand the decisions people make in dire situations better than when I read it in the papers or online.

5. Finally, fantasy is FUN! Come on, who doesn't want to talk with a sphinx, ride a dragon, or play chess with a troll? OK, I made that last one up.

Born and raised in the deep, dirty South, Jen Chandler cut her story-telling teeth in the old folktales of Appalachia. She grew up chasing ghosts and gods, devouring the myths and legends of Egypt, Greece, Ireland and the British Isles. Now happily ensconced beneath the moss laden oaks of Savannah, GA, Jen delights in rummaging into the dark corners of stories, re-imaging mythology and collecting ghosts, goblins, and other strange things that tap at the back door of her imagination. When not writing, Jen can be found drinking copious amounts of tea, designing and stitching fabric patterns, studying folk herbalism, and re-reading old copies of British Country Living with frightening regularity. She may or may not be addicted to gummy candy. 

Jen wrote the anthology winning story "Mysteries of Death and Life"
Can Death die? Is Death capable of love? A young, homeless woman named Leah meets the Angel of Death in an abandoned church and discovers that he longs for a release from his eternal work. If Leah can’t uncover the reason for his despair, the souls of the dying could be doomed to wander forever.

Read Jen's story and eleven more in the 2017 IWSG anthology 
Hero Lost: Mysteries of Death and Life!

To find out more about the stories and authors featured in the anthology, 
check out the Hero Lost website!

We also still need help with our Thunderclap Campaign. Please sign up if you can. As of the moment I wrote this, we needed just 4 more supporters for it to go live on May 2nd.

Many thanks to all those who have supported the 2017 #IWSG Anthology Hero Lost Anthology in some way already!

And those unexpected short story publications:
"Here There Be Dragons!" in the Book Dreams Anthology (read the e-mail 5 days late)

"I Didn't Know His Name" - at The Drabble. (didn't know this was out until 3 days later)
"New Answers" at The Crawl Space Journal (had received acceptance letter, but didn't realize the day of publication)
"Worries in the Sand" at Story in 100 Words. (came out the same day as my second surgery)
"My Hope" at Story 100. 
Five Hint Fiction Stories in the April 2017 edition of Nail Polish Stories (new this week)

New Books from More Authors:
Piper Morgan Makes a Splash

Piper Morgan tries her hand at acting in the fourth book of the charming Piper Morgan series.

Piper’s mom is helping out at a local pool shop, and the owner wants to shoot a commercial for his store. Piper thinks it’s the PERFECT opportunity to get in front of the camera and experience a little bit of showbiz. But will Piper’s contribution to the TV commercial make a splash—or will it go belly-up?


Learn A Word in 100 Words
By Patricia JosephineA collection of flash fiction inspired by unusual words. Each tiny tale is crafted around a word that is unique or no longer in use. Read them while waiting in line or before bed. They range from sweet and lighthearted to dark and disturbing. Look out for the supernatural, but don’t turn your back on the average human. A killer might be lurking underneath. Expand your vocabulary, and get some inspiration of your own.
Smashwords -

Tales From The Digital
By Renee Cheung (a Hero Lost author who visited my blog last week)
Somewhere along the way, humans found a way to anchor magic into technology, bringing about the commercialization of once-mystic energies. Little do they know that by doing so, they also created a conduit for the fae and other creatures to migrate into a whole new land...

Come explore a world where programs take on lives of their own and the Unseen hide in lost server spaces. Three short stories give a glimpse to the lives of the Unseen and the human developers-turned-technomancers.
 AmazoniTunes and Kobo

1001 Evocative Prompts 
by Laurel Garver will stimulate your thinking wherever you are in your writing journey and get you writing today. It provides story starts and writing inspiration for a wide variety of genres by focusing on emotions, character development, and pivotal moments.

You can face a blank page with confidence when you use these prompts to warm up, beat writer’s block, develop and maintain a writing habit, change up your routine, start a new project, experiment in a new genre, deepen parts of an existing story, or overcome burnout.

What are you waiting for? Dig in and get writing right now!

Have you supported Hero Lost already? See a book you like? And, what are your reasons to write the genre you love?


Shah Wharton said...

Some interesting books listed here and I agree with those reasons to write fantasy. They're the reasons I enjoy the genre, though I tend to enjoy dark fantasy. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You'll get your social media groove back. Think you're doing well already.
Fantasy does help us deal with reality. Just as much as it's an escape.
Yes, please let someone else battle the orcs...

Natalie Aguirre said...

Your health is more important than anything. I know this because my husband was chronically ill his whole life. And you'll find your balance with the social media. I'm struggling with this too to reduce my blogging a bit so I can get on Facebook more. I've wanted to do this for a long time.

krystal jane said...

I have no social savvy in any capacity.
I find reason #4 to be especially true for myself. Because I feel like fantasy gives me a kind of mask to hide behind, it allows me to be more honest and fearless in my storytelling. :) And also, yes, it's very fun! What's the point in writing if you're not going to have fun?

More congratulations on all the short story publications! So exciting!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I understand the feeling of being out of touch. I feel like I've been in a bubble for a while and wonder where to begin catching up!

Prayers for health. I hope you're feeling top notch soon. And congrats on the short stories. What awesome surprises!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Tyrean - focus on healing! That's way mrs important that social media stuff.:)

Jen - I'm with you on #4, especially in regards to horror, and I love #5. :)

Arlee Bird said...

Can't argue with those reasons to write fantasy. What we write is a very personal thing that might not even be easy to figure out why it interests us. I tend to prefer stories closer to reality. That's mostly what I read and what I'd prefer to write. One of my favorite draws to a film or a book is the line: Based on a true story.

But I have to admire the imaginations of good creators of fantasy. That has to be a challenge to think of it in the first place and then to successfully pull it off.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

cleemckenzie said...

We all need a touch of fantasy in our lives!

And, yes, I'm supporting the anthology!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tyrean - your health is the important thing right now ... you'll learn what you need as needs must. The social media aspect has put me off the A-Z Challenge and if I hadn't have written my posts from last year (as I couldn't do it then) I'd have not bothered ... so I'm fairly certain this is my last year. Good luck to all authors and the new anthology ... cheers Hilary

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Tyrean, you are doing a great job with marketing and social media. Believe me, I'm watching everyone's efforts.

Fantasy is fun! I've always wanted my own pet firelizard.

Rachna Chhabria said...

Hi Tyrean, you have an interesting collection of books. I like writing fantasy because its fun and also I have an overactive imagination which gets a good exercise when I write fantasy!

Crystal Collier said...

Tyrean, you've totally got a few good reasons to be behind the times. Don't sweat it, woman!

Loved Jen's reasons. Now I want to go write some fantasy myself, just to enjoy all 5.

Julie Flanders said...

Gosh I am totally behind on everything and I didn't have surgery. Try not to be hard on yourself!! Your health is what matters. So glad you are doing better and congrats again on those short stories.
Congrats to Jen for winning the top story for the anthology!

Chemist Ken said...

Number 5 is definitely the biggie for me.

Take care of yourself. You can't write if you're not well.

Cherie Reich said...

Getting better health-wise should come first. The rest you'll get back to in time.

Great list, Jen! Those are definitely some of the reasons why I write fantasy too. :)

Olga Godim said...

@Tyrean: you'll come around. We all have our ups and downs, and the winter season is often the season of the 'dumps'. It will be better. Hopefully, soon.
@Jen: what a wonderful list. I especially like your reason #1. "I'm able to let go for a while and let someone else battle the orcs." Yes, that's why I read fantasy and that's why I write it too.

Lynda R Young said...

I love Jen's #3 point, that fantasy is rebellious. Love it.
Sorry to hear about your health issues, Tyrean. I can totally relate. Look after yourself. Be kind to yourself. As writers we put too much pressure on ourselves.

Stephanie Faris said...

Thank you SO much for featuring Piper!!! I'll be tweeting it tomorrow at 7am CST, once everyone's awake.

Chris Votey said...

That's a nice list for why to write Fantasy, but I could use the same list as to why to write Science Fiction, or even Speculative Fiction. I don't mean to come on here and be critical of you, but those would be the various reasons why I write Sci-fi, especially for point #2.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hi, Tyrean...

CONGRATS on all your short story publications. That is amazing! And the IWSG ANTHOLOGY is FIERCE! LOVE The cover! And, JEN.... what a premise.... no wonder you won for top story. Can't wait to read yours and all the others....


Valerie Capps said...

Hi, Tyrean! I'm stopping by on the "Piper Morgan Makes a Splash" Birthday Book Tour. I love Piper and her stories and the covers are adorable. Congratulations, Stephaine, on the release of your latest book in the Piper Morgan series!

Erika Beebe said...

Hi Tyrean! I am sending you lots of healing thoughts and hope all is well. Jen, lovely list. I would love to ride a dragon! Ever since the Neverending Story came out. Good luck dragons are my favorite. And number 4 is also a very strong point. Good luck Stephanie!

Jen Chandler said...

Thanks, Madeline :)

Jen Chandler said...

Thank you so much, Julie!

Jen Chandler said...

Thanks, Cherie :)

Jen Chandler said...

Thank you, Olga!

Jen Chandler said...

Thanks, Lynda. That might be my favorite reason.

Jen Chandler said...

Thanks so much, Erika.

Jen Chandler said...

Thank you, Tyrean, and I'll echo everyone else's sentiments: you can work and write when you get better! I completely understand, having been battling the old Chronic Illness most of this year. Take care!

Yvonne Ventresca said...

Hooray for chess-playing creatures, Jen!

Congrats to Stephanie on the new book!

Tyrean, I hope you continue to feel well. I skipped A to Z this year, too. Sometimes we can't do all the things!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Hi, Tyrean!

I had to take a step back from social media too. I also had some health issues and writing obligations. It was really hard to stop blogging, but when I did, I knew it was the right choice. I'll return when and as often as I can. I'm sure you'll get your groove back when it's right for you!

Michelle Wallace said...

Tyrean, congrats on all the publications!
Jen has a fantastic writing voice...I love her work!

Congrats to all those with new releases!
The book that caught my attention is, 1001 Evocative Prompts. I love writing from prompts.

Magic Love Crow said...

Sending you healing hugs!
I love fantasy!
Congrats on all the new releases!! Wow!

Diane Burton said...

Tyrean, I hope you'll feel back to normal soon. Jen, congrats on the new book. Best wishes on your Thunderclap campaign.

Lexa Cain said...

Don't be discouraged! Even if real life got in the way and stalled your announcements -- you got SIX stories stories pubbed and that's awesome!

Congrats to Jen! I enjoyed her take on Fantasy writing. Congrats to Stephanie for her new release!

I hope you get better soon. Have a great weekend!

Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor said...

Congrats on your short story publications - that's awesome!

Love Jen's reasons to write fantasy, especially #5. :-)

Chrys Fey said...

I don't write fantasy often, but when I do I have a blast! :D