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Friday, June 08, 2007

Meet the Authors of the Fantasy Fiction Tour Part 2

In just under a month, four fantasy authors (including me) will be setting forth on a tour of the US East Coast. We'll be visiting cities from Atlanta to New York. Our schedule is listed below:

{This, incidentally is the back of our official Tour Bookmark}

Tonight I've posted the second in a series of Meet the Author threads. The author's words are taken from a Q&A we participated in to promote the Tour. I'll post all four authors responses to one question in each thread. Hope you enjoy getting to know these wonderful fantasy writers.

Wayne Thomas Batson--The Door Within Trilogy and Isle of Swords
Bryan Davis--The Dragons in Our Midst and Oracles of Fire
Sharon Hinck--The Becky Miller Books and The Sword of Lyric Series
Christopher Hopper--The Rise of the Dibor and The White Lion Chronicles

I'll also be including a new piece of desktop art with each new post--Tonight's pic is from Christopher Hopper's The Lion Vrie which releases in stores later this month. Feel free to save the file and use it as your computer's background. Share with friends or post wherever else you blog!

Q: What makes your fantasy tale different from most other fantasy books?

WB: The Door Within is different in two ways: 1. As a teacher of tweens for 16 years now, I have insights into the lives of kids—their hopes, dreams…fears—depths of insights that other authors may not have. One of the comments I hear most often from readers is that they can identify with the main characters. “That’s just how I’ve felt.” Or, “How’d you know?” I know that kids of all ages are aching to ask the BIG questions of life, and to be taken seriously. In The Door Within Trilogy, I give them that chance.
2. The Glimpse Realm is different from any other fantasy world that I’ve found in other books. Yes, it is medieval. Yes, there are strange settings. Yes, there are strange and wonderful creatures—lots of these! {Wait til you enter Falon’s Labyrinth in book 1!!} But Glimpses are entirely different. They are the other half of our being, tied precariously to each of us by an invisible thread. When Aidan or anyone else for that matter enters The Realm—completely unexpected events occur!

BD: Most of the action takes place in our contemporary world rather than in another realm like Middle Earth or Narnia. I bring the fantasy elements into the everyday lives of “real” kids. My readers can identify with their circumstances and go along for the fantastic ride with them. I have heard from hundreds of readers how these fantasy characters were so real, they wanted to be just like them, including taking their faith as their own.

SH: When I began to write fantasy for adult Christian readers, I looked for the reasons that many of my friends (the core demographic of CBA readers) didn’t chose to read fantasy. Women with overfull and exhausting lives didn’t want to wade through difficult invented names, histories, and geography descriptions. They also needed a “keyhole” character they could identify with—some one to take them into the story. So I took a very “ordinary” soccer mom who was longing to find more meaning and purpose in her life, and told the story first-person point-of-view through her eyes. I kept the writing voice contemporary and lighter than some of the classical fantasy styles. The completely unique blend of genres contains the drama and adventure of other worlds, holy calls, and epic battles—yet sets it in a context that speaks to contemporary women. Women today ARE pulled into worlds they didn’t expect, and face roles they don’t feel prepared for. It happens when a child is diagnosed with a learning disability, a doctor says they have cancer, or a parent slides into Alzheimer’s.

CH: Honestly, I had to ask my wife this question, because I really was having a hard time with responding. And when she answered me back, I thought she should be the author here. It was beautiful. Jennifer said, “It reaches into the soul of a person to change him or her, rather than to reach into the soul of a person to entertain him or her.” And I would agree. When I sit down and write, yes, I hope the reader is entertained. But my primary thought, with every sentence I write, is that his or her life would be literally transformed by my stories; that something in my writing would challenge the way they are living and point them towards the Lord. There is an eternal destiny in mind why I compose, and an eternal reward for its success.

Also, please note that is our Official Tour Sponsor--some of the coolest medieval weaponry and clothing you will ever find!


Eve said...

I loved CH's response. Wow! What an awesome reason to write!

chrisd said...

Great new picture-posted it over by me.

Are you planning on posting about the tour on a specific day? If you do, let me know and I'll put a link or blurb up at the same time.