Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Guest post by Laura Lond, author of My Sparkling Misfortune

Today Laura Lond, author of My Sparkling Misfortune has stopped by to talk about writing fantasy!

From Goodreads:
Lord Arkus of Blackriver Castle readily admits that he is a villain and sees no reason why it should stop him from being the protagonist of this book. After all, Prince Kellemar, an aspiring hero, has defeated him in a rather questionable way.

Bent on revenge, Arkus attempts to capture a powerful evil spirit who would make him nearly invincible, but a last-minute mistake leaves him with a Sparkling instead—“a goody-goody spirit that helps heroes, watches over little children, and messes up villains’ plans.”

Bound to Lord Arkus for five years of service and sworn to act in his best interests, the Sparkling is not easy to get rid of, and of course his understanding of “best interests” is quite different from what Lord Arkus has in mind.
I knew early on as a writer that fantasy was the genre I wanted to work in. I love the creative freedom it offers. You get to invent your own world with its history, traditions, customs, races, and creatures; you can use historical or contemporary settings, and you can incorporate almost any other genre in the story—mystery, romance, comedy, crime, horror.

Of course, just like with any other genre, you can’t please everyone, no matter what you do. For some readers fantasy has to be Tolkien-like: medieval settings with elves, dwarves, and orcs or similar races; others will accuse such a book of being unoriginal and call it a Tolkien rip-off. I think it’s important for a writer to realize this fact, accept it, and find their own niche, their own audience that will appreciate exactly the type of fantasy they write. Simply put, write what you love, and readers who love the same stuff will find you.

For me, fantasy has always meant historical European-like settings with swords and cloaks. It is usually called traditional fantasy or historical fantasy. I also enjoy a good bit of humor. Historical fantasy is not normally perceived as funny, but hey. “Write what you love,” so why not? So in this particular book, My Sparkling Misfortune, I decided to have a field day with funny. We have a snarky villain who wants to capture an evil spirit to serve him but messes up and catches a good, fairy-like spirit instead. Their antics have made all kinds of readers laugh aloud: adults and teens, guys and gals, fantasy fans and those who normally do not read fantasy.

Does that mean I’ve created a book with universal appeal? I don’t think so; I am sure there are plenty of readers who wouldn’t “get” the book. But the overall formula of writing from your heart, being original and striving for the best quality seems to work.

My Sparkling Misfortune, by Laura Lond
Published by Dream Books, April 2010
Buy My Sparkling Misfortune on Amazon
Check out the trailer

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