Friday, October 29, 2010

What Makes Fantasy Awesome: Guest Post By Author Janice Hardy!

First off, a HUGE thanks to everyone who joined our Awesome Query Chat with Elana Johnson last night! Hope you learned a ton about queries! 

Oh, and I apologize for that random guest who started talking about Alexander Skarsgaard... I have NO IDEA who she is... at all...


Anyway! I am beyond excited to welcome author Janice Hardy to the OA blog!! Woot! 

As part of her blog tour for the second book in her HEALING WARS trilogy, a.k.a. BLUE FIRE, Janice is here to talk about fantasy. And more importantly, why the genre is so awesome.

Take it away, Janice!

What Makes Fantasy Awesome. At Least to Me.

I’ve loved fantasy for as long as I can remember. Books, movies, TV shows, games – anything with a fantasy element got my attention. So it was only natural that when I started writing, it was fantasy. Here are my Top Ten Reasons Why Fantasy is Awesome.

1. Magic
Even as an adult I wished I could develop magic powers and be able to do all those cool things the heroes I read about could do. And being able to make up my own magic for my own books makes it doubly fun.

2. Dragons
Granted, not every fantasy book has dragons, but fantasy gave us dragons and I’ve wanted one ever since I got my Fisher Price pink dragon in the castle play set when I was six. I think my love of all things lizard came from my love of dragons.

3. Delicious Villains
Maybe there’s a touch of villain in me, but I love the bad guys, and fantasy has some great bad guys. Monsters, creatures, evil wizards, demons and devils. If you want to be bad, there’s something dark and nasty that is only too happy to help you do it.

4. High Stakes
Nothing in fantasy is ever halfway. If there’s a damsel to be saved, it’s from death. A town in trouble? It’s save it before it’s wiped from the map. And the world is almost always in jeopardy.

5. Funny Sidekicks
With all the drama from so much impending doom, you have to have a little humor to lighten the mood. No fantasy hero worth her stilettos (boots or knives, your pick) goes out without that friend or confidant who always has the best lines when everything is falling apart.

6. Other Worlds
Real life can get boring, but the characters in my fantasy worlds always have something going on. (Usually the end of the world) If by some freak of nature the world isn’t ending, then someone’s personal life is falling apart in an interesting way. Usually involving a pact with something nasty.

7. Pacts With Something Nasty
There’s a lot of fun to be had watching a hero make a deal you know is going to come back and get them in a heap of trouble. Bad guys making pacts is also fun, but not the same because you know they’ll get what’s coming to them. But the hero? Who knows what they’ll do to get out of things.

8. Girls With Weapons
I love tough girls who can handle even the meanest monster on their own, and fantasy is chocked full of them. (monsters and tough girls) Even when they start out helpless wallflowers, by the last page they’ve found their inner Xena and are out there kicking butt with the boys. Or kicking boy’s butts. Both work.

9. Talking Animals
I’ve wished all my life I could know what my pets were thinking, and to have my very own talking cat? That would be beyond awesome.

10. Anything is Possible
The mundane need not apply. If you can dream it, it can happen. That allows storytellers to craft so many amazing tales that cover everything from a silly romp to a serious social issue. There’s so much versatility in fantasy, both in the stories it tells or the worlds they’re set in. 

Fantasy offers dreams and wonder, and who doesn’t need a little wonder in their life?

A huge thanks to Janice for sharing her awesome today! Here's more info about her MG fantasy book, BLUE FIRE (which you should totally pick up after reading, THE SHIFTER!!):

Blue Fire Blurb

Part fugitive, part hero, fifteen-year-old Nya is barely staying ahead of the Duke of Baseer’s trackers. Wanted for a crime she didn’t mean to commit, she risks capture to protect every Taker she can find, determined to prevent the Duke from using them in his fiendish experiments. But resolve isn’t enough to protect any of them, and Nya soon realizes that the only way to keep them all out of the Duke’s clutches is to flee Geveg. Unfortunately, the Duke’s best tracker has other ideas.

Nya finds herself trapped in the last place she ever wanted to be, forced to trust the last people she ever thought she could. More is at stake than just the people of Geveg, and the closer she gets to uncovering the Duke’s plan, the more she discovers how critical she is to his victory. To save Geveg, she just might have to save Baseer—if she doesn’t destroy it first.

Link to Blue Fire Online Retailer

Janice Hardy Bio

A long-time fantasy reader, Janice Hardy always wondered about the darker side of healing. For her fantasy trilogy THE HEALING WARS, she tapped into her own dark side to create a world where healing was dangerous, and those with the best intentions often made the worst choices. Her books include THE SHIFTER, and BLUE FIRE from Balzer+Bray/Harper Collins.  She lives in Georgia with her husband, three cats and one very nervous freshwater eel.

You can find Janice over at her Website:

and over at her blog: The Other Side of the Story Blog


Anonymous said...

Great interview! Thanks for sharing your love of fantasy, Janice! :D

I would have to agree wholeheartedly with all of the points you make. ;)

Angelica R. Jackson said...

2 of my critique partners just came back from a SCBWI workshop with this advice about fantasy: one writer got told "fantasy is just not selling right now" and the other one was told not to have talking animals (they don't talk to everyone, it's a special power for her character to hear big cats).

So it's good to hear there are still enthusiastic fantasy readers and writers out there!

P.S. My fantasy is that the one-line pitch contest will be posted soon--it's been days since you teased us that it was coming!

P.P.S. Thanks for the chat last night; my computer had trouble with the refreshing (maybe Firefox was not totally compatible?) so I left the room and made a pie, and then logged back in at the end and caught up. Some good info on there.

Michelle McLean said...

wonderful post! Those are many of the reasons I love fantasy as well :) Thanks for sharing, Janice!

Vonna said...

Love your reasons, especially #2, 8, and 9. For #2, though, I'd have to reverse it. My love of dragons stemmed from my childhood love of lizards.
I've thoroughly enjoyed following you on your tour, Janice.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for the great post. I love fantasy for the same reasons as you. I'd sure love a magic wand. Can't wait to read Blue Fire.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Yay, Janice - awesome post! I'm going to bookmark this for when I start my new WIP. I'm dying to read Blue Fire! :-)

Katrina L. Lantz said...

Janice, thank you so much for this! It's awesome, and totally matches my own list for things I love about fantasy, especially the high stakes. You gotta love a world where everything is always in mortal peril! :)

Angelica, I hope you have that pitch ready because there are only a few days until your fantasy will be reality! Meanwhile, have you entered the Twilight fanfic contest yet? That ends on Halloween at midnight!

Jaleh D said...

I agree! Fantasy is totally awesome and provided me an escape from the ickiness of my teen years. Too bad I never seriously considered writing my own escapes. I was more interested in becoming a musician at the time. But I would have agreed with every item on your checklist of awesomeness. Still do. Dragons-->best creatures of fantasy ever.

Janice Hardy said...

Thanks so much everyone. It was fun putting the list together and remembering why I love it as a reader. I get asked all the time why I love it as a writer, but that's a different list :) I'm glad to see I'm not alone in my fantasy faves.

Angelica, I hear people say that about fantasy and talking animals, but it's never that general. Fantasy is still selling. I see it all the time in Publishers Lunch Deals. I think it's the "same old same old" fantasy that's a harder sell since the genre has grown. An original premise is always in demand no matter what the genre. Pair that up with a great story, and your chances are pretty good.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Pacts with Something Nasty--oh, yes, that's a great one to remember. I love this list and need to hang up as a reminder that all this is what made me fall in love with fantasy. Thank you.

Shannon Duffy said...

I personally couldn't agree with you more on the fantasy loving. It's what I loved as a child and what I write too. Loved this post! Good job!

Laura said...

Great list. I need some push to get started with NaNoWriMo this year. This was a good, makes me remember what I like about writing paranormal stories. Thank you.