Stand Up Fantasy Readers

I came out of the literature closet when I made the decision to find a way to have my Wycaan Master series published. My ego prevented me from using a pseudonym and I knew it was time to let the world know.

At first I kind of tagged a mumbled line into my elevator pitch: I write social justice-themed novels and also dabble in some fantasmmmm (imagine a hand rising in front of my mouth).

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I was mortified when my boss’s wife turned to me one day and said her husband had told her I’m really into epic fantasy. I focused all my superhero strength on the ground opening up and swallowing me. Thankfully such talents are woefully non-existent because boss’s wife revealed with pride how she totally loves the genre and began reeling off her favorite authors and series. Then boss’s super-cool wife promptly sat on the stairs with my then 12-year-old son and talked for a half hour of their shared genre. He was beaming when I asked him how their conversation went.

I discovered that, as I assumed more confidence in sharing that I write in two genres, people began to share their love for epic fantasy. I found that there were plenty of fantasy nerds (Big Bang Theory, anyone?) but there are also many very cool people.

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As I begin to frequent the forums, I discover people who are deep-thinkers, who follow and critically analyze plots, world building, and character development. In fact, having participated in a fair share of workshops, read how-to writing books, and listened to countless authors, I have found these threads to be as profound and educational as any.

Fantasy readers are connoisseurs in the true sense of the word – a person who is especially competent to pass critical judgments in an art, particularly one of the fine arts, or in matters of taste (dictionary.com).

Last week I quoted from a comment on a long You Tube thread (I was listening to the Hobbit soundtrack) full of comments, disagreements, and debate. The author is RobbieBjork17: “Holy Crap that was one_ of the most educated conversations I’ve ever read on youtube…. shoulda known it was going to be Tolkien Fans ;).”

He (or she) knew something I didn’t. But then what can you expect from a genre led by two British Oxford professors!

Now I wear my genre on the side of my car and when I pick up commuters every morning at the casual car pool and they ask me about the car magnet, I reply: “I am an author. I write in two genres: social justice themed novels and YA epic fantasy.”

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And I say the last part without mumbling.

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Alon Shalev writes social justice-themed novels and YA epic fantasy. He swears there is a connection. His latest books include: Unwanted Heroes and At The Walls Of Galbrieth. Alon tweets at @alonshalevsf and @elfwriter.  

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6 comments on “Stand Up Fantasy Readers

  1. lisafender says:

    I love writing fantasy fiction, creating a new world is actually fun and I hear you about the nerds that follow stories and that includes every detail. In fact when my sister and I are writing together we take care in the fact that maybe someday our books will be popular and we have to make sure we are consistent because we know otherwise we will be called out on it. They take these stories very seriously.
    In fact, I guess i could be one of those nerds. I have found a few inconsistencies in a couple of places in the Fire and Ice series. Yup, it’s true. But nevertheless, I love them anyway!
    By the way, I loved your story too and I’m looking forward to the next book! You did a wonderful job! Kudos to you and by the way, thanks for saying you would check out my book when it come out (only a couple more weeks) and I look forward to your take of my story, It means a lot to me to hear from other fantasy writers whom are great ones such as yourself. Who understand what it takes to write in the genre. Have a great day Alon and any hints to when the next book will be out? I’m trying to be patient ;-)!

  2. Your bravery was rewarded then? Well done…now the first step has been taken I’m sure the next will be easier! I write in many genres so to read about how a dual genre author has managed to ‘come out’ is encouraging. Good luck

  3. Let your geek flag fly my friend 🙂

  4. Angie says:

    I will read all books put before me. I recycle to other readers everything..all the horrible the good and the amazing stories and let them decide for themselves.The only thing I ask is that they give the Fantasy books back to me,I just can’t part with them. I always suggest to any parents asking what book to get their child. Magic Kingdom for Sale :). It always gets all ages hooked.
    I’m looking forward to having another favorite author to pass along to friends and family.

  5. […] him to the hilt – even if they privately knew I was right. It is something very special about the people attracted to the […]

  6. […] to the hilt – even if they privately knew I was right. It is something very special about the people attracted to the […]

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