Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Guest: James Hutchings

VampChix welcomes author James Hutchings today, and he's got some thought-provoking questions for you.

I can tell you why I love fantasy, but it seems to be quite different to what other people like about it. I like the fact that you can have a striking idea and have it in the story in its most direct form. You don't have to justify why the trees in the forest actively want to make people get lost, they just do, and the power of it is that other people have had a similar thought and recognise it.

A lot of fantasy nowdays seems to be 'fantasy for people that hate fantasy'. For example it seems to me that Twilight would have almost exactly the same story if the Cullens were car thieves instead of vampires (in the movie he's even dressed as a sort of 50s hoodlum). So in that case maybe it's a sort of stand-in for the real thing - a story about going out with a car thief is too...confronting perhaps, or the problems with it too obvious. But perhaps having the 'car thief' be a vampire instead kind of puts the situation in 'soft focus', much like an 18th century pirate is a romantic figure whereas a Somali pirate from around now is just a thug with a machine gun. I'd say similar things about Buffy: a story about a high school girl going out with an older guy who has anger issues would be creepy, but it's romantic when he's a vampire (although I think the creators of Buffy are much more aware of what they're doing).

Likewise all those stories about court politics and/or romantic entanglements in an imaginary kingdom. If that's what you're interested in, why not read or write historical novels? I'm not asking rhetorically; I'd actually like to know why people who read the Game of Thrones series don't seem to want to read fiction about the kings of England.

Read more from James at his blog here:
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