(Round up announcement.)
Few successful journeys begin alone.
The road to publication for Fantastic Journey is no exception.
This is a joint venture. The seventy authors and their inspiring adventures we explore are beacons of extraordinary story. Most of them are lights by contrast, guiding us to enchanting lands of danger in the ocean of fantasy. With them, we learn how to identify true gems and sell them not. How to discern enemies, friends, and endless possibilities with our inner eye: to touch and to taste the truths of life in all realms near and far.
-Fantastic Journey – The Soul of Speculative Fiction and Fantasy Adventure
Of the 70 authors I approached, some quoted in Fantastic Journey and some I simply invited to a signed book giveaway coming in September – October to celebrate my book launch, twenty of these Imaginative Fiction writers have graciously joined us.
The gems these intrepid adventurers bring forth for our delight are:
- How has fantasy or speculative fiction impacted your experience of the world?
- Why do you think fantasy adventure is important to us as human readers?
- In what ways are great fantasy and imaginative fiction vital to our future?
Here is the line-up for these authors’ fascinating answers to our Q and A Round Up. (Only some of each author’s works are listed beside their names. Once the Q and A begins, their answers will be posted on this blog, with links to their pages or websites, etc.)
RJ Anderson – No Ordinary Fairytale trilogy, the Flight and Flame trilogy, Swift
Kathleen Baldwin – The Stranje House series, A School for Unusual Girls
Morgan Busse – The Ravenwood Saga, Mark of the Raven
Chuck Black – Wars of the Realm series, Cloak of Light
CJ Brightley – The Lord of Dreams
Sigmund Brouwer – Merlin’s Immortals series, Martyr’s Fire
Patrick Carr – The Darkwater Saga, The Shock of Night
Serena Chase – The Eyes of Everia series, The Ryn
Katie Clark – the Enslaved trilogy, and The Rejected Princess
DM Cornish – The Monster Blood Tatoo series, Foundling
Azalea Dabill – the Falcon Chronicle, Falcon Heart
Melanie Dickerson – Fairy Tale Romance series, The Peasant’s Dream
EJ Fisch – The Ziva Payvan trilogy, the Ziva Payvan Legacy, and Fracture
Victoria Hanley – The Seer and the Sword
Kathrese McKee – Mardan’s Mark series, Pirate’s Wager, Mardan’s Mark
Sharon Hinck – The Sword of Lyric series, and The Dancing Realms, Hidden Current, Forsaken Island
Ashley Maker – Under the Trees
Rachel Neumeier – The Griffin Mage trilogy, and The Floating Islands
A. A. Radda – The Numin U’ia series, Numin U’ia
J.F. Rogers – The Ariboslia series, Astray
Jonathan Rogers – the Wilderking trilogy, The Bark of the Bog Owl
Anna Thayer – The Knight of Eldaran series, The Traitor’s Heir
Chris Walley – The Lamb Among the Stars series, The Shadow and Night, The Dark Foundations
KM Weiland – Storming, Dreamlander, Wayfarer
In my last newsletter, I mentioned “posting the Q and A’s soon.” I apologize that things were delayed. But as long as my launch team’s advice is a go, posting these generous Authors’ answers should begin regularly in the next two weeks!
Until then, here is a sneak peek into RJ Anderson’s wonderful introduction to the Q and A’s:
Q: How has fantasy or speculative fiction impacted your experience of the world?
As a child, fantasy was hugely important to me as an escape from loneliness and the bullying I experienced at school. But for me the best fantasy stories were not just the ones that transported me to another world, but the ones that reminded me in some way of the Great Story found in the Bible. It meant a lot to me that the best fantasy books depicted the heroes’ sufferings and struggles not as senseless cruelty but as part of a greater Purpose, and affirmed that no matter how terrifying and even unconquerable the darkness might seem, light and truth would triumph in the end.
As an adult I no longer feel the need to retreat into fantasy worlds, but I still love to visit and explore them. Fantasy is one of the few genres left that celebrates the triumph of goodness over evil and insists that there is a real division between them — even if, as Solzhenitzyn reminded us, that line cuts through the heart of every human being and it’s important to remember that as well. A fantasy that pits sinless saints against irredeemable sinners can be just as false as a fantasy that pretends there’s no difference.
Q: Why do you think fantasy adventure is important to us as human readers?
Good fantasy inspires us to dream of and seek after better things, and also to see our own everyday world with new eyes. I often think of C.S. Lewis’s quote about how he wrote the Narnia books to steal past the “watchful dragons” of people’s false and jaded notions about Christianity, and I think fantasy has tremendous potential to show us truth from unexpected angles and help us to understand ideas that we may struggle with or even outright resist in real life. So I try to find ways to bring that into my own storytelling.
Q: In what ways are great fantasy and imaginative fiction vital to our future?
Our present world has a desperate hunger for love, happiness and purpose, and people are searching wildly in every direction to find it. But the shabby idols propped up by the entertainment industry and the muddy cisterns of modern “realistic” storytelling inevitably leave them feeling cheated. Many people these days are embarrassed to want happy endings, let alone believe in them, and I’ve heard a lot of snide remarks about the “toxicity” of stories that claim villains can be redeemed and not just beaten. But that just shows how far we’ve wandered from the truth of the gospel, which offers hope to every human heart.
I really believe that telling great imaginative stories that acknowledge we are fallen creatures who can’t save ourselves, but which also point us to One who is worthy and who can offer us the redemption we long for, will resonate with people in ways that no other stories can. But we have to learn how to tell those stories well enough that people who don’t already agree with us will listen, and that’s not a skill that can be learned overnight. If we want to see great fantasy stories being written in the next few decades, we don’t just need to support young authors and praise their efforts, we need to encourage them to seek out thoughtful criticism and use it to make their stories truer and richer and better. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, as Hebrews 12:11 reminds us, but the harvest it yields can’t be produced any other way.
This will be re-posted along with a bonus Q and A to a personal question I had about Knife, on the coming Q and A’s. Until next time!
Crossover – Find the Eternal, the Adventure
P.S. None of these launch things would be going as smoothly as they are without the help of my trusty assistant, Susana. Thank you, Susana!