Hi, my name is Rob Tobin. I'm a Canadian novelist, screenwriter, non-fiction book author, and speaker, living and writing full-time in Huntington Beach, southern California with my wife Leslie and goofy-but-loveable dog Shackobe. I want to thank Kris and all her wonderful blog readers for giving me the distinct privilege of doing a guest blog here today.
Doing these kind of guest blogs is always a bit of a tightrope walking act, because the reason I'm here is that I'm on a blog tour to promote my upcoming e-novel, "God Wars: Living with Angels," book one of the "God Wars" trilogy, an urban fantasy, available on March 1 from Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and Omnilit.com. There, you see, just in explaining why I'm here I've become a crass pitchman, lol. I feel as if I should be hawking Shamwows -- which actually sell better than most books do anyway.
Kris very kindly gave me what she called "creative freedom" to blog about whatever I wanted to here today, and what I'd like to chat about is the genre of urban fantasy, and the process of writing a book in this genre. First, let's define that genre: it's fantasy that takes place in a modern setting, whereas traditionally fantasy has been set in alternate worlds or in the past.
Reading fiction of any kind involves putting oneself into the hero's shoes, whether a tragedy (where the hero succumbs) or a non-tragic story (where the hero overcomes and triumphs), but none so much as urban fantasy. Fantasy in general represents the ultimate wish fulfillment, the reader living vicariously through the hero in ways that are impossible in the normal physical universe, and of course today there is no genre as hot as fantasy, especially YA fantasies such as "Twilight" and "Harry Potter," which have sold hundreds of millions of copies. Urban fantasy goes even further than "regular" fantasy, because it brings the impossibility and limitlessness and wish fulfillment of fantasy into our every day lives, into OUR world, not just some parallel sword and sorcery world or into some past setting. This is not our father's fantasy story, it's OURS.
That, you see is the key to the genre: it gives us the ability to fulfill dreams that life itself might not give us -- that are, in fact, so amazingly wonderful that they go beyond the realities of life, of physics, of facts and figures and hard truths. And, it does so in our world, in a way we can identify with even more closely than when watching this kind of magic take place in castles and societies of the past, or in alien or alternate worlds. The authors are not just bringing us into a world of magic, they are bringing magic into our world. You can't get much more enjoyable than that, and that is why the genre is so amazingly successful.
This is also why I wrote "God Wars: Living with Angels," which is about a young woman in today's world, who is drawn into witchcraft by a sinister figure posing as one of her law professors, and she develops magical powers that allow her to avenge herself against the "bad people" of the world around her, including the gangbanger who paralyzed her, putting her into a wheelchair and killing her parents. This is one of the ultimate wish fulfillment scenarios, especially because it is set in our world, so that the "bad people" are people we recognize and even have to deal with occasionally in our lives. And how often do these people get their comeuppance? Not often enough. Sometimes never. But in fantasy, urban fantasy especially, we get to emerge triumphant vicariously through the hero's triumphs, and in a setting and against opponents so deliciously familiar to us.
Urban fantasy, then, is a bit like country music -- it's not Bach, but it's fun, it's ours, and it tells stories we can identify with far more than most of us can identify with, say, opera or huge, inaccessible and brilliantly complex classical music. In the end, then, fantasy and urban fantasy is a guilty pleasure and the really nice thing about it is that it contains absolutely no calories, cholesterol, transfats or carcinogenic substances!
Enjoy your fantasies, then, and don't worry, you don't have to work it off on the stair master afterward! And don't worry -- unlike those "other" fantasies, you don't really have to feel guilty about them, lol.
Thanks Kris, and to you blog readers, for letting me discuss the urban fantasy genre, and I hope to come back here sometime to see you all again.
Rob Tobin"God Wars: Living with Angels," available on Amazon.com on March 1.
Rob is offering one lucky winner a copy of his ebook. If you would like to enter please leave a comment or question for Rob!
-ends March 10th