Greetings, Readers! Time and again, I have been asked "Why have you chosen to write fantasy? Why not mystery or historical fiction?" Ah, if only the answer were simple. Growing up, I loved to read anything and everything I could get my hands on. I read more historical fiction and Christian romance than you could shake a stick at. Furthermore, I always knew I wanted to be a writer. But I didn't feel "inspired" or "driven" to write (you know, the kind of inspiration that drives you mad until you do it) until I began reading speculative fiction. Books by Robin Parish like "Nightmare" and "Offworld," books by Travis Thrasher, Brandon Sanderson, Anne Elizabeth Stengl, and Frank Peretti - these are the books that are responsible for getting my writing off the ground. I always knew I was a writer at heart, but I did not find my true calling until I began to read fantasy. Even when I give that explanation, people are still baffled by my choice. Sure, the genre is gaining popularity every day, but still, why fantasy? Isn't it frivolous and unrealistic? Absolutely and positively NOT! The beauty of fantasy is that it has been around since the beginning of time. We see it in the myths and legends told around our world. The very hero's journey and the concept of archetypes are straight from the annals of mythology, which could also be considered fantasy. With that said, I find fantasy to be very pertinent in the 21st century. Fantasy wields the power of untainted metaphor, free from personal bias, and delivers powerful messages without modern-day issues attached. Fantasy gives readers hope that there is so much more to life than meets the eye and fantasy allows us to escape, if only for a while, from the confines of the real world. Fantasy stories are important. They set our brains on fire and open us up to endless possibilities. Dr. Pamela B. Rutledge sums it up best when she states:
"Stories are how we think. They are how we make meaning of life. Call them schemas, scripts, cognitive maps, mental models, metaphors, or narratives. Stories are how we explain how things work, how we make decisions, how we justify our decisions, how we persuade others, how we understand our place in the world, create our identities, and define and teach social values."
In closing, fantasy allows me to explore the impossible with my readers. Fantasy makes the world a little darker, a little scarier, and a little more fantastic. Fantasy allows us to visit new and wondrous places, to reside, if just for a little while, in worlds that are not governed by the same laws as our own. Fantasy allows us to explore themes of love, loss, self-discovery, betrayal, salvation, and death from unique and different perspectives. Finally, fantasy allows us to uncover important spiritual truths and to dig deeper into spiritual warfare. With all that said, why would I not want to write fantasy? ~ Christina Welbourne