By Greg James
Why do I write YA Fantasy?
The simple answer would be because it’s fun. I’ve always had a fertile and over-active imagination so the creation of a whole world with its people, creatures, lands and seas gives me plenty to do while I’m in the process of telling my story. But the simple answer doesn’t cover everything.
I am fascinated by mythology, not only the historical kind but modern mythologies that have been created by writers like J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert Jordan and H.P. Lovecraft in their respective fantasy worlds. To read about the old stories is one thing but to make mythology living, breathing and happening now is something else. To reinterpret the old stories and put your own spin on it, and hope that people understand and like what you are doing, is daunting, exciting and a challenge.
Then there are superheroes. Batman, Superman and Spiderman are all a part of our modern mythology, one that we have created that maps our imaginative world in the same way that the Gods of Greece and Egypt once did for antiquity. This also brings me to another reason why I write YA Fantasy rather than just Fantasy in particular. Batman, Superman and Spiderman are all boys. There aren’t that many girls who take the lead in modern mythology. Things are changing in that respect but it’s a slow change and when I decided that I wanted to write YA Fantasy, I knew that my main characters were going to be girls. It was time to have some young women who could swash some buckles, conjure up demons and dragons and save the world without having to be a damsel in distress who falls into the arms of a much more capable male hero. That is why Sarah Bean is the Living Flame in The Sword of Sighs and it is why Robyn Redsparrow will be the hero in A Witch of the Sea in 2014.
So, why do you read YA Fantasy? What do you look for in the genre and why do you find it exciting?
About the Author
Greg James is a Fantasy author based in London, England. He has been writing stories since he was a child. He enjoys long walks around his home city of London as well as reading, writing (of course) and thinking up new imaginary worlds to entertain his readers with. You can find out more about Greg James at the following links: