I'm super excited to welcome you to the #ShadowShifts blog tour - Day 2!
I'm relatively new to the urban fantasy genre, but it's a neighbourhood I'd like to get to know better. On the literary map, it's nestled somewhere between alternate history and high fantasy in the province of speculative fiction. Because so much of it is rooted in modern-day life, world-building is simplified and a bit restricted, but at the same time... anything can happen.
The Liminal world is no different than the one we currently live in. Towns and cell phones and cars and wifi and schools and bookstores and anything else you might find in a regular neighbourhood exist within it. The magic is well hidden, buried deep inside tweens and teens, away from the prying eyes of more cynical adults.
The only addition, not visible to the naked eye, are the Liminal creatures. Some lurk in the light, others skulk in the shadows, but both are necessary for the survival of the human race, even if we don't know it. These fairy-like creatures harvest the magic that develops in youth, reap the elements they need, and restore the rest to the teens so they can continue to develop into the adults they're meant to be. In Shadow Shifts, we get a glimpse of what happens when the harvest goes wrong.
The beautiful thing about writing urban fantasy is that the outline of the world-building is already drawn. All that's left is shading in the colours, and it's okay to go outside the lines. There's no need to recreate language, financial systems, or unusual species – but if you want to, you absolutely can.
Having said that, creating relatable urban fantasy can be tricky. Each character, event, and emotion needs to contain an element of realism. It needs to hold within its palm the small, but niggling sentiment of "what if". This might be speculative fiction, and it might contain humans with super powers or mythical creatures, but if the events and characters don't mesh seamlessly with the modern world, then you've stepped outside of urban fantasy and into a different community.
There's only one book left to write in the Liminal Series, but I've come to know this world well, and I'll hate to leave it behind. The best thing about books is that they can be revisited easily whenever homesickness settles in. Even better, as a writer, I get to help decide when and how the story will end.
Thank you, J.M. Bogart, for your interesting views on what it's like to write urban fantasy.
Wait, there's prizes! Enter the Rafflecopter to win!
The winner will be announced at the end of the tour (May 26th) by J.M. Bogart.
And don't forget to visit Jorie Loves a Story for a guest post/interview with J.M. Bogart on Day 3 of the #ShadowShifts book tour!
If you missed the official tour launch, you can find it at Writerly Yours.
The Liminal Series