Science Fiction and Fantasy may be different genres, but they overlap more than you think! Tonight we’ll find out where they meet, where they part ways, what each reader audience is looking for, and more.
Ever wonder how writers do in-depth research, especially into very old, handed-down stories? Rebekah Jonesy has been kind enough to share her approach, including how she uses Wikipedia (correctly), getting to the bottom of legends, and choosing exactly how to include those legends and myths in her writing.
One of the things that every author has to do is research. This is a great way to waste time while still telling yourself that you’re working. But that doesn’t mean it’s not needed. Especially when you’re writing about a mashup of old beliefs and legends, like I am for my new series, Mab’s Doll.
Gaelic legends in itself are convoluted and twisted. It started its existence as an oral tradition. And of course over the years with wars and conquerors and famine and blight and the resulting chaos, a lot of the stories were lost. Or became confused.
People like Shakespeare came and heard the stories and adapted it for their own use. They
crafted their own stories and wrote them down. Those written stories were shared farther and faster than the oral stories passed down through the generations. While I have used this bastardization of the stories as a plot point, it makes finding the original stories much harder.
Wikipedia has actually been a great help with this. I looked up the character or creature I wanted to know about, then I ignored most of what was written on the page and instead check out the source links at the bottom. Because the creatures of the fae are so similar to the creatures from other cultures, I tried to focus at least my origin story for my MC, Gilian Gilchrist, on the Irish and Scottish legends about the Sidhe.
And I realized right off the bat that I did not know nearly as much as I assumed.
I didn’t even know how to pronounce Sidhe. It’s actually pronounced Shee. So it has been a wonderful trip through the Underhill for me. I’ve started separating out the origins of each type of critter I had planned on using for my series, even knowing that I’m later going to mash them back together. But my plan for now is to make sure that everyone knows the origin of each type of character I introduce through my series.
Even my first book, Moss and Clay, which deals with a siren, is a mixture of Irish and Greek lore. And from that combined lore, I came up with a creature that had lived for centuries in Ireland, Greece, and ancient Rome. But even knowing where she came from I still had to decide whether or not to give her wings. Because my research told me that while sirens in Ireland started out as snakes, the sirens in Greece had bodies of birds and heads of women. Or maybe they had bodies of women and heads of birds. Or maybe they were women who just had wings. Or maybe they were men and women who could be any bird-like combination thereof. So while my research gives me a lot of ideas, in the end it’s up to me how to put the pieces together to make them fit into the story line my main character insists on.
Rebekah Jonesy knows stuff about things and isn’t afraid to talk and write about it. Outside of the literary world, she is a mad scientist cook, gardener, Jill of all trades, and military spouse. Inside the literary world she is a devourer of books, publisher, and mentor.
“Rebekah has the best kind of rabies”- JD Estrada
Don’t forget to check out other awesome stops on the tour.
Authors support fellow authors often. In fact, some dedicate full YouTube channels, videos, blogs, or events to helping others. So why do they spend time promoting others that could dedicated to promoting themselves? And what are some of the top ways to support our community? Find out on this episode!
We chatted with Coffin Hop Press, a small press in Calgary with the motto “New Crime. New Weird. New Pulp.” We talked about who they are, what they look for, how they work with Creative Edge, and a whole lot more!
In honor of Valentine’s Day, let’s chat about romance, the top-selling genre in the industry (it’s a $1.44 billion genre according to Bookstr!). But what about subgenres? And is romance the most universal genre of them all? What is the modern romance reader looking for? This and much more in this episode of The Writer’s Edge!
How about a date for the day after Valentine’s Day? Come join The Writer’s Edge on Thursday, February 15 at 10 p.m. Eastern Time for a live panel of romance writers ready to answer your questions about writing romance, subgenres, the reader experience, and so much more! Here’s a sneak peak at our topics—Tim Reynolds was kind enough to answer some of our questions ahead of time.
What romance subgenre(s) do you write and why did you choose to write it/them?
One typical subplot in other genres is to involve some level of romance. Would you say that romance is the most universal genre since it commonly appears in so many other genres?
What would you say is the hardest thing about writing romance or your subgenre in particular?
What do you think a romance book HAS to have, and if that thing (or those things) aren’t present, it shouldn’t be called romance?
If a writer wanted to start writing romance in general, what advice would you give them that you wish you’d had when you first started?
One of the reasons romance is such a popular genre is that readers can experience a happily ever after or an ideal situation that they can’t necessarily have themselves. It can also give them an escape when they’re feeling hopeless. How do you think romance improves readers’ lives?
When I looked up “romance novels” on Google, the first result was Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and the second or sometimes third result was Fifty Shades of Gray. Those are such total opposites—what do you think of those results and what do the results mean about the state of modern romance readers?
According to bookstr.com, the romance & erotica publishing industry is worth $1.44 billion dollars! How do you feel about being lumped in with erotica? Is that expected nowadays or do you think the genres should really stay separate.
His latest novel is the award-nominated Waking Anastasia from Tyche Books. It’s a romantic tale of death, laughter, and love…in that order.
Long-Listed: 2017 Alberta Readers’ Choice Award
Finalist: 2016 Baen Fantasy Adventure Award
A Winner: Kobo Writing Life’s Jeffrey Archer Short Story Challenge
Two Honourable Mentions: Writers of the Future Contest
Honourable Mention: Illustrators of the Future Contest
Winner: The First Great Canadian Fable Contest
What could be better than some insight into book bloggers’, reviewers’, and interviewers’ minds? Find out what they’re looking for when they feature an author, whether authors should write to market, how to get your book out in front of readers, and so much more!