I was at a book reading/signing the other day for a debut novel of a mystery author. A Sherlock Holmesian crime novel. Straight, full on, mystery genre. So why is it that when he asked me what I write, I got all flustered and didn’t want to tell him “fantasy”?

I am very proud of what I write. I love entering a world of magic and dragons, where the impossible is possible. I like having the power to make dreams come true – not only mine, but readers who have always wanted to play with hellhounds or have coffee with demons (I have some weird friends, okay?).

What I also have, apparently, is a lack of confidence to tell people that I enjoy it. As if it’s something beneath the high literature of…what? Mystery? Romance? Literary fiction? It’s all ridiculous, because there are no superior or inferior genres. The only thing that matters, that should matter is the quality of the writing and the story. The idea of dancing with corporeal Death may not appeal to some readers, but that doesn’t invalidate the idea.

So really, I’m ranting at myself. I’m mad at myself for feeling less than I should about what I do. So today, from this moment, I’m going to throw my cape about my shoulders, hide a dagger in my boot and take my sidekick-troll named Chester by my side to exclaim to the world that I WRITE FANTASY NOVELS and I’m proud of it


  1. I don’t think there’s any such thing as high literature. Any story that moves you, or makes you want to read more falls into that bracket. That is the point of the story after all, to create a desire in the reader to care about what they’re reading.

    Some of the greatest writers of all time have written in the fantasy genre, no matter what anyone else things, you’re in some seriously good company.

    1. Exactly! 90% of my favourite authors are fantasy writers and I would squee like a teenage girl if I met them. I think it’s more a self-confidence issue, actually. I’d probably feel the same about the mystery genre if I wrote crime novels *sigh*

  2. I’m the same way….sort of. When people ask me what my job is, I usually answer unemployed. I could say that I’m a writer…since that is what I do all day….but I always assumed that to say you are a writer means you actually get paid to write. Don’t even get me started when they finally figure out I write every day on what genre I tell them I write (I write fantasy, as well) 🙂 I usually try to say fantasy, but…due to lack of confidence…it usual comes out a garbled mess and they walk away confused :-\

  3. I’ve told people I write fantasy — sometimes the responses are interesting to say the least. I kicked myself one time, because after I said “fantasy” I saw their brow furrow and their face morphed into this weird contortion so I quickly added, “you know, swords, sorcery, all that stuff” waved my hand dismissively and walked away. No! I write fantasy and I’m damn proud of it. You don’t like it? You don’t have to. Neener, neener. (Sometimes I’m soooo mature ;p )

    1. I know that reaction well. One person actually laughed in my face and said “I don’t read that stuff”. In no way were my feelings hurt, but it didn’t put me in much a rush to tell others.

  4. I’ve found I feel better about saying what I write (and get better results) if I make it just a little more specific. “Contemporary fantasy,” “dark fantasy”, “light horror”, “near-future sci-fi”, “secondary-world fantasy”–it points people’s thoughts in a direction that’s not necessarily a Boris Vallejo cover with a dragon and a steel-bikini warrior. (Or if that IS what you write: “old-school epic fantasy” to head off the people who think you’re writing Harry Potter or Anita Blake.)

  5. I seem to have difficulty telling people that I write, no matter what the genre. I think it’s a confidence thing. And I agree completely – there are no superior or inferior genres. Be proud! 🙂

  6. you write fantasy that tell me you have unbridled imagination and can go with the flow of…well anything, you rock, and as TJ its quality of the work not where you categorize the work


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