Sometimes a Fantasy is All You Need*

Confessions of a Mystery Novelist...

tolkien-and-fantasy-seriesAs this is posted, it would have been J.R.R. Tolkien’s 124th birthday. Whether or not you’re a fan of Tolkien’s work, it’s hard to deny the influence he’s had on generations of readers and writers. And, if you think about it, Tolkien set himself quite a task. He didn’t just create plots and characters, as all writers do. He invented whole new realities and sets of assumptions. And that’s to say nothing of the variations on languages that he invented.

And we could say a similar thing about more modern fantasy series, such as J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Roger Zelazney’s Chronicles of Amber series, or George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice series. Those who write fantasy series create all sorts of alternate realities, relationships and so on.

What’s the appeal of fantasy series? If they’re well-written, then the characters are appealing. We care what happens…

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