Mommy, Why do Vampires Sparkle?

Thursday has officially become “Thorsday!” This is the day where I will blog about whatever is thundering through my world as part of a new way to keep my little Emmie mind focused on providing you with some fun-tastic content. Enjoy!

I write urban fantasy. Some of you might not be exactly sure what that means, so here’s the quote from Wikipedia:

Urban fantasy describes a work that is set primarily in a city and contains aspects of fantasy. These matters may involve the arrivals of alien races, the discovery of earthbound mythological creatures, coexistence between humans and paranormal beings, conflicts between humans and malicious paranormals, and subsequent changes in city management” -Wikipedia

As with many writers, my writing hits on most of those major points (although I don’t have any aliens in this go), but I also tie in some elements from other fantasy sub-genres. Historical. Tads of epic. My goal was to create a world within our own, using recognizable settings and characters that jump off the page into your lap. It’s a pretty simple goal, but deliciously fun to flesh out.

Urban fantasy draws people. People love vampires — and just try to argue that they love vampires only since Twilight. People love magic and quests and conflict and myth.

So what’s the draw of this genre? It’s been popular for decades, which goes to show that even as many books and series exist already, the market is not likely to become “saturated.” People still gobble it up just as they gobble up mysteries and thrillers and romances. (And if you waltz into a Barnes and Noble, you’ll see that as many vampire/were/speculative fiction books exist, the aforementioned genres still rather dwarf them.)

Not this kind of dwarf, even though I love him. Image via lotr.wikia.com

The sparkly vampire is this: urban fantasy offers us into a glimpse of a world that could be ours. If you scratch the surface of those of us who read urban fantasy, you’ll find kids in capes or wearing fangs (or both) or waving wands at the light switch and yelling lumos when no one is looking. We love magic. We love the idea of it, the tingling tension and the mystery of what’s different in this world. In essence, we love chasing the rainbows. They’re real and present, and we can’t help but wonder if there’s some way to see what’s on the other side.

Double rainbow all the way. Image via Wikipedia.

We read it because we love that tiny, teensy little possibility that whispers to us that maybe it’s real. That perhaps someone could bring us a letter to Hogwarts. Maybe something extraordinary could happen to us. Maybe just beneath the surface of our world, something magical exists. We don’t have to start out in Middle Earth or Emond’s Field — we can start out in Washington D.C. or Portland, Oregon. Maybe somewhere there is a warehouse full of vampires, witches, and shapeshifters whose job it is to enforce Council law….oh wait. That’s my book.

I’ve heard people say that the market is getting over-exposed with urban fantasy, but I beg to differ. There’s still room for the genre to grow, because readers are hungry (not for blood, thank dog). Are there too many mysteries? Too many romance novels? People read them, and a lot of them.

I like that I’ve made my home here, among the fangs and furries and spells of the world. I feel at home with them. I know millions of others feel that way too. Keep looking for the magic, gentle viewers. Even if running through a pillar at King’s Cross won’t take you to Platform 9 3/4, I’ll do my best to bring you to Hogwarts in my own little way.

I want to know what you think. Why do you like fantasy/urban fantasy? What draws you in?

Keep reading, and when something goes bump in the night, smile and hold on tight.

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About Emmie Mears

Saving the world from brooding, one self-actualized vampire at a time.

Posted on December 15, 2011, in Thorsday and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I think what draws me to fantasy is the chance to read cool stuff, and be surprised.

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