I’m not afraid to admit I like a bit of heroic fantasy now and then, why should I be? I’m not a coward! I’ve lived near Aldershot. Yeah. Never went there, mind. Not slowly at least, not stopping. Heard it’s not bad actually but that’s not the point.
The point is I like heroic fantasy. I’m not all about spaceships and ray guns. The other side of my genre coin has caused me to find a new favourite who I believe I can safely put on the ‘Heroic Fantasy’ section of my bookshelves. I’ll let him introduce himself in this guest post from that very same fellow:
Hello! My name is D. E. M. Emrys, but you can call me D. I’m the author of the upcoming fantasy series ‘Wroge Elements’.
Why do we read fantasy? Heck, why do we write fantasy? For me it’s down to the ‘human’ factor. When the chips are down, what’re you going to do. Ask yourself this: ‘would you rather die on your feet, or live on your knees’?
I’ve posed that question to myself many a time. I might be an author, but I still have a day job. I’m a full time serving soldier. From desert sands to icy wastes, rolling hills to as-far-as-the-eye-can-see flatlands, I’ve not only ‘been there’ (and likely bought the t-shirt) but I’ve likely fought there in some capacity, too. Or at least trained. I know men and women who have overcome mortal wounds to rescue comrades under fire. I’ve made friends with those who should see me as an enemy, but instead they want to help. I’ve met soldiers who believe in what they’re doing, even when everyone back home is questioning the outcome of an operation. I’ve seen the respect, the love, and the admiration, of the friends and families back home as they send off their loved ones to war. You, reader, have almost definitely seen the wooden box on the TV when a soldier doesn’t make it home alive.
That’s the human factor.
Standing up and doing something – anything – because someone has to.
The world is not the nightmarish place it seems to be. In amongst all the bad, there’s a hell of a lot of good. Fantasy as a genre allows me to escape the norm, and realise what makes the world such a good and bad place to be.
This has become a far more serious segment than I meant it to be, but it’s something I truly believe in. Characters in fantasy have lives of their own, hopes and dreams, fears and flaws. But, it’s not the narrator’s description of the characters that make them who they are. It’s the way they react to the plot-sized life changing cataclysm landing on their lap.
What if Mr Frodo never delivered the ring to Mordor? What if Harry’s parents didn’t sacrifice themselves to save him? What if Arlen Bales had left his mother out in the night with the demons hunting her? What if Druss the Legend had ignored the called to war in his old age, and abandoned the fortress of Dros Delnoch to its fate?
When the chips are down…
And this is why I love fantasy. I aspire to my heroes – given life blood by ink, and destiny upon paper. I learn something about myself and the world around me with each novel. So let me ask you this:
‘Live with a sword, or die without?’
That’s the question posed by my debut novel, ‘It Began With Ashes’. It’s not about knights in shining armour who ride in to save the day, or damsels in distress held captive by wicked warlocks and witches. It’s a story about real life every day heroes – the boy who looks out for his friends, the father who hides his past to protect his son, the mother who will do anything for her family. More importantly, there’s a man with a very big axe and he knows how to use it.
And that’s why I read and write fantasy. What’s your excuse?
D. E. M. Emrys. Author. Soldier by day, Soldier by night – Writer in between. Knows war to write war.