Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fantasy Stories: The Perfect Venue for Moral Questions

I recently read a quote by Paul S. Kemp, the New York Times bestselling novelist and creator of Erevis Cale:
Fantasy's ability to serve as a perfect venue for moral questions is (among a few other things) what gives the genre its enduring strength.
Some basic moral questions are at the heart of my Mall Demons Urban Fantasy Series.

In another bit of reading going back to 2001, I recall a foreword written by Anne Perry in "Writing the Breakout Novel," by Donald Maas:
Sometimes I am asked, "Is it true you should write what you know about?" I say, "No, write what you care about. If you don't know, you'll find out. But if you don't care, why should anyone else?"
The moral questions behind the Mall Demons Series are some I "care about." Questions, I dare say, I lose sleep over; questions I contemplate in the middle of the day, as well, leading me to stare into space for minutes at a time.

I begin the Prelude to Book One of the Mall Demons Series with a quote from "Paradise Lost."
Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth Unseen, both when we wake, and when we sleep.
I follow it with the line: "Your mind is your greatest enemy." And then with this: "WARNING: The spiritual battle is real."

The questions I ask all my characters (and possibly ones my readers may ask as they spend time with my stories) are these: Which side are you on? Who do you serve?

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