One question I get asked the most is, “Why of all the genres did you choose to write a fantasy series?”
I have always loved the fantastical. Epic adventures captured my imagination. Impossible magic enthralled me. Dragons, mermaids, fairies, and monsters thrilled every time I met them. One of my earliest book-specific memories is my father reading The Hobbit to me and my younger sister chapter by chapter every night, beginning to end. Twice. My first favorite author—at least the first I discovered for myself—was Tamora Pierce who gave children of the 80s and 90s female knights, demigods, and heroes, and from her, I branched deeper into the science fiction and fantasy section of the library and the bookstore. It was basically a given that when I committed myself to write a book, I wanted to create a fantasy world.
It took me about fifteen years between the first attempt and first published fantasy novel. It took me a little longer than that to truly understand all the reasons why writing the book was so hard as well as why I loved fantasy for far more than the layer of magic on its surface.
Speculative fiction—which includes fantasy, science fiction, and all other supernatural worlds—is a vehicle for possibility. While writers can take license with all genres of fiction, changing the rules of ancient societies or making up towns in Wisconsin that don’t exist, readers won’t accept a complete break from the world we know in a book supposedly set within our reality. The suspension of disbelief will only stretch so far. With fantasy, the world is what I make it, and so long as I follow my own rules once they’re established, readers will accept the reality I present them with.
Stories can’t exist without conflict—very few writers are so exquisitely good with words that people would read a book where nothing all that bad happened. When I write fantasy, though, I can create a world where the conflict doesn’t exist because of prejudice, where sexualities of all kinds are not just tolerated but accepted, and where people are judged far more often for who they are instead of what they look like. Even a harsh world like Shiara can be filled with some elements of beauty because I’m not forced to carry the problems of our society into theirs.
Fantasy is a way to explore themes, character arcs, and plots which dig into the darker side of humanity from a distance and it helps us to look at the evils of societies through a new lens. At times, it makes it easier for us to digest, understand, and ultimately accept our own failures and foibles. It can also be a powerful vehicle for change if it’s done right. History proves humanity is often incapable of even acknowledging a possibility or idea until it’s presented to them (see the whole chronicles of the sciences if you need proof), and few things create empathy better or faster than a novel. It’s the closest things humans have to being inside someone else’s head. So far, anyway. Novels can and have changed minds over the centuries, and the more respectfully inclusive our books become, the faster the same ideals will spread through society. We should be doing this with all fiction, of course, but I love what I can do with a blank slate and a bit of magic.
The Ryogan Chronicles Book 3
The immortal mages have risen, and they’re out for blood.
Khya arrived at the Ryogan coast too late to stop the invasion. Now,
cities are falling before the unrelenting march of an enemy army, and
Khya’s squad is desperately trying to stay ahead of them. Warning the
Ryogans, though, means leaving her brother imprisoned even longer.
Time is running out for everyone.
But how can her squad of ten stand against an army of ten thousand?
Calling in help from every ally she’s made in Ryogo, Khya tries to build a
plan that won’t require sacrificing her friends or her brother. It’s a tough
balance to find, especially when the leadership role she thought she
wanted sits heavy on her shoulders, and her relationship with Tessen is
beginning to crack under the strain.
The end is coming, and there’s no way to know who’ll be left standing
when it hits.
The Ryogan Chronicles are best enjoyed in order.
Book #1 Island of Exiles
Book #2 Sea of Strangers
Book #3 War of Storms
Young Adult Paranormal [Entangled Teen, On Sale: November 5, 2018, e-Book, / ]
About Erica Cameron
After a lifelong obsession with books, Erica Cameron spent her college years studying psychology and creative writing, basically getting credit for reading and learning how to make stories of her own. Now, she’s the author of several series for young adults including The Ryogan Chronicles, the Assassins duology, and the upcoming Pax Novis trilogy. She’s also a reader, asexuality advocate, dance fan, choreographer, singer, lover of musical theater, movie obsessed, sucker for romance, Florida resident, and quasi-recluse who loves the beach but hates the heat, has equal passion for the art of Salvador Dali and Venetian Carnival masks, has a penchant for unique jewelry and sun/moon décor pieces, and a desire to travel the entire world on a cruise ship. Or a private yacht. You know, whatever works.