Michael J. Sullivan

Fantasy Friday! Why I Like Fantasy

I’ve read fantasy for a long time. I’ve been known to take a break and read other genres but I always seem to come back to fantasy. I guess it’s the kid in me and the love of a good yarn that keeps me reading these stories. But there are other reasons the genre interests me as both a reader and a writer.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Fantasy 2I got into a conversation after completing my interview the other night about speculative fiction and why it’s useful for story-telling. One of the main points noted about fantasy and science fiction is how flexible these genres can be. A writer can explore all kinds of topics through setting and situation. This is done in science fiction by using technology and in fantasy through magic systems.

As a reader, fantasy attracts me for several other reasons, one of which revolves around courage. So often, fantasy characters – main, secondary or otherwise – are faced with dire circumstances regardless of their magical assets (spells, weapons, etc.). It’s at this point that courage becomes the factor in the story with outcomes that can be either victorious or disastrous. I like to see how a character of any kind might react courageously in the face of these extreme situations.

For instance, in The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf refuses to budge in the presence of both the balrog and the Lord of the Nazgul. Likewise, Eowyn stands up to the Lord of the Nazgul just to defend King Theoden. That’s gripping as well as courageous.

Additionally, I like to read about characters who take on leadership and just do what’s necessary. In such stories, a character might make decisions because they have nothing to lose and nobody else is willing to make that call.

Morguefile.com free photo for Maintaining Wind in Your Writing Sails

Morguefile.com free photo for Maintaining Wind in Your Writing Sails

And then there’s the pure adventure of a fantasy tale. One recent book that captured adventure well was Michael J. Sullivan’s The Emerald Storm which is a tale that largely takes place on a sea voyage. It captures elements of Treasure Island in a fantasy setting. And who doesn’t like adventure on the high seas.

So for me, fantasy is a way of examining people in extraordinary circumstances all with in fantasy settings that add to the wonder and excitement of the story. Sure, I could watch Saving Private Ryan to see the defense of the bridge and the courage it takes – and love it. But put that in a fantasy setting and you can come up with some really good stories. I could read or view ocean voyages like Moby Dick or Master and Commander but add magic and some monstrous critters and it gets doubly interesting.

Why do you read fantasy? What book or movie would you like to see converted into a gripping fantasy novel?

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section.

The Bow of Hart Saga Release Notes:

BOD Final

The Bow of Destiny is now out on Audible (available in Whispersync for those who like reading and listening) and available on Amazon (and yes, it’s free in Kindle Unlimited).

An Arrow Against the Wind is due out on audio 10/22 and is also free on Kindle Unlimited.

The White Arrow will be released on audio on 11/27 but it’s currently available on Amazon and free on Kindle Unlimited


Goodreads Usage for Authors Pt. 3: Just Be Yourself

Goodreads is the social media for readers. As such, you are expected to engaged other users mainly as a fellow reader. But as an author, you want to attract attention among this rich environment of readers. Here are some tips for doing just that on Goodreads without turning off prospective readers.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Reading Group1. Be primarily a reader – and what’s so hard about that? After all, we writers are some of the biggest readers there are!

2. Join reading groups – stay mainly in your genre(s) and focus your participation on relevant discussions and monthly book readings. Avoid just trumpeting your book to everyone. Check out the group guidelines, introduce yourself in the correct thread and promote your book only in the designated thread.

3. Engage with other people in discussions that interest you. Over several months people will come to accept your comments – as a reader. Don’t suggest your own book for a monthly reading and don’t mention you’re and author – be a reader.

Screenshot of Goodreads Button

Screenshot of Goodreads Button

4. Once you have established yourself as someone who doesn’t flood a group with constant notifications, look for opportunities to discreetly engage someone as an author. If they like books similar to your own and you’ve been conversing about ideas you like, then contact them to ask if they would review your book – even offer a free copy for an honest opinion.

As a final note, this process is one which takes focused, patient effort for several months or more. It is one-on-one marketing and takes time. It may not immediately bring in lots of sales and reviews but it will help you build a solid group of fans that know and like you. From this group may well come some very avid fans who spread the word about your work in ways that speak louder than anything you can post on any social media – this is the main way books are sold, by word of mouth as well as favorable reviews.

So don’t shrink away from Goodreads and the seeming wall against promotion. Instead, tread softly and respectfully and you may find that some patient nurturing of relationships yields longer-term success for your writing. For this reason, I suggest you begin building your reach on Goodreads now with regular visits to cultivate connections that BOD Finalbecome relationships. It takes longer than Twitter and Facebook but the rewards may be more far-reaching than you realize. For some further thoughts on approaching Goodreads well as an author, see these articles from Michael J. Sullivan who built much of his following with this method.

Are you on Goodreads? How do you approach interactions on Goodreads? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Sign up for my Archer’s Aim Digest mailing list to receive the forthcoming edition of my newsletter with announcements about upcoming releases and events. You’ll be the first to have news about my books, especially some free offers this summer related to the upcoming release of The Bow of Destiny, the first novel of The Bow of Hart Saga. Speaking of which, it is now available on Amazon – Kindle. Additionally, I have FREE book, What Is Needed is available at Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks and Smashwords & Amazon.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Reviews Off My Goodreads Shelf

Here’s the next edition of reviews from my Goodreads shelf:

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

The Experimental Notebook of C. S. BoyackThe Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack by C.S. Boyack
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I found this anthology to be very entertaining. The author’s stories were all well written. There were several that really grabbed my attention, 50 Gallons and Bombshell Squad, to name two. C. S. Boyack is underrated writer and I look forward to reading more of his work – especially Wild Concept. I had fun with the whole anthology. You won’t go wrong with this book of short stories. Boyack hit it out of the park!
View all my reviews


The First Chronicles of Druss the Legend (Drenai Saga, #6)The First Chronicles of Druss the Legend by David Gemmell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve always Gemmell’s work and this book was no different. it is high adventure with lots of twists for Druss who is single-minded in rescuing Rowena. Enjoyed the read.

View all my reviews


 

Heir of Novron (The Riyria Revelations, #5-6)Heir of Novron by Michael J. Sullivan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Michael J. Sullivan wove a complex tale through widely varying settings to a satisfying ending. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this edition and the whole series.
View all my reviews


Writing Fight ScenesWriting Fight Scenes by Rayne Hall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rayne Hall shares great reference material for writing fight scenes as well as tips to improve your technique. This is a must read for those writing anything from historical fiction to fantasy.
View all my reviews


The Memory of Earth (Homecoming, #1)The Memory of Earth by Orson Scott Card
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Read this series years ago. I found the culture, science and plot very interesting. Card is a superb storyteller. This is a very good Sci-Fi series to read.

View all my reviews

Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section. Sign up for my Archer’s Aim Digest mailing list to receive the forthcoming edition of my newsletter with announcements about upcoming releases and events. You’ll receive my a SPECIAL coupon for The Bow of Destiny, the first novel of The Bow of Hart Saga. Speaking of which, it is now available on Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks Amazon – Kindle & Smashwords. Additionally, September’s FREE book, What Is Needed is available at Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks and Smashwords & Amazon.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.