Today I am so pleased to welcome Kasia Bacon to Joyfully Jay. Kasia Bacon has come to talk to us about her latest release, Don’t Fight the Spark (Soldiers and Mercenaries #1). She has also brought along a copy to give away. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!
ON WHY FANTASY READERS KICK SOME SERIOUS ARSE THERE AND BACK (AGAIN)
“To read is to voyage through time.” – Carl Sagan
Readers kick arse.
All readers, no matter their persuasion.
As a fantasy writer, however, I’m allowed some cheeky favouritism. There’s a saying in my native language—no, it’s not Common Elven, shockingly—which goes, ”Every wagtail sings praises of its own tail”. Following this logic, let me sing praises of my people: Fantasy Readers.
It is a fact (and we might as well be candid about it) that fantasy authors demand a lot from their readers by default. The expectations in place stretch beyond just following the plot, forming an attachment with the characters and emotionally reacting to the content. And does it act as a deterrent? Hell no. Fantasy Readers march that extra mile like seasoned soldiers.
Here are three main reasons why Fantasy Readers are a brilliant lot. Let me stand up and finger count them—for dramatic effect:
1. Fantasy Readers are prepared to put up with odd, long-arsed names of places and characters, often written using diacritical marks non-existent in the English alphabet.
What’s up with those names? Why make things difficult? Ah, I’m so glad you’ve asked.
You could, of course, write a high fantasy saga about an Elven warrior called Bob. Or Phil. These are decent, pleasant sounding names most readers would be familiar with. The trouble is that they don’t invoke the right vibe. A fanciful name, on the other hand, might be the first indication of what’s to come. It sets in the mood and serves as an invitation. “Hey, you there! You vegged out on the sofa / waiting at the dentist / travelling on-board a plane! You’re about to be yanked away from the present-day world and transported to another dimension. Hold on to your knickers!”
2. Fantasy Readers are willing to figure out the meaning of made up, universe-specific terms and phrases. And most of them even read glossaries. *gasps with delight*
Before picking up any of my books, be aware that unique lingo will be popping up here and there. I consider it great fun to play with words and invent my own. I have to grab my entertainment where I can, haven’t I? To my mind, enriching the world I write about by a linguistic layer also adds depth and authenticity to it. You want to make something come to life? First, you have to name it. Therefore, I love throwing Order-speak at my readers. It chuffs me to no end when they start using those words themselves.
As a nerdy collector of dictionaries, I rejoiced when, after the publication of The Mutt (Book #1 in the Order Series) readers, bloggers and reviewers practically demanded I added a glossary to it. Which doesn’t mean, of course, that I didn’t bitch to high hell when I got round to writing the damn thing. Because. That. I. Did.
3. Fantasy Readers don’t mind wrapping their heads around alternative and often complex political, social, religious or magical systems.
While entering a new fantasy world is always an entertaining adventure, it also poses a bit of an intellectual challenge. Nothing comes about without cognitive work completed on the part of the reader.
Engagement is key. Remain passive and complacent and you’ll miss crucial details and end up bored or confused. Since relying on what you know is of little help, you need to pay attention, heed clues and draw conclusions. Readers learn as they go along, gaining an understanding of how the invented world works and discovering its rules. Breaking down the code makes for a super satisfying experience, akin to solving a puzzle. And indeed, the moment finally arrives when everything becomes obvious, familiar and comfortable.
You triumph!!! And, smug AF, reach for another book set in the same universe, thinking piece of cake, only to find out that the author added another sponge to the torte. You swear at the bastard, but dive in nonetheless, equally exasperated as intrigued, eager to sample and identify the new ingredients all over again.
Rinse and repeat. Does it ever end?
Well, fingers crossed my musings haven’t convinced anyone to stay the f*** away from the fantasy genre, because it seems like lots of hard work yet no coconut, to use one of my SO’s colourful expressions. But nothing could be further from the truth. The coconut in question is big, juicy and hairy.
Personally, I find reading and writing fantasy hugely rewarding. It keeps my brain fit and sharp (one can hope) and helps me cope with stress. Many seem to agree, since thousands of people reach for the genre every day. Statistically speaking, they can’t all be morons or masochists. And let’s keep in mind that whatever comes easy is also easily forgettable.
Fantasy Readers, I salute you!
PS. Many thanks to Jay for hosting me today!
As the Light Festival draws near, the N?ssyrians craft paper lanterns, awaiting the most important holiday of the year.
The Lyli?g Fighting House, too, prepares for celebration—by laying fresh sand onto the arena and setting up a match against their top pit fighter, the unrivalled Yüuzuki ?ren.
His last match. One he can’t win.
With the odds more than stacked against him, the gorgeous Barbarian is as good as dead. Unless his lover, healer ?aiatto ?kana, proves himself every bit as determined as he is clever and finds a way to protect the man he’d stop at nothing to save.
About Don’t Fight the Spark
A NEW FANTASY NOVELLA FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE ORDER UNIVERSE BOOKS—coming April 26th.
A stunning Barbarian pit fighter with a tragic past and uncertain future.
A courageous healer with a heart as big as his inadequacy issues.
A fight for love with a touch of Magic!
Don’t Fight the Spark is available for pre-order:
A linguist and an avid reader with a particular fondness for fantasy and paranormal genres, KASIA BACON lives in London with her husband. When not tearing her hair out over a translating project, she writes stories about the shenanigans of emotionally constipated assassins and sexy Elves. Otherwise, she can be found shaking her loins at a Zumba class, binging on anime or admiring throwing knives on Pinterest. She has a mild coconut latte addiction. A lover of MMA and Muay Thai, she also enjoys nature and the great outdoors. She dreams of becoming independently wealthy, leaving the city and moving into her wooden mini-manor—located in the heart of stunning forests resembling those of the Elven Country depicted in her tales.
Find Kasia online:
Kasia has brought a copy of Don’t Fight the Spark to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter (or name your favorite fantasy character). The contest ends on Friday, April 26th at 11:59 pm ET.
How about winning a $20 Gift Card? You also take part in Don’t Fight the Spark Pre-Order Giveaway, hosted across the blogs to celebrate the book launch. Readers who pre-order Don’t Fight the Spark will be offered a chance of winning a $20 Gift Card to the book retailer of their choice (including Amazon, iBooks, Kobo or B&N). To enter the draw, simply forward a pre-order confirmation screenshot to email@example.com. Include DFtS Giveaway in the subject line and your preferred store in the body of the email. The winner will be announced on April 27th in the Order Newsletter and notified by email. (Please do not provide any sensitive information other than your order number, name and email address. Your personal data will not be stored or used for any other purposes.)
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