Ok, I admit it. I have never read any of the Twilight books. Or Harry Potter, although I've seen and enjoyed the movies (my wife and 11-year-old make sure of that). I've also never read Lord of the Rings or any Tolkien for that matter.
I know. I know. My bad.
But fantasy just doesn't ring my bell. I harbor no ill will toward those who like a little magic dust sprinkled on their dragons and elves, or who swoon when a pasty-faced young vampire leans in for a little nip before sun up.
No, I like my fiction gritty and straight-forward. Real. Of course, a few monsters and vampires are a good thing, as evidenced by my longstanding love of Stephen King, but I just can't muster any enthusiasm for the current crop of fanstasy titles.
But I'm glad they are there, because I suspect more young people are reading today than perhaps ever before. And that, Dear Readers, is a very, very good thing.
Over the past several months, as I began pursuing my fiction career in earnest, I've joined several online writing groups and I've noticed one thing -- there are a ton of young adult fanstasy writers out there! Dear Lord, they are crawling out of the woodwork. Some of them are writing novels at an age where I was still drinking beer, smoking dope and arguing with my Dad over keeping my room clean.
Good for them!
My own writing tends more toward a darker reality, my prose more masculine than fantastic. Let's just say I use fewer adverbs and adjectives and leave it at that.
If today's young adult fantasy is, say, the literary equivalent of Lady Gaga or Lily Allen, then mine is more Springsteen or Bachman-Turner Overdrive. Closer to the bone, so to speak.
It's been said the market for adult fiction is shrinking, while the market for young adult fantasy is growing. My hope is that once my book is ready for submission, it finds a yearning for more adult literature.
Meanwhile, viva la difference!
How about you, Dear Reader? What books trip your trigger? Let me know and we can compare favorites.