Tag Archives: Fantasy Novel

Month of March – Sword and Planet Fantasy

I’ve been thinking about what kind of fantasy to try and review, and at the very least blog about, this month and so I’ve decided to do “Sword and Planet” fantasy. I’ve chosen to do this kind because, well, it fits my own genre of fantasy that I write and I just released the cover photo of the second book in the Guardian of the Core series, The Curse of Pirini Lilapa. I figured I’d let my blog followers in on the treat as well and get a glimpse of the new cover reveal.

Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 1.56.50 PM

Hope you enjoy the cover. We will have plenty of discussion on this topic of Sword and Planet Fantasy within the coming month so stay tuned!!! Also, if you have a particular book you’d like me to read while diving into this genre a little more, please feel free to share it in the comments and I’ll see if I’m able to take a look at it!

– Michael E. Thies

Where Does Fantasy Stem From?

So, as I outlined in the previous blog post, this is going to be a blog mainly about science-fiction and fantasy novels and the genre that is science-fiction and fantasy. Although, I should warn you all, I have a tendency to formulate more ideas on the latter so expect more on fantasy than science-fiction.

When I think of the term Fantasy my mind immediately goes to Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire) by George R.R. Martin and even Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling. All of these are huge fantasy novels, and all of them different. LotR is High Fantasy, GoT is Epic Fantasy and Harry Potter is a more modernized fantasy. You may disagree with these categories that I’ve placed them in and that’s fine. Much of these blend together to multiple types of fantasy in general. To add to the confusion, here is a definition of the fantasy genre I found from www.findmeanauthor.com

“Any book that contains unrealistic settings, or magic, often set in a medieval universe, or possibly involving mythical beings or supernatural forms as a primary element of the plot, theme, or setting. Something magical is almost always part of fantasy and magic may be seen in the setting or in the plot. It may even be practiced by the characters.”

Because of such a broad definition there are a bunch of subsections of the Fantasy umbrella. These include, but are certainly not limited to,

  • Romance Fantasy
  • Fairy Tales
  • Alternative History
  • Arthurian Fantasy
  • Comic Fantasy
  • Dark Fantasy
  • Urban Fantasy
  • Epic Fantasy
  • Heroic Fantasy
  • High Fantasy
  • Mystery Fantasy
  • Magic Realism
  • Modern Fantasy
  • Sword and Sorcery

To provide the definitions for each here would be very tedious, not to mention probably boring for many people reading the blog. Also, probably redundant you can find much of this information on the internet. Here is a great blog that goes through not only the sub genres of fantasy listed above, but also many many more: http://bestfantasybooks.com/fantasy-genre.php

With so many genres of fantasy it is quite hard to really nail down the starting point of fantasy. Is the Old English tale, Beowulf, an epic poem or fantasy? Or both? If we define it as an epic poem, which it is most often referred to as, then what would the next possible choice be? Perhaps some of Shakespeare’s works like A Midsummer’s Night Dream, or Arthurian Fantasy (as listed above) with Sir Gawain and the Green Knight?

If not them, then maybe Mary Shelley and her Frankenstein novel (1818), George MacDonald and The Princess and the Goblin (1858) or Bram Stroker and Dracula in the late 1800s. All of these contain fantastical elements and fall into one of the genres listed above and pave the way for other, more modern authors today. Since Stoker there has been a plethora of vampire tales and even the whole paranormal fantasy section has come about since. MacDonald was a serious influence on the likes of Tolkein and C.S. Lewis in the 1900s and it is because of their works that I thoroughly believe that fantasy got the fuel it needed to become the epic (pun intended) genre it is today. In fact, it are the works of these two authors that propelled me to write my own fantasy novel. Growing up with the Harry Potter series my whole life has had an affected me as an individual and I thoroughly believe that that series helped to foster my love of writing and reading even more.

Still, despite these literary classics like Frankenstein and Dracula and Beowulf, I think, to some people, there is a certain stigma about fantasy. Many people claim they don’t read fantasy, but yet, have devoured up works such as Twilight and Harry Potter, that, although are definitely modernized versions of fantasy, are still fantasy. If it’s not the readers, I know I definitely experienced some bias in my creative writing courses at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire as teachers did not let us write and take part in the fantasy genre. I never really knew why this was, and to claim, as it were to them, that the fantasy genre is a “lesser” genre because of those very fantastical elements that make it unique is unfair.

Anyways, the treatment fantasy is dealt in terms of academia is a whole ‘nother topic entirely, and probably something I’ll address further into my teaching career. But, that isn’t what this blog post is about, it’s about showing everyone reading that it is nearly impossible to pinpoint the exact date that the fantasy genre began. Some may even argue the Bible for all of its fantastical elements.

What I wanted to do with this post is to show you that the fantasy genre can’t be pinned down. And, to avoid dragging on this post any more than I have already done so by means of periphrasis (okay that word was a word of the day on dictionary.com and I thought it fitting), I am going to end by telling how to tackle this problem of depth.

What I want to do is perhaps have a fantasy “genre” of the month, suggested by you, the readers. I would take a vote at the end of the month and then announce the winner the following month. So an example would go like this. If a majority of people wanted to learn more about let’s say, Magical Realism, and how it relates to fantasy then I would dedicated a month to Magical Realism. First, I would describe what form of fantasy we would be tackling for the month and I would take suggestions for works in that said category. In the following posts I would discuss more of the history of that particular genre and try to find some interesting info and I think a good way to conclude the month is by reviewing something of that particular genre and taking a poll for the following month. Given the depth of fantasy as I made apparent above, this would definitely be a way to keep this blog lively and new and fresh each month for all of you. And it would also shed more light on the specifics of a genre then merely glossing over it.

With that being said, I guess I would like for your feedback on that idea. J Since we are already halfway through January I am not going to tackle a specific genre now, rather, just merely priming for the rest of the year.

Michael E. Thies

P.S. I would like to thank Leila for commenting on my first post and giving me a good starting point for this idea. So, thanks!

Supporting an Author

Hey everyone,

It is Christmas time. That means a bunch of things. It means, if you’re in college, you are on Winter Break currently and just got done with finals. (Congratulations I hope it went well for you). At any age it means celebrating time off with the family. In Wisconsin and the Midwest it means severe cold. Like, literally severe cold. Anyways, there is also one more thing it means that has been bred into us through years upon years of traditions. It means presents, family time, and a family dinner.

And, well, what better present than a gift from an author you know?! I have been in the process of getting my book up on Amazon, and guess what IT IS FINALLY THERE!!! Here is the link for that: http://www.amazon.com/The-Trials-Core-Michael-Thies/dp/0989566803/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1387576205&sr=8-1&keywords=the+trials+of+the+core+michael+e+thies

 

I was pretty excited about this. But, I also bought 1000 copies of my book in order to sell throughout the new year. And here is the thing I want to express with you, us authors are broke people, very broke, so every dime of support means something to me. If you are someone who wants a book for free because you know me, I’m sorry, that hurts me even more. This is a little bit of a rant, but imagine working on something for 6 years and putting countless of hours and money into it and people want to have it for free, when it’s only $15? That’s like 2.5 dollars per year that I’m earning (not per hour or day or month). I would consider that not the greatest of pay rates. Probably the worst out there.

Anyways, with these 1000 books I now need to compete with selling them through my website, www.guardianofthecore.com and with Amazon. Amazon, I found out, is offering my book for $11.03 with Free shipping if you’re an Amazon Prime member. This is much cheaper than my 14.95 + flat fee of 6.90 for shipping. So, why should you visit my website and purchase books instead of going through Amazon? One word: Support.

And, now that I have these 1000 books, I need to start making some headway in selling them. So, here is what I am doing for the holiday season and beyond. I am selling my book for $12.50. No, that doesn’t beat Amazon prices at all. I am sorry, I will never beat Amazon prices, but I hope that if you are true supporters of me and the work and effort I have put into something for 6 years that the extra 5 dollars that you’ll spend on my book, purchasing it through the website, will not break your bank. Also, here’s another great thing that purchasing it through the website offers you and that Amazon cannot. A signature! That’s right, any book that gets ordered through my website (or directly through me if you come into contact with me via everyday life) will receive an autographed copy of the book. HOW AWESOME! If that something isn’t enough, you even get cool little “Guardian of the Core” bookmarks.

I don’t mean to call anyone out or make people feel uncomfortable lol but if there is one thing that annoys me more than other things, it’s asking for a free copy of my book. It’s not like I ask you for a free “insert service here”. Anyways, I’m not saying “BUY MY BOOK! IT’S SO AWESOME!” but, what I’m saying, is that if you do ever plan on purchasing it in your life, please order through my website to help support me more as an author than what Amazon would support me (since they take a % of my profit). And, if you don’t plan on purchasing my book, which is cool, reading isn’t up everyone’s alley, you can still support me by telling people who do read and that you know about my book. They are probably going to be bored over winter break so tell them about my book! It’d mean a lot to me. If they ask you for reviews you can show them this website: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18242825-the-trials-of-the-core

With all the said, thank you for reading. I hope I didn’t offend anyone with my rantish topic but I hope you all understand the position I am in as an author. It’s not like I get paid an hourly rate to do what I do. I hope you all have a happy holidays and if you purchase one for yourself, or your friend, I hope you enjoy it!

An International Review

Hey everyone,

So, more good news. Another review came in this one was from a, Nadia Batista, who lives in Portugal and has read my book. She gave it a ★★★★ 4 Star review on Goodreads. That is awesome on so many different levels. Hopefully it starts picking up some international steam now. That would be fantastic. There is a bunch of things that need to happen before that happens, but this is definitely a step in the right direction.

With that being said, here is the link to the actual blog post. http://eu-e-o-bam.blogspot.pt/2013/12/li-ate-pag100-36.html  What I post below is the rough translation of what is posted in the blog post. Keep in mind that I do not speak Portuguese nor does my mom. She was a Spanish teacher for 35+ years and there are similarities between Spanish and Portuguese so that is why I say this is a rough translation. Where she got stumped, we went to Google Translation.

 

1st part – First sentence on Page 100:

-> “If water is blue, why must this one be red?”

2nd part – What does the book deal with:

-> Trials of the Core tells a story of six youngsters who compete amongst one another in order to become Guardian of the Core.

3rd part –   What have I found until now?:

-> You are going to enjoy the book more than one expects. In spite of that at times it reminds me of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, this is going to be quite agreeable literature.

4th part – What does the protagonist find?:

-> There is no protagonist in this story. Amongst the six competitors the story is told, not favoring one more than another. Now, how much to like all the characters…that is another story.

5th part – ??? No idea. Couldn’t understand this.

6th part – Are you going to continue reading?

-> Of course.

7th Part – The last sentence of the page:

-> “Everyone else had to travel by foot – but time was no issue for him now.”

 

I was very excited for this review. As a first-time author, not really knowing what to expect going into this whole process, I find it really really interesting that people from other countries are enjoying my books. That makes me feel good on a whole different level. Again, I think a big reason for this is because this book deals with the issue of self-realization which is an issue that is global, and not just in an isolated pocket.

Spread the word about, The Trials of the Core, to your friends. Also, don’t be afraid to check out the website at www.guardianofthecore.com.

Thanks for reading!