I did a book signing last week, and I had several people ask me, “So what is modern urban fantasy, anyway?” as I chatted with them about my book. (This was often followed by, “I don’t read fantasy.”) The short answer is, “You take a modern setting and plop down a fantasy creature and see what happens.” That worked for most people.
The long answer is a little more complicated. It’s almost easier to say what modern urban fantasy isn’t.
It isn’t classic sword and sorcery. It isn’t mythology. It isn’t Lord of the Rings or Narnia. You can have elements from stories like that – the magic, the magical creatures, the mythology, the supernatural – but you have to put them in a modern urban setting. The story evolves from the interaction of the mundane with the fantastic in the here and now.
It isn’t romance. You can have romantic elements, but if that’s the main purpose of your story about the ordinary and the unreal, then you have paranormal romance.
You may say, “Huh. I’ve never read any of that.”
You may not have read it, but I’ll bet you’ve watched it on television. Ever watch Grimm, or Once Upon a Time, Supernatural or even Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Then you’ve experienced modern urban fantasy. It’s a very popular genre on TV right now.
I find the potential for conflict between what we see every day with what might be around the corner, just out of ordinary sight, to be fascinating, with endless possibilities.
So step into my world for a little while, and enjoy a few stories about the unexpected that winds up in everyday life.
There Goes the Neighborhood is available on Amazon as either a paperback or an ebook. The Door, a novella, is available as an ebook, and Dreaming of a Zombie Christmas, a set of three short stories, is also available as an ebook.
What would you do if you found out that a troll lived under the bridge in your local park – and charged exorbitant interest rates on unpaid bills for crossing it?