“When are you going to write some real fiction?” This is a question I often get from my mom. She’s been asking this since I first announced I was writing a SF novel at the tender age of thirteen.
This question is also, usually, closely followed by the question, “When are you going to start reading some real fiction?” Both my husband and my mom regularly ask that one and, frankly, I’m tired of hearing it but realise these well-meaning people whom I love very much truly do believe they have my best interests at heart.
First off, I’m going to answer the first question by asking another question. “What is real fiction?” If we’re going to play word games, we may as well refer to the Pocket Oxford Dictionary, which states that fiction is: Invention, invented statement or narrative; conventionally accepted falsehood.
So, in my mind, vampires, blood-crazed serial killers and shape-shifters are just as false as reading about emotional, angst-ridden women trying to make it in world that doesn’t care. It’s a matter of opinion as to which I’d prefer to read about and, to be brutally honest, I far prefer reading or writing about the former. I have my fill of a realistic setting every day when I catch the train to work to deal with bolshy ad sales reps or stroppy clients. When I read, or write, I want to be transported somewhere else magical, where the supernatural is the order of the day. I guess that answers the second question, as well.
This being said, it doesn’t mean I won’t ever touch so-called “serious” or “literary” fiction with the soggy end of a barge pole. Since I’m serious about my career as a writer and editor, I will, from time to time, look at reading material outside of my chosen genres. I feel there’s so much that I can learn from great authors such as John Fowles, Salman Rushdie, AS Byatt and the like. It’s just that I’m not going to pick their books up nearly as often as others would like me to. Hell, I’m even considering to further my studies and look at a bachelor of arts focusing on literature. One day.
The big “but” is that mostly, when I look to entertain myself, I am unashamed of my love for fantasy, the paranormal and things that go bump in the night. And I’m not going to apologise, either. I’ll write my tales about black magicians, vampirates, drakaina and gods know what else I can dream up and if you’re looking to be immersed in my world, you’re more than welcome to step over the threshold.