Please join me in welcoming Kasey MacKenzie here today to Dark Faerie Tales. The first book in her Shades of Fury series, Red Hot Fury, was recently released on June 29, 2010. Red Hot Fury is also part of my Debut Urban Fantasy Reading Challenge. You can read an excerpt here.
One lucky commenter has a chance to win an autographed copy of Red Hot Fury. Details are listed at the end of the post.
So, why urban fantasy?
by Kasey MacKenzie
So, why urban fantasy? What about this genre grabs so many of us by the throat and won’t let go—kinda like a werewolf playing with its prey? For me, I think it comes down to the fact that urban fantasy is as close to modern-day mythology as it gets. The Merriam Webster Dictionary online defines mythology first as “an allegorical narrative” and wow. Does that shoe totally fit the genre of urban fantasy!
In my debut, Red Hot Fury, I blended mythology from many cultures—Greek, Egyptian, Celtic, and Hindu, just to name a few—with some unique twists of my own. I adapted all of this for my own version of contemporary Boston, Massachusetts and let my characters loose on its city streets. While I didn’t set out with a particular allegory in mind, you don’t have to read too far in the book to uncover one that wound its way throughout the book: racism.
My main character, Marissa “Riss” Holloway, straddles the line between mortals and arcanes and is dedicated to fostering peace between the two groups. Something that is not always easy to do in light of the negative history between them. Most of the supernatural races tried to conquer the mortals when their magical realms started dying and, needless to say, humanity didn’t take too kindly to that idea. Peace may have been reached, thanks to Furies like Riss, but interspecies discrimination is alive and well and my characters deal with its fallout on a daily basis. Sound familiar?
Urban fantasy provides the opportunity to look at modern-day issues through a filter that takes away a lot of the pain associated with real societal ills. Race issues between, for instance, black and white people in the United States may have come a long way over the past half century, but there is still quite a road left to travel. I might not have set out to write a book that illustrates this point, but someone who hasn’t really thought about contemporary race issues may read about the relations between arcanes and mortals and see parallels between their situation and groups in the real world.
Which, when it comes down to it, is how a lot of mythology came about. People drawing parallels between the world around them and their own lives. Dreaming about the whys and hows things came to be and relating that to their everyday world. Mixing the mundane with the magical and entertaining others with vivid dreams and stories.
Yeah, for me, that right there answers the question of “So, why urban fantasy?” Besides the allegorical aspect, it’s just plain fun!
What about you? What draws you to the urban fantasy and paranormal romance genre? Comment with what you enjoy most about our modern-day takes on mythology and we’ll pick one commenter at random to win a free, signed copy of Red Hot Fury.
For more about the series and surprises to come, visit my website.
Kasey Mackenzie lives with her husband and son in St. Louis, Missouri; home of the Gateway Arch, the baseball Cardinals, and the world’s greatest thin-crust pizza. Kasey was one of those students who always had her nose in a book—so no big surprise when she was voted “Teacher’s Pet” in her high school yearbook. Today, she is a voracious reader of fantasy, romance, suspense, and “soft” science fiction. She adores her German shepherd puppy, two cats, playing softball, and has recently taken up knitting. So far she can cast on, do the knit stitch, and cast off. Hey, it’s a start!
One lucky commenter will have a chance to win an autographed copy of Red Hot Fury.
To enter, leave a comment below answering the following question:
What about you? What draws you to the urban fantasy and paranormal romance genre? Comment with what you enjoy most about our modern-day takes on mythology.
1. +1 entry for answering the question (required).
2. +2 entries for becoming a follower of this blog and Dark Faerie Tales on Twitter.
3. +3 entries for tweeting about this contest, blogging about it, linking via your sidebar etc…(please tell me where!).
4. Giveaway is open to U.S. and Canada residents only.
5. Please include your email address in your comment.
6. Giveaway ends Friday, July 23rd at 11:59 PM EST.
7. The winner will be picked with the help of Random.org.
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