THE HELM OF MIDNIGHT author Marina Lostetter discusses her mystery-infused dark fantasy novel. We dig deep into her elaborate world-building and object-based magic system, how she discovered the story's themes, and her messy, start-at-the-end plotting methodology.
Playlist - Writing Fantasy
SON OF THE STORM author Suyi Davies Okungbowa talks about writing his African-inspired fantasy novel, world-building using cultural ideas unfamiliar to American / western audiences, and his "waypoints" approach to plotting.
ODDITY author Eli Brown discusses his alt-history fantasy novel for young readers. We talk world-building in an 1800's North American setting, approaching sensitive historical topics, creating an objected-based magic system, and tackling themes of grief, trauma & agency for a middle grade audience.
THE BONE MAKER author Sarah Beth Durst talks about her dark (but hopeful) fantasy novel. We discuss this standalone story's exploration of second chances, the hero's relationship with the idea of being a hero, and how relationships evolve under the weight of time, duty, and trauma.
THE UNBROKEN author C.L. Clark discusses her brutal and complex military fantasy debut about a conscripted soldier returned to her homeland, and a princess in search of a turncoat. We talk about the novel's examination of colonialism, and the power imbalance at the heart of the story's romance.
THE ROAD TO WOOP WOOP: AND OTHER STORIES author Eugen Bacon talks about her speculative fiction collection and why she loves writing short stories. We discuss how these lyrical tales weave sci-fi, fantasy, magical realism, and horror elements to explore empathy and disconnection, identity and longing.
THE MASK OF MIRRORS author M.A. Carrick—co-writing team Marie Brennan & Alyc Helms—talk about their twisty, intricate Fantasy novel. We explore their collaboration creative process, the impact of their anthropology backgrounds on the world-building, and their setting's casual queerness.
THE RUTHLESS LADY'S GUIDE TO WIZARDRY author C.M. Waggoner talks about creating the whimsical prose style of her latest Fantasy novel. We discuss her character-first approach to story, what elements didn't make the final cut, and a unique approach to magic.
AMARI AND THE NIGHT BROTHERS author B.B. Alston talks about writing his Middle Grade Fantasy debut (from Balzer + Bray). We discuss his creative process for the coming-of-age, fish-out-of-water tale he describes as "Men in Black meets Hogwarts".
THE FOREVER SEA author Joshua Phillip Johnson discusses the writing & development process for his debut Fantasy novel. We talk about the unique & challenging world-building, and adding in a narrative framing device late in the book's drafts.