Award Winning Fantasy with a Twist!
My publisher, SoulMate Publishing, likes to “encourage novels that are original and blur the genre lines.” Not being locked into form, style, or subject matter can be wonderfully creative, but it’s not without its challenges. For example, Feeling Lucky is a satiric romantic fantasy. Try saying that 3 times fast, let alone figuring out what shelf to put it on in the library or bookstore!
So for more on what it takes to blend fantasy and romance, we chat today with S.C. Mitchell, author of Son of Thunder:
First off, thank you Kathy for inviting me over to your blog today. I’m Feeling Lucky to be here. Love your leprechaun, by the way. Let me introduce myself. Yes, I am a guy. A guy who reads, writes and loves romance. We’re few, but we’re here. I love writing romantic tales set in fantastic worlds, and I’ve created a few of them.
What genres do you work in and why?
I started out writing science fiction and fantasy, and I am still pursuing projects in those genres, but I found when I mixed in a romantic element, the story always got stronger and more satisfying. I also have a few contemporary romances on the back burner.
What did you read in your earlier years that let you to write this today?
I was an avid comic book collector as a kid, right up into my 20’s. From comics I discovered Robert E. Howard’s Conan series of books. It was only a short jump from there to Tolkien and other fantasy and science fiction authors; my all time favorite is Anne McCaffrey. I’ve spent many wonder filled days on Pern and her other fantastic worlds. It was my wife that introduced me to the romance genre with Nora Roberts book Enchanted. (You never forget your first romance.)
My first published work, Swiftly Beats the heart, is a romance novella of two superheroes, a direct tribute to my early years of neglecting my homework, lost in a comic book. There are a lot of fantasy and science fiction elements (magic, fantastic creatures, dimensional rifts) in my Demons Rising trilogy. And in Son of Thunder I was able to blend in my love of Norse mythology as well.
What do you have to reconcile from other genres to fit in a romance and how do you manage that?
I often have to remind myself that the heart of my story is the romance itself. The fantastic elements are really just window dressing. The real story is two people falling in love. The prize/triumph/payoff isn’t defeating the nasty villain. It’s the love the two discover along the journey. If I stay grounded in the love story, I can add in just about anything else.
If you could mix any genres, what would they be and why?
Now days I don’t think it’s a matter of picking genres to mix. It’s more realizing that the barriers have all come down. Take what you need to tell your story. If you’re writing mystery, and you need a ghost, or magic, or time traveler from the future to tell your story, go ahead and put it in. Open minded publishers like Soul Mate are out there knocking down the barriers. I’m currently working on a paranormal-erotic-thriller with another author, and we’re having a blast mixing in all kinds of elements. My next solo project is set in outer space, then I’m going back to write the sequel to Son of Thunder.
More About Son of Thunder:
The man looked like a god. Then again, he was one. . .
Jord Thorson was a god– the son of Thor, the Norse God of Thunder. In his search to find his missing father, Jord seeks out the mortal, Meghan Larson, who is in possession of his only clue–Megingjörð, Thor’s magical belt of power.
But when the belt decides to take matters into its own hands, locking itself around Meghan’s waist, Jord and Meghan are plunged into the middle of a massive conflict that rages across the heavens.
Giants, magical artifacts, and a golden city in the clouds weren’t exactly what Meghan Larson expected when that amazing belt arrived at her museum. Now Megingjörð is stuck around her waist and talking to her in her head. She’s got to be dreaming, but with the wonders around her and hunky Jord Thorson at her side, Meghan’s not sure she wants to wake up.
More about S.C. Mitchell:
S.C. Mitchell grew up an avid reader of comic books, science fiction and fantasy literature. He credits his wife with introducing him to the paranormal romance genre. He’s been writing stories for over thirty years. In 2010, he left his job as a computer desktop support specialist to pursue his passion for writing. He is a member of the Romance Writers of America and the Writer’s Voice.
Steve lives with his wife of thirty-five years in the wooded northlands of Wisconsin. They have two adult children.
When he’s not writing, Steve enjoys gardening, reading, music and computer gaming.