I'm a big fantasy reader, if you couldn't tell from some of the incredible fantasy series I've reviewed on the blog over the years. Heck, I'm even co-hosting the Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge (which you should totally sign up for). I thought it would be a fun idea to find a creative way to talk about my love of fantasy even more when I realized: What if I asked my favorite fantasy writers some questions about the genre? Without further ado, let me present the first edition of Voices in Fantasy!
We're kicking off this year's edition with one of my favorite people in the entire universe, my pretend boss, the cookie queen and ferret whisperer Jodi Meadows. Aside from being all these things and really sweet to boot, Jodi is the author of the Incarnate trilogy (Incarnate, Asunder, Infinite) and the Orphan Queen duo (The Orphan Queen + the upcoming The Mirror King). I'm so honored to have her visiting the blog again today (see previous posts with Jodi here and here)!
Jodi: There are a zillion reasons to love fantasy. Anything is possible. Exploring new worlds. Letting imagination run free. And looking at real-world situations with a fantastical lens to understand them in different ways.
Alexa: What are the easiest/hardest aspects of writing fantasy?
Jodi: Worldbuilding. For both. I can dig deeper into new worlds all day, but pulling back to make that world accessible to anyone who doesn't live inside my head -- that can be tricky. Sometimes I have to simplify (I have a tendency to make things over-complicated at first), or just figure out the best way to convey a really strange world -- from the point of view of someone who's always been there, so it isn't strange to them -- to a real-world reader. That can be challenging for sure.
Alexa: What would you like to see more of in fantasy novels?
Jodi: Depth. Thoughtfulness. Patience. I love a quick adventure as much as the next girl, but I'd really love to see more novels where the depth of worldbuilding, character, and theme shines through. I want to believe there's more to the world than what the author has shown.
Alexa: What are your top five fantasy recommendations?
Jodi: There's no way on Earth (or fantasyland) that I could possibly pare down my recommendations to only five, so I'll try to stick with a few recent ones:
AN EMBER IN THE ASHES by Sabaa Tahir
THE WRATH & THE DAWN by Renee Ahdieh
THE KISS OF DECEPTION by Mary E. Pearson
DEFIANCE by CJ Redwine
COURT OF FIVES by Kate Elliot
Thank you, Jodi! It was such a pleasure to see your answers to these questions. Plus, I think it's pretty telling that I've read all the fantasy books you've mentioned, except for one (The Blue Sword). And, readers, you should definitely check out Jodi's novels! She's written such great stories, lovable characters and does well in shocking her readers with plot twists.
Come back tomorrow to catch more Voices in Fantasy!