Always in search of ideas to share my love of all things fantasy, I encountered this tag on the blog of JESSTICULATES and immediately saw that it was very intriguing, so I borrowed it: thank you so much Jess!
I made some small changes from the original set of questions, to adapt it to my own personality, but I hope to have kept close enough to the overall spirit of the tag.
If you find this interesting, dive in and enjoy! I will be thrilled to read your answers. 🙂
1. What is the first fantasy novel you read?
Unsurprisingly, it was J.R.R. Tolkien’s THE LORD OF THE RINGS, and despite the long time elapsed since then (I read it in the late ‘70s) I still remember vividly how engrossing it was, how it opened my mind to the perception of this amazing world and its various peoples. Since then I have re-read it several times, finding new details and new shades of meaning as the years passed, but still every time I renew my acquaintance with the story I feel as if I’m going back to a familiar place and well-loved friends.
2. If you could be the hero/heroine in a fantasy novel, who would be the author and what’s one trope you’d insist be in the story?
I guess I’m a bit too… seasoned to imagine myself as the heroine of a story, but if I had to choose, I would ask G.R.R. Martin to depict me as an enigmatic character whose actions leave everyone puzzled about her plans and goals. Maybe with a touch of darkness… 😉
3. What is a fantasy you’ve read this year, that turned into a huge revelation?
Joe Abercrombie’s FIRST LAW TRILOGY: I started it a long time after its appearance, but it totally won me over, especially because of its amazing characterization and the perfect blend of drama and humor that keeps the story engaging despite its connotation of ‘grimdark fantasy’.
4. What is your favourite fantasy subgenre? What subgenre have you not read much from?
This question compelled me to look online and see how many fantasy sub-genres are listed, and I was amazed at what I found, including some sub-genres I did not even know existed, some of them quite outlandish, like Bangsian Fantasy. One of the realms I have been wanting to explore for some time is that of Arthurian Fantasy, and one of these days I will start on that particular quest…
5. Who is one of your auto-buy fantasy authors?
That’s an interesting question, because until a short time ago I would have said George Martin: his Song of Ice and Fire caught my attention in 2002 and marked my return to the genre after a long period in which I read only SF, but the long dry years between books have eroded both my patience and my enthusiasm and I moved to greener – and more dependable – pastures. There is not a single author whose books I acquire as soon as they come out, but having to choose only one I must mention my most recent discovery, John Gwynne: his epic fantasy series won me over from the first book I read.
6. How do you typically find fantasy recommendations? (Goodreads, Youtube, Podcasts, Instagram..)
None of the above: my best… pushers 😀 are my fellow bloggers. Just by blog-hopping and reading their reviews I immediately see which books might work for me and pile on top of my already unmanageable TBR.
7. What is an upcoming fantasy release you’re excited for?
That’s an easy one: Melissa Caruso’s THE OBSIDIAN TOWER. Her Swords and Fire trilogy was an instant hit and it became a favorite from the very first book. This new start to a different trilogy is set in the same world, but with different characters, and I look forward to learning more about this universe and its peculiar brand of magic.
8. What is one misconception about fantasy you would like to lay to rest?
That fantasy readers (and speculative fiction readers at large) are people with no connections to the world, that their minds dwell in a different reality and are therefore unable to deal with everyday issues. These detractors don’t seem to understand that our minds can dwell on both sides of the ‘fence’, that we might escape for a few hours into these imagined realms, but we are still firmly rooted in the ‘here and now’ and that the possibility of being elsewhere for a short while is a healthy exercise for our minds and souls.
9. If someone had never read a fantasy before and asked you to recommend the first 3 books that come to mind as places to start, what would those recommendations be?
Oh, I would recommend Dreamer’s Pool, by Juliet Marillier; Promise of Blood, by Brian McClellan, and Kings of the Wyld, by Nicholas Eames. They are very different from each other, in concept and mood and might offer a good starting point to understand what kind of fantasy one might enjoy – a classical story, one with a peculiar brand of magic, and one where humor plays an important part.
10. What’s the site that you like to visit for reviews, author interviews and all things fantasy?
My latest discovery was The Fantasy Hive: a site where you can find, besides information on books and authors, interesting short stories you can read online. I can certainly recommend a visit…
What about you? Let us know what kind of fantasy reader you are!