Saturday, October 27, 2018

Magic Mirrors: For Such a Time As This: Why We Need More Cross-Genre Fiction

Hey'a, everyone! Day four of the Magic Mirrors tour brings us For Such a Time as This by Heather L.L. Fitzgerald. This retelling blends Snow White and Esther with fantasy, sci-fi, and dystopian elements, which is a combination I never saw coming but am super excited for. That crossover of genres is one of the things I'm most excited for about For Such a Time as This, especially since I wish I knew of more cross-genre fiction in general. I'm going to tell you why in a minute . . . but first, a little about the book and author.

About the Book

Queen Vashti the Fair is not only the wife of King Xerxes, she is also—secretly—an enchantress. But thanks to Haman’s flirting she now has a new distinction: deposed. While Vashti loses perks like her holographic trousseau, Haman continues to enjoy his position as second in command, much to Vashti’s vexation.

Mordecai was once a soldier in the king’s private guard, but has since carved out a self-sufficient life for himself and niece Esther. Although citizens are required to have an identity chip for governmental transactions, he and Esther live off the grid and out of big-government’s greedy reach.

Or so he thought.

When Mordecai’s old nemesis, Haman, turns up demanding Esther’s participation in the king’s upcoming beauty pageant, Mordecai arranges to have her transported to the Vale of Seven Dragons for protection. But not before Esther’s charm makes her a target on Vashti’s radar, as Vashti seeks to undermine the outcome of Xerxes’ hunt for a new queen.

Esther is caught between loyalty to her uncle and fear for her future—whether in the care of dragons or in the palace of the king. Will she be brave enough to embrace her destiny, wherever that may be?
Find it on: Amazon || Goodreads

About the Author

Award winning author Heather L.L. FitzGerald writes from her home in Texas, while dreaming of being back in the Pacific Northwest, where she grew up. She is drawn to stories that become good friends--friends you want to revisit--the kind you wish to keep close. Those are the type of novels Heather aspires to write, ones worthy of delicious coffee and a lingering relationship.

The Tethered World was a finalist and The Flaming Sword won the 2017 OCW Cascade Award for Speculative Fiction. So far in 2018 The Genesis Tree has become a finalist for a Realm Award, Selah Award, and an OCW Cascade Award.

Heather's a member of ACFW, Manent Writers, and CAN.

Find her online at: Website || Goodreads || Facebook || Twitter || Newsletter || Instagram || Amazon

Why We Need More Cross-Genre Fiction

Ok, let's get something straight right up front: I have nothing against normal, unblended genres. However, I think that not exploring cross-genre fiction closes off a whole multiverse of unique stories, worlds, characters, and more.

See, here's the thing about "pure" genre fiction: after a while, people just start telling the same story in very similar ways. That's not to say that you can't write unique stories within straight fantasy; just the opposite. Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Archive, Kendra E. Ardnek's Rizkaland Legends, and Jaye L. Knight's Ilyon Chronicles all fit solidly into specific fantasy subgenres (epic or high fantasy, portal fantasy, and low fantasy, respectively), but no one would accuse them of being cliche or unoriginal. 

However, cross-genre fiction encourages authors to take a new look at whatever basic story they're trying to tell, just like Heather takes a new twist on the tale of Snow White. Whether you blend genres, you create new elements and angles for your story. Brandon Sanderson's first Mistborn book is a great example of this. At its most basic level, Mistborn is just another Overthrow the Evil Empire storyline, with a bonus Chosen One trope hanging out in the background. However, its combination of fantasy, dystopia, and heist genres provide the foundation for all the twists that make it so epic and memorable.

Combining genres will affect all areas of a story, as authors take basic plots, character types, props, and aesthetics from each genre and combine them in unique ways. However, the first and biggest area that combined genres effect is usually the setting. For Such a Time as This, for example, combines sci-fi technology, dystopian conditions, and fantasy magic to create its setting. And Mistborn takes the dreary landscape and strict hierarchy of dystopia, the magic and some technology of fantasy, and the urban environment of heist stories to make Scadriel. And all the other story elements, particularly character and plot, are built on the foundation of those settings.

And, of course, cross-genre stories can just result in some fun situations. If you have magic and high-tech elements in the same story, how do those interact? Do the scientists get mad when magic-users mess with their experiments? Or, if you have a contemporary fantasy heist story, how does your team of thieves deal with a security force that includes dragons, mind-readers, and future-readers? No matter what genres you combine, the possibilities are endless.

What do you think? Are you a fan of cross-genre fiction? Are you excited for For Such a Time as This? Please tell me in the comments! After that, make sure you check out the rest of today's tour posts and enter the giveaway, if you haven't already.
Thanks for reading!
-Sarah (Leilani Sunblade)

Blog Tour Stops: October 29
Knitted By God's Plan: 7 Reasons to Read
Light and Shadows: 5 Reasons to Read
Dreams and Dragons: The Awesomeness of Biblical Retellings
Heather L.L. FitzGerald: Character Spotlight - Fig
The Labyrinth: Character Spotlight - Taliyah
Unicorn Quester: Character Spotlight - Yotham
Selina J. Eckert: Guest Post - Inspiration for Overpowered
Dragonpen Press: Guest Post - What is Overpowered?
Or find the full list of stops here.

1 comment:

I'd love to hear your thoughts! But remember: it pays to be polite to dragons.