When I tell people that I write fantasy, often their first question is, “why fantasy?” I suppose I could write suspense, mystery, or even contemporary fiction. It isn’t such a stretch for me to imagine myself seeking a story beyond the fantasy genre. But to me, fantasy brings to light the very things that make us who we are.
The ability to contemplate fantasy, is what makes us human. Even as small children, once we’ve learned who mommy is and how to crawl, we are exposed to the fantastical realm of the imagination. Our first stories are of magical creatures, gallant heroes, beautiful maidens, and far away kingdoms. Through fantasy, we learn honor, perseverance, bravery, and love. The noblest aspects of the human character is taught to us through make-believe and flights of fancy.
As adults, we often times forget these beginnings, and choose to leave “childish” things behind. We ground ourselves in stark reality, and set in our mind the bare facts of day to day living. We no longer believe that Snow White was brought back to life by the kiss of true love. We understand that dragons are not real. We fail see the magic that once was as factual as the air we breathe.
With fantasy, we can revisit the part of us that still wants to believe. Sure, I could choose a different genre, but for me, the wonder I find in fantasy fills my heart with delight. And when I am able to share it with others, I feel as if I have made the magic of childhood come back to life. For a few hours, I have rendered the wicked world of adulthood powerless, and allowed someone to forget how cruel life can be.