Fantasy "Behind The Scenes" Tour - Stop #9
"Fantasy Made Real" by Alex Carey
The fantasy genre is the perfect genre for an imperfect real world. The genre allows us to imagine an alternate reality with fantastic creatures, worlds or circumstances and to escape our own reality in the time it takes us to read the book This genre may include elements from other genres — romance, suspense, horror, etc. If we write it well, the reader can immerse themselves in our world and exit the world a little better for having read the book, whether because they were entertained well or because they gained insight into their own lives.
One way I attempt to do that is by writing strong female characters and male characters who aren’t afraid to show their complicated sides. Being strong doesn’t mean being arrogant or obnoxious. To me it means knowing who you are and what you stand for, standing up for yourself and your beliefs, being able to show your emotions, and knowing when to compromise. Through my work at my “day job,” I meet many young women who live with physical or mental abuse and social pressure and accept these things as the way life is. I try to tell them that isn’t the way life should be. I’m not much older than them and can communicate with them as a peer rather than an adult who is out of touch with teens. Do they listen? Mostly no.
My books appeal most to teens and college ages but also to older age groups. I try to instill the values in writing, but in a non-preachy manner. If they won’t listen, maybe they’ll believe it when they read it in print. No one was born to live with abuse, male or female. I’m concerned for people who live with that, but what concerns me more is they don’t believe there’s any other way of life.
The main female character in my Elemental Series, Kira Phoenix, isn’t afraid to express her opinion, stand up for herself and others, and stick to her principles or what’s right for her. She’s smart enough to go to college at age sixteen and moves to a new town where she knows no one. She immediately meets Lowell Hew, and before too long, she learns he is also Ulric, the Wolf Thief — a wolf demon in the earth element. While she learns more about him and his demon world, he introduces her to his best friend, Pyre — a fire demon with a troubled past. After experiencing tremendous hurt in the past, he closed off his heart and uses anger and rudeness to mask the pain and to keep from getting close to people. Kira has no problem standing up to him, and he soon feels drawn to her.
They fall in love and over the course of their relationship, Kira begins to wonder if Pyre will grow bored without a sexual element between them. She hasn’t had sex before and doesn’t feel ready yet. She doesn’t want to lose her boyfriend, but she refuses to give in to the social pressure. Fortunately, Pyre is a 180 year old demon, 18 in human years, who has had enough bad relationships to know he’s found a good thing and will do nothing to jeopardize it.
Since Pyre is a fire demon, he can’t go out in the rain or get wet, or his fire will extinguish. In Water’s Reflection, it rains for about a week, and Pyre must stay indoors. Fire demons go a bit insane when trapped inside. Most of his antics are a bit crazy or goofy, but funny. One of the days, his angry side takes over. He becomes aggressive and scary, but doesn’t hurt her. Kira helps him through it, but stands her ground. She won’t tolerate abuse from anyone, not even him.
Pyre is a strong fire demon who must deal with allowing himself to feel emotions he’s kept buried for many years. At the same time, he’s also coping with forgiving himself for his horrific past. I imagine this would be difficult to cope with, especially for an ultra strong , powerful being. Most people would feel overwhelmed by these situations. The emotions become overwhelming at times, but Pyre discusses them with Kira and they work on it together. I wrote the scenes the way I believe people would react. Some readers suggest that made Pyre seem weak, but people who confront their demons, change their lives, and live on their terms are not weak. They are strong, powerful and fantastic. Don’t accept the way things are. Make the fantasy real.