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Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Werewolf Next Door

I wish I could take credit for this title, but it belongs to Richelle Meade, who gave an urban fantasy workshop at PNWA's conference last weekend. This was the one workshop I wanted to attend more than any other, but as luck would have it, my agent appointment was at around the same time. I still got to sit through the first 30 minutes, which were great. She was assisted by newcomer UF author Caitlin Kittredge, whose NIGHTLIFE is due out in March of 2008.

The biggest question at least half the room had was: What the heck is Urban Fantasy? So there was some discussion about who the authors are in this genre and what are the titles of their books. Wikipedia has a really good definition, though it could use some expansion, if anyone is inclined.

Two new items of interest I learned that I hadn't thought much about is that the "urban" part of urban fantasy is practically required, though there are probably some exceptions. It's the city setting that gives the genre its gritty, edgy tone as the real and surreal coexist either in secret, or in your face. Depends on how the author builds his or her story's world. The other interesting point was that most UF's are written in first person. I've read both ways, but it's true that the more mystery-oriented ones (my particular favorite) follow a similar structure to the classic PI novel.

I'm also excited to report that the City of Bend (where I live in Oregon) has a new book store. Woo-hoo! This is big news here. We've got a B&N, 2 rag-tag used book stores, a tiny downtown store that seems to be mostly regional books, and a comic book store. The next closest chain bookstore is 135 miles away in Eugene. So I'm ecstatic to have a regular, general interest, independently owned book store in my neighborhood. Yesterday I bought 3 of the books I would have had to order from Amazon because B&N didn't have them. I can hardly wait to cuddle up with Melissa Marr's WICKED LOVELY and both of Vicki Pettersen's Zodiak books. Life is good.

1 comment:

Mark said...

Here's my over-simplified definition of urban fantasy: A story where typically mythical characters (or fantastical) are integrated into contemporary settings.

I've added that last bit to get away from the idea of city locales, which the uf authors are leaving in droves.