Once again I’m featuring an author and book I really wish I had had time to read as I know just how important reviews are for writers. This time I’m welcoming Elliot Parker, author of Demon, Interrupted to Linda’s Book Bag. Elliot has kindly agreed to explain a little bit more about urban fantasy as I feel a total ignoramus when it comes to the fantasy genre.
Hide or die.
Evangeline Lawson can find anything, except freedom. A descendant of St. Anthony of Padua, the Patron Saint of lost articles, she has the supernatural ability to locate any missing object, car keys, missing dogs, children, as well as nuclear missiles, secret underground bunkers, and divine objects of power. The only thing she can’t find is freedom from every power hungry treasure hunter.
Breadcrumbs left by her ancestors lead Evangeline to the doorstep of the world’s most morally ambiguous angel, Adrien. Sure he can protect her, but he can also use her to find his way back into heaven. The angel will use any means possible to force Evangeline to stop running and strengthen her abilities.
Abilities that Evangeline will need to fight the oldest and most powerful of demons. Lilith has been hunting the St. Anthony lineage for hundreds of years, and will stop at nothing to turn Evangeline into her own personal divining rod. She needs Evangeline’s super charged GPS to find artifacts that can unleash hell on earth.
Evangeline swings like a pendulum. Run and hide or fight? Where she stops could determine the fate of mankind.
Introducing Urban Fantasy
A Guest Post by Elliot Parker
Good day everyone! My name is Elliot and I write Urban Fantasy. That sounds like I am recovering from addiction to it, which I might be. What is Urban Fantasy you ask? Urban fantasy is a subgenre of Fantasy. It gets its name from the common use of urban or city settings. So much so, that one could argue that the setting itself becomes a character in many novels. Ilona Andrews, Kate Daniels series centers on Atlanta, Georgia. Karen Monings’ Fever series centers on Dublin, Ireland. My novel Demon, Interrupted focuses on Florence, Italy.
The characters often find themselves wrapped up in a blend of everyday and supernatural phenomena. Many elements will be familiar to the reader, but presented with a “twist”. Vampires, werewolves, wizards and humans living knowingly or unknowingly side by side. Ancient supernatural feuds raging beneath the noses of mere mortals.
While the majority of Urban Fantasy is narrated from the first-person point of view of a gritty female protagonist, there are very notable male exceptions including Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden and Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles among others. The benchmark is definitely a tough-as-nails female protagonist who plays be her own rules and is vulnerable to a very select few. She is the lynchpin of her story, often containing abilities or powers that no other character in the supernatural world possesses. These powers usually present as the largest hurdle for her to overcome, but are integral to her becoming the hero of the story.
The closest cousin to Urban Fantasy is not High Fantasy but Paranormal Romance, driven by the main character being female and typically some romantic lines being present. A constant conversation occurring among authors and readers is the difference between the two. In any romance or subgenre of romance, the main story line must be the romance itself. The relationship between the two protagonists. We watch them meet, fall in love, almost mess it up (sometimes several times) to finally have a happily ever after. I stress the happily ever after because it is a requirement in romance. While romance often occurs in Urban Fantasy, it is not a requirement and frequently evolves at a much slower pace than paranormal romance. The main story line of an Urban Fantasy novel is whatever the main character must find, accomplish or overcome.
One of my favorite hallmarks of Urban Fantasy is the dreaded cliffhanger. I know, I know, as a reader I have a deep love/hate relationship with cliffhangers, but as an author they are awesome sauce! Many Urban Fantasy novels end on a cliffhanger because of the episodic nature of the genre. There are very few single, stand-alone stories. Most authors have extensive collections of five to ten or more books where the main character finds him/herself mixed up in problems with ever-increasing stakes. If the series does end, for me, it is sad but fulfilling. Most monogamous romance storylines end with a happily ever after for the characters.
I hope you have enjoyed this nutshell explanation of Urban Fantasy. I have been drawn to this genre for over two decades. I love the tough, gritty, loner females who start their journey alone but slowly and surely form their own piecemeal family, more loyal than any blood relatives. There are no doubt many more hallmarks and genre-norms but these are some of my favorites, and you can bet I included them all in my novel.
(Thanks so much Elliot – I’ve definitely learnt something today!)
About Elliot Parker
Elliot Parker is a 38-year-old author transplanted from the North into the Deep Deep South. Originally from a scientific research background, she incorporates her love for research and science into every story. She is always looking for the perfect blend of creative and analytical. When not writing she consumes inhuman amounts of chai tea and searches for another animal to add to her menagerie. Demon, Interrupted her debut novel published by Dragon Moon Press, is out on December 12th.