I have to be in the mood for fantasy. Whilst I love a bit of The Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, I’m not an avid reader of the genre. I’ve never quite understood why that is, if I’m honest. Maybe it’s because fantasy can get a bad rep. Too many elves and dwarves, too many silly and unpronounceable names, too many nerdy teenage boys playing World of Warcraft.
But, yesterday evening I found myself attending an event at my university, Royal Holloway. The event was a reading from an alumni, Lucy Hounsom. I confess it was a last minute decision to go, but I thought I could pick her brains on the world of publishing and authors instead of lying in bed surrounded by sweet wrappers whilst my laptop burns a hole through my legs.
In fact, I was pleasantly surprised. Lucy was friendly and very open, not at all a pompous author, an artsy grad who thinks their writing is the best thing since Chaucer. She read an extract from her novel, Starborn, a somewhat epic fantasy that follows the teenage Kyndra as she upsets an age old ceremony in her town and is forced into exile, only to discover that this departure from home will reveal powers she could only dream of.
As someone who only dabbles in fantasy, I found myself drawn in to the world Lucy had created almost immediately, and possibly even more so when she read an extract from the sequel, Heartland.
Whether it was the wine or the reading, I was keen to participate in the Q&A session afterwards. I found Lucy’s advice genuine and heartfelt. The event instilled me with a newfound confidence in my own writing and I subsequently bought a copy of Lucy’s novel. I’ll get round to reviewing it on here when I can finally read for fun again after the last two weeks of term. Who knows? Maybe I won’t be so scathing of elves afterwards.