Thursday, January 16, 2020

Visioning Equality in Fantasy Fiction

Blue Petals by Tim McBurnie
In the wake of the issues re the cancellation of the RWA Awards - this will get you up to speed - I wanted to talk about the challenges of writing diversity, equality, inclusion and realism in Fantasy Fiction. It can be a double-edged blade.

Celebrating Diversity in Anime - Yatta Tachi

If I write a world where real-life marginalized people are 'normal', is it showing readers a better possibility for the future or is it whitewashing issues that shouldn't be ignored? There are books and academic papers that explore this in-depth, but for now, I'll just share the approach I take in Crown of Bones.

Yuri & Victor
In my new series, The Bone Throwers (Book #1 Crown of Bones out March 17th!), society sees gender, race and LGBTQ diversity as normal. No big thing.

But issues of marginalization of another kind occur. The theme is not ignored or sugarcoated.

Just revisioned.

Divyatattva Art
For example, in the world of Amassia (think Earth so far in the future that all the continents have returned to a single landmass) there are essentially two kinds of people: savant, those who can raise a phantom, and non-savant, those who can not.

The savants of this story world are privileged, though they are meant to serve the masses with their gifts. And yes, it is the masses, the majority of people on Amassia, who are non-savant.

Alan Lee | Merlin & Arthur
The story follows a girl named Ash, a lowly scribe who is, indeed, non-savant. How she deals with her degraded life becomes a powerful thread in the plotline.

Work-in-Progress Witch's Shop by Aiseph
In this way, The Bone Throwers explores prejudice of a kind not seen in our 'real' world but remains a metaphor of our everyday lives.

This is one of Fantasy Fiction's most vital roles, investigating contemporary issues from a new or alternative perspective.


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If you're getting excited, you can pre-order Crown of Bones, hardcover or eBook, from any outlet near you, including multiple language translations. Just google it!

Hope you enjoy!

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Kim Falconer's New YA Fantasy Series is out March 17, 2020 - The Crown of Bones. (Writing under the pen name A.K. Wilder)

Also, check her urban fantasy  - 
The Blood in the Beginning - and Ava Sykes Novel and the SFF Quantum Enchantment Series

You can find Kim on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Or pop over and throw the bones on the site.

Contact at or

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Year of Genesis: The Birth of a Paranormal

I published my first book in June of 2011, which means that I’ve been blogging on Supernatural Underground since July of 2011. That seems like FOREVER of sharing my content and my writing process and my thoughts with you all.

And now I am starting over. New Series. New characters. Same world. Three New books. Three old books. All 2020!

So this year, I thought I would focus on this new series creation. Not just as blatant promotion, but as a journey of how books get developed and made and editing and covered and everything. Where the characters come from, where the world comes from, all the stars that have to align to get a story out into the universe.

So we are going to call this the Year of Genesis: How a book comes into being.

So lets start with where the seed of THE TRUTH ABOUT NIGHT came from.

My first series, Diaries of an Urban Panther (which will be re-leased this year) was about a very shy women who became very powerful very quickly. By book three, Violet Jordan is the most kick-ass panther that Dallas has ever seen. There wasn’t a wanderer that I could throw at her to fight anymore.

Now, I love the Those Who Wander universe, and I knew I wanted to stay and play in that world. I knew there were more magical stories to tell.

And naturally as my stories do, a question formed. What if there was a Wanderer who only had one itty-bitty, tiny power in a world of monsters and panthers. I loved the notion of the one power. It was very reminiscent of Piers Anthony’s Xanth series where everyone is born with one power. Some big. Some small. But one each unique to each person.
I wanted to play with that notion. What if there was a girl who had some small little talent, and it wasn’t her magic that made her as powerful as Prima, it was her person. It wasn’t what she was, it was who she was.

And what if I pitted her against a demon, something that was as powerful as it was hungry. I knew I wanted to play with demons in this one. I wanted something big and dark and dangerous. I’d alluded to them in Diaries, but now I wanted to play with the nature of a demon.

Merci Lanard was born, fully formed and demanded a story of her own. Which I can proudly present to you on January 21!

If you have an topics that you can think of, please feel free to let me know! I will be back at my normal date next month!

Until next time, Happy 2020.


Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Year, Supernatural Undergrounders! Welcome to My Year of Wonderful Worldbuilding

Happy New Year!
Happy New Year, dear Supernatural Undergrounders. In a world that often seems increasingly troubled and beset, I hope we can all find a path through 2020 that sustains our hope, our creativity, and our wellbeing.

When set against the larger backdrop of world, national, and even community affairs, posts on a blog with a focus on fiction that makes our hearts beat faster, and books that go bump in the night, seems like pretty small beer.

On the other hand, sometimes finding our path through the world is about focusing on what we can do and then doing it as well, and with as much generosity, kindness, and love, as we can.

So I am resolved, since posting on the Supernatural Underground on the first of every month is part of what I do, to write the very best posts I can. I hope they'll also be fun to read and maybe even brighten the occasional dull day.
Put your feet up & read! ;-)

So Why Worldbuilding?

Last year, I decided to take a leaf from fellow Supernatural Underground (SU) author Amanda Arista's book and dedicate 2019 to a theme. Because the SU has its origins in paranormal urban fantasy, and paranormal urban romance in particular, dedicating the year to Romance in Fantasy Fiction seemed the natural and obvious choice.

Yet we've never been exclusively a romance or even paranormal urban community. We've had YA writers and historical fantasy, as well as epic (hand shoots up :-) ) and fairytale retellings.

The great thing about fantasy is that it's a broad and inclusive genre -- but one of the elements every part of the genre has in common is the vital importance of worldbuilding. This holds true regardless of whether we're building an alternate reality in this world, as many of our authors have done, e.g.
  • The Blood In The Beginning -- Kim Falconer
  • Diary Of An Urban Panther -- Amanda Arista
  • Lost Girls -- Merrie Destefano 
  • Fire and Bone -- Rachel A Marks
  • Where Oblivion Lives -- Teresa Frohock
  • Whistling Past The Graveyard -- Terri Garey
  • Of Blood and Honey -- Stina Leicht
Or alternatively, building a completely other world, as is the case with my The Wall Of Night series, Kim's Quantum Enchantment series (although that's also partially in this world), and Teresa's Miserere.

All of which makes shining the spotlight on wonderful worldbuilding in the Fantasy genre seem like the perfect and logical choice for 2020, and something we can all enjoy: me writing, you reading. :-) #AsItShouldBe

2020: Let's explore worlds...
Our Year Of Wonderful Worldbuilding 

In terms of how it will work, I think I'll approach it pretty much as I did last year, with the focus being on my favorites, i.e. a few of the many worlds that have spun my wheels over the years, and inspired me to emulate the author's worldbuilding excellence.

Conversely, what it definitely won't be is an effort to exhaustively chart worldbuilding exemplars of the genre -- because although that might be Very Worthy, I feel it world also quash the fun quotient. Besides being impossible to encompass in ten to eleven posts. #Just Sayin'

I will try to achieve some historical perspective, though, by switching between older and newer works as I did with romance. I'll also try and keep the range of fantasy encompassed broad, rather than just sticking to the one subgenre, like paranormal urban or epic.

But that all lies in the realm of February 1 and the first #YearOfWorldbuilding post. For the moment we're still in January 1, with 2020 an uncharted landscape before us. Let's be careful what path we track through it.

Take care, dear Supernatural Undergrounders, throughout 2020: Be kind to yourselves and others.


Helen Lowe is a teller of tales and purveyor of story, chiefly by way of novels and poetry. Her first novel, Thornspell (Knopf), was published to critical praise in 2008. The second,The Heir of Night (The Wall Of Night Series, Book One) won the Gemmell Morningstar Award 2012, and the sequel, The Gathering Of The Lost, was shortlisted for the Gemmell Legend Award in 2013. Daughter Of Blood (Book Three), was published in 2016 and Helen is currently completing the final novel in the series. She posts regularly on her “…on Anything, Really” blog, monthly on the Supernatural Underground, and is also on Twitter: @helenl0we.