Harper Blaine was your average small-time P. I. until she died-for two minutes. Now she’s a Greywalker, walking the line between the living world and the paranormal realm. There are others who know about her new powers-others with powerful tools and evil intentions, and now that the man who “killed” her has been murdered, the police are also paying close attention. That means Harper has to watch her step while searching for the ghost of her “killer”-who could be a valuable clue in the puzzle of Harper’s past and her father’s death, as well as a key to figuring out who’s trying to manipulate her new powers and why. But with her growing powers pulling her into the Grey, Harper might not be able to come back out…
Make sure you stick around, we’re giving away a set of signed copies of Vanished and Labyrinth with a limited edition puzzle to a lucky reader.
Things In the Dark
Fantasy is the most basic form of fiction: isn’t all fiction, after all, the fantastic working of our own minds? At its best, fantasy allows us to explore that which is impossible physically, or to dive deeply into the non-physical. It’s the realm of imagination, of the forbidden, the strange, and the challenging.
I write fantasy that includes a lot of creatures that don’t fit the traditional, high-fantasy mold. The most recognizable fantasy mode is the Tolkienesque or heroic fantasy familiar from movies and games. It may feature a single race or a mix of races—elves, humans, dwarves, gnomes, goblins, orcs, trolls, and halflings who are often portrayed as various avatars of nature (human and otherwise)—engaged in a heroic quest, worldwide struggle, or sprawling epic adventure. But that’s not the only sort of fantasy story. A fantasy tale does not defined by fitting into the heroic mold; any story which is set in a world of magic and/or peopled with fantastical beings can be a fantasy. While the the heroic sort of fantasy has a comforting appeal straight from the Disney version of any given fairy tale, most of the creatures we think of as “fantastic” are as ambiguous or outright wicked in their original form as ghosts, demons, and vampires are in most horror stories: fairies aren’t kindly little women with wings and wands in their origin stories, nor are all demons evil or all gods good, it’s really just a matter of which side of the fairy tale you’re looking at….
Personally I write in the darker mode; I use a lot of ghosts, vampires, and undead things instead of elves, dwarves, trolls, or fairies. Many of these creatures have been considered the stuff of horror for a long time, but they’re just the darker branch of the fantastic family tree. For me, wherever there are creatures of light, there must also be creatures of darkness, for every angel, a demon, for every hero a villain. But beyond that, darker fantasy is more likely to play with the ambiguity of our own desires and impulses, our strengths and our failings reflected in the form and action of the characters in the story. Heroic fantasy may touch on weakness, but by its nature it inclines to morality tales because a hero must have a moral compass, while a protagonist, doesn’t have to be moral.
I like the flexibility of dark fantasy to reflect and provoke. But all fantasy allows a storyteller to play with allegory in ways that a story set in the real world may not: a monster may be a prince beneath his beastly skin… or he may just be a monster after all. I’ve always found the contradictory and ambiguous aspects of human nature and action to be fascinating and the grittier, less-illuminated corners of fantasy offer me a broader range of emotional color to work with. I’m not saying there’s no room for courageous princesses and beautiful knights, but I find them more interesting when they’ve got a secret or a flaw that threatens or challenges them from the inside. When fantasy is too morally polarized, it doesn’t leave much room for normal human flaws and struggle; it may encourage us, point us to a loftier path in life, show us our social and cultural errors, but it does not challenge us to examine ourselves and challenge our assumptions.
Want to purchase Kat’s Greywalker novels?
- Greywalker at Amazon or the Book Depository
- Poltergeist at Amazon or the Book Depository
- Underground at Amazon or the Book Depository
- Vanished at Amazon or the Book Depository
- Labyrinth at Amazon or the Book Depository
- Mean Streets at Amazon or the Book Depository (anthology featuring a Harper Blaine story)
- Wolfsbane and Mistletoe at Amazon or the Book Depository (anthology featuring a Harper Blaine story)
Contest Time! Kat has graciously offered to give away a set of signed copies of Vanished and Labyrinth with a limited edition puzzle to a lucky reader. All you have to do is answer this one question: What are some of your favorite Dark Fantasy stories? Or simply ask Kat a question. Please indicate which prize you would like to be entered for.
As always, there’s more ways of getting your name in the hat (remember, these aren’t mandatory to enter, just extra entries):
- +1 for each place you post about today’s contest on your blog, social network, or anywhere you can. Digg it, stumble it, twit it, share it with the world. Wherever you share it, make sure you add a link to it along with your answer.
- +1 to any review you comment on, however, comments must be meaningful. Just give me the title of the review and I’ll be able to figure it out from there.
- +1 If you are a follower of Literary Escapism on Facebook and/or Twitter
- +10 Purchase any of Kat’s novels (listed above) or any novel through LE’s Amazon store or the Book Depository sometime during this contest and send a copy of the receipt VIA email for your purchase to: jackie AT literaryescapism DOT com. Each purchase is worth ten entries.
There is one thing I am adding to my contests now…the winner must post a review of the novel someplace. Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just help get the word out.
I have not been contacting winners, so you will need to check back to see if you’ve won.