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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Guest: Darke Conteur

Please say howdy to Darke Conteur and show her what a nice crowd we are. 

After reading her post, it begs the question: What genre do you love best--and why?


Thank you so much, Maria! First, I want to thank Maria for allowing me to take over her blog today. I've been reading her entries for some time now, and was thrilled when she said I could add her to my blog tour.

I am Darke Conteur, and I write paranormal and scifi stories. My work tends to lean a little toward the dark side. No elves, unicorns, or helpful aliens here! Instead, I like to write about things that lurk in shadows and feed off our fear, and sometimes off us as well. 

For years I had no idea what genre I wrote. I thought it was horror, but lately I've come to understand that I write in the genre of category of Dark Fantasy. I don’t think there is a genre as diverse or as fascinating as Dark Fantasy. 

I read science fiction to escape into the future, and historical fiction to escape into the past, but what is it about the darker side of fiction that draws us to it? Do I have a hidden desire to become immortal? To possess supernatural abilities? Do we read this genre secretly hoping that what we’ve written is true, and that perhaps, we are the privileged few granted access into a world others dismiss? 

Yet who would want to venture into a world full of demons and vampires and zombies? I wouldn't. People die in these worlds, either physically, or their humanity dies, and yet there is a growing number of people who can’t get enough. There has to be something about it that makes it so attractive!

Our ancestors told us fantasy stories as a means of moral guidance. The character-singing, fluffy fairy tales that our children hold so dear, are a sugar-coated comparison to the original brutal tales of death. Their stories were a constant reminder that the world was a dangerous place, and if one strayed off the path, your fate was sealed. Perhaps this is the attraction? 

Do we long to tread away from the safety net of civilization? To live in danger and feel the blood course through our veins? Perhaps life has become too benign, and we need the diversion, that spark that can only come in the way of a good dark fantasy novel.

For whatever reason, the lure of a good dark fantasy novel will always be there. Frightening us or luring us into a world nothing like our own, all from the safety of our favourite reading place. 

THE WATCHTOWER: His first day of work wasn't what Martin Cunningham expected. A sultry boss, a classy receptionist, the drama-queen foreigner, and a painfully shy techie who prefers hiding to human interaction, was the oddest group of characters he'd ever met. When an assassination attempt is made against his new boss, Martin comes face to face with the stuff of nightmares.

Now he and his new co-workers must race to prevent another attack, but where do they start? There's very little to go on, and the only solid piece of evidence escaped through the u-bend in the toilet. By the end of the day, Martin becomes one of the privileged few who really understands what lies in the shadows, and what it means to work in THE WATCHTOWER.

Bio: Darke Conteur is an author at the mercy of her muse. Writing in several genres, she prefers to write in paranormal and science fiction, and has stories published in Brave Blue Mice, Bewildering Stories, and The Absent Willow Review. When not busy writing, she looks after one wannabe rock-star, one husband, two cats, and one ghost dog.


J.K. Coi said...

Great post, and I love dark fantasy. I think you're right that a lot of people want to be scared by the possibilities inherent in fantasy :)

DRC said...

I like Dark Fantasy too and I have wondered why it attracts us so. Maybe it's a chance for us to experience the fear and adrenaline that we would get if we were put in such a situation, but knowing we can switch off at anytime and return to the comfort and safety of our own reality.

Who knows...but it's good stuff.

Darke Conteur said...

I agree. I don't mind reading or watching, because I know I can switch the channel or put the book down and I'm safe.

Anonymous said...

Love that cover :) Congrats on the release Darke!

I think JK said it with, possibilities inherent in fantasy. Great post!

jackie b central texas said...

Seems to be that there is actually a bit of "darkness" in all of us and reading about something we know is really only "fantastical make believe" allows us to explore that in a safe way. Plus you never know, what may seem like only fantasy to some is reality to others.

Thanks to both Darke and Maria, interesting post discussion and new author and book introduced to me.

Mark Noce said...

Neat interview, thanks for sharing:)

Darke Conteur said...

@raelynbarclay - Thanks! I know, I love that cover too. I swear when I got it, I sat for an hour and just stared at it. :D

@Jackie b - Maybe that's why we're so intrigued? We want to touch that dark part of us?

@Mark Noce - Thanks for stopping by. :)

LD Masterson said...

Like telling ghost stories around the camp fire as kids. Sometimes it's fun to be scared.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

I like dark fantasy, but I also love dragons and unicorns and such. ^_^ I think I'll always be half badass woman and half little girl at heart.

Mike Keyton said...

I don't like 'dark fantasy' as such. I like a compelling story in whatever genre. There are many compulsive stories in this genre, and probably an equal amount of the cliched. I wouldn't be surprised if dark fantasy eventually falls into the same limbo as the Western. In the meantime, I enjoy writing it, and I'm truly envious of your wonderful blurb

Madeleine said...

Great guest post. I like suspense and dark fantasy sounds like it contains all that and more.

Tina Moss said...

Thanks for the introduction to Darke Conteur. I'm wondering if you'd consider your novels Urban Fantasy? And what would be the difference between Dark vs. Urban Fantasy?

Darke Conteur said...

@LD Materson- Campfire ghost stories scare me even today! I must have an over-active imagination. :D

@Barbara Ann Wright - Lol, nothing wrong with that! :)

@Mike Keyton - RE:Westerns. I have a good friend, K Mark Hoover who writes westerns that tend to fall on the dark side. Stories falling into cliche is a common problem for all genre's.

@Madeline - It does! And thanks for stopping by! :)

@Tina Moss - Good question, Tina, and I think, technically, my story is considered Urban, but don't quote me (lol). The genre is so diverse with sub-catagories, and I could probably tag it as paranormal as well.