I’ve always considered myself an epic fantasy girl. Give me a hero, an evil nemesis and an impossible quest and I’m in my element. I devour books by Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson and Robin Hobb as if they were slabs of chocolate. The guilt-free kind.
So it came as a bit of a surprise that I prefer writing urban fantasy. I don’t generally read a lot in this genre (am I allowed to say that out loud?), because I don’t particularly care for vampires or werewolves. Is it just me, or are the majority of urban fantasy novels overrun by these two supernatural creatures? I don’t know if it’s the result of living in a post-Twilight era, but I have yet to find a series that does not have a brooding immortal with overlong canines in it.
Since when has deathly pale with a thirst for blood been sexy? And don’t even get me started on hairy beasts that mark the furniture. Imagine all the vacuuming. No thanks!
I promise you that my Mythical Menagerie series (first installment coming soon – sign up to be notified here), which takes place in a world where creatures from myth and folklore live among us, will never have a vampire or a werewolf in it. Unicorns, yes. Dragons, definitely. Lesser-known creatures from Far Eastern, African, and Native American traditions, most probably.
There’s a whole world rich in lore out there. I think it’s time we looked a little further than the confines of the traditional denizens of the urban fantasy sphere and be more creative with our choices of characters.
Can you suggest a good urban fantasy series without any werewolves or vampires in it? What other supernatural creature has become a cliché of the genre too? What are your favourite mythological creatures?
2 comments / Add your comment below
Personally I like Vampires and Werewolves but I do agree to some extent with you. We have enough vampire and werewolf stories to last us a lifetime. For me when it comes to Urban Fantasy (the ones I read) they always involve demons somehow. I feel demons is a lazy way to create powerful villains without having a decent backstory. And there is always some hidden dark accompanying elements that can easily make a good person turn evil when the person has one bad experience, loss of a loved one for example. For some reason when a story has magic in it, even if it is urban fantasy, then demons are quick to follow. Where has all the creativity gone? What is your opinion on demons?
Honestly, I haven’t come across demons as much as vampires and werewolves, so I’d much prefer one of those instead, just for the novelty of it. But I have to agree with you, if the demon is the ultimate bad guy it’s lazy storytelling imho. Writing a good bad guy is pretty darn difficult, and I think that’s one of the marks of a good storyteller.