Researching the fantasy novel. #oxymoron

When asked about inspiration, Terry Pratchett said this;


TP“I make up my ideas in my head, and that’s where the inspiration comes from as well. Yes, sometimes I can see, in the real world, unusual juxtapositions, or there are little triggers which happen to set something off in my mind, but usually I get my ideas by thinking logically about things that you’re not supposed to think logically about.”



So when I am asked, as I sometimes am, “tell us about how you researched your book, The 400Lb Gorilla?”   This is how I answer.front cover thumb


This is a book about someone who has a very  troubled existence in this world we live in, encountering a clandestine security agency whose job it is to keep the things that should be ‘over there’ from interfering too much with us ‘over here’.
In fact, it’s not just a book, but it’s a world. And the 400Lb Gorilla is just one detailed report from the files of this ‘security agency”;


So researching something you’ve made up in your head involves a lot of sitting down on a stool with a pencil. But the parallels with our own, and every other country’s,  Border agencies feed in. And for that, all you have to do is switch on the news every day, or pick up a newspaper.


Once you take that tiny little step, the possibility for allusion is infinite and that’s where the fun comes in. And since I also have first hand knowledge of medicine and the vagaries of the NHS, it made sense to make my main character someone immersed in the harsh realities, warts and all, of that world.


Admittedly, some people can be a little bit precious about the fantasy genre. But I am not aiming for high fantasy in my work.


This is urban fantasy and with that comes the possibility of examining contemporary life under a microscope and listening to it through a stethoscope. My particular stethoscope, the one I’ve used all myBA life, tends to come up with things that make me giggle. So Gorilla has a dark comedic flavour. When a reviewer says, but a word of caution – random moments of loud and very audible laughing should be expected., I know my job is done.



So this book is about Jo Bloggs, admittedly a slightly damaged Joe Bloggs and his interaction with a world in which all sorts of things can happen because the rules are all different.
As another reviewer said.
‘there was absolutely nothing about it that was predictable.’


Research that, why don’t you!


© 2011-2017 DC Farmer - All Rights Reserved

Website by Memphis McKay



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