Have you ever had someone ask you what you did and lose all interest when you say you write fantasy? What is with that? A strange prejudice lingers around fantasy writing and writers.

In this episode, Autumn and Jesper discuss why there is a perception fantasy writers aren't "real" writers, some facts and stats on fantasy stories and writers, why the perception might be changing, and what to do if you encounter it!

As we mention in the show, TODAY is release day for our three new books on developing story ideas, and plotting. Pick them up at:

Plot Development: A Method for Outlining Fiction - https://books2read.com/Plot-Development 

Plot Development Step by Step: Exercises for Planning Your Book - https://books2read.com/PlottingWorkbook

Story Idea: A Method to Develop a Book Idea - https://books2read.com/StoryIdeas

Tune in for new episodes EVERY single Monday.

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Read the full transcript below. (Please note that it's automatically generated and while the AI is super cool, it isn't perfect. There may be misspellings or incorrect words on occasion).


Narrator (2s):
You're listening to the am. Writing fantasy podcast in today's publishing landscape, you can reach fans all over the world. Query letters are a thing of the past. You don't even need an literary agent. There is nothing standing in the way of making a living from writing. Join two best selling authors who have self published more than 20 books between them now onto the show with your hosts, Autumn Birt, and Jesper Schmidt.

Jesper (30s):
Hello, I am Jesper

Autumn (31s):
and I'm Autumn.

Jesper (34s):
This is episode 84 of the am writing fantasy podcast. And today's episode was actually inspired by something that you came across on the internet. Autumn. It was, this was another debate that I hear a lot. And actually just, just last week, ended up with this kind of impression from somebody. And it's like, Oh, you're a writer. What are your right? Oh, you write fantasy.

Autumn (1m 1s):
It is, you know, that condescending tone. And, and I've been dealing with it my whole life, because I've always, since I was like three, I wanted to be an artist. Since I found out that there was such a thing as people who draw for a living, that's what I wanted to do. And in, I don't know about the rest of the world, but there's a term in the U S that people, especially in the eighties, just to go like, Oh, artsy, fartsy, like it's less, it's a less of a career. Like somehow Leonardo DaVinci was a hack.

Autumn (1m 34s):
I told him no Rembrandt shouldn't have been born. I don't know it's and I've had it my whole life. And it's gotten under my skin. I will admit it. This is one of my pet peeves. And so I'm so excited about this episode, because if someone has ever said this to you and whether, you know, Oh, you're a fantasy writer. And then of course my favorite comeback, I have relatives and friends who have said, well, if you want to write a really good story, I've got a great one for you. If anyone has ever said that to you, dear listener, this episode has the answers for you.

Jesper (2m 11s):
Yeah. And I actually wrote down what the, you know, you sent me a screenshot of what this stuff do from Randy's actually wrote it down just to remember it. So I can just quote it here, what it was. So it was this college professor who had sat at a writing class quote, welcome to creative writing. And by the way, you will not write fantasy ghost stories, paranormal or science fiction in this class as this is a creative writing class and quote.

Autumn (2m 41s):
So I don't know what in the world this professor has to do, but in today's episode, we'll explore why some looked down upon defense is stronger. And maybe we can talk a bit about why instead you should be proud about writing. In fact, in the fantasy show. Absolutely. I cannot wait, but before we get there, it's been a week. So how have you been? And I do want to give everyone a quick warning. We are finally getting rain in Vermont. It is wonderful. And of course it's coming in the form of thunderstorms. So any extra auditory effects are not intended, but just enjoy the ambience please.

Jesper (3m 19s):
Yeah. Well, at least right now, I can't hear anything of that sort. Let's see. Okay. Maybe we'll get a loud thunder. All of them

Autumn (3m 28s):
We'll switch to a horror genre or a thriller or something. But anyway,

Jesper (3m 32s):
Yeah. So that's a certain mood.

Autumn (3m 35s):
It does. So how are things in Denmark?

Jesper (3m 38s):
No, it's good. It's good. Actually, my wife is not even here. She's in Finland these days because she had to, she had to go and deal with some builders who are currently renovating an apartment that we own up there. So she, she left a couple of days ago and she's gonna come back on Wednesday, but it's, it's really not healthy when she's not around in this house. You know, the boys that I we've already had pizza, ice cream cookies, popcorn and candy.

Jesper (4m 11s):
You should think that she's been away for a week, but it's just like three days.

Autumn (4m 16s):
What kind of example are you setting? This is horrible, but it's so funny. It's so typical. Come on.

Jesper (4m 23s):
Yeah. I don't know where it is. It's like they miss their mom. Right. And then it's like, okay, what can we do to make the time feel a bit better? And they will. They will. Because normally as well, when I do my grocery shopping, normally they of course home with my wife. I usually do the grocery shopping in our family. But because she was traveling, I had to bring them, you know, the, Oh, they're not young kids as such, but they're not old enough to stay home by themselves. The oldest can, but he's not, he's not old enough to take care of he's younger.

Jesper (4m 54s):
So I had to bring at least a younger, younger boy to the grocery shop, but then they both came. And then when we were there, of course they are looking at, into all the different things. And they were like, Hey, there's a vegan pizza here. We've never really, I've never noticed that there was one in the shop. And I was like, really? And they were like, yeah, yeah, we want to taste this stuff. And then, okay, well then we bought that. And then we, all of a sudden we had pizza, but then we also have to have some yeah. To search. So we've got ice cream and before you know, it, we come home with all kinds of unhealthy stuff.

Jesper (5m 26s):
So I think it's good that she's returning the day after tomorrow because this is not going to sustain.

Autumn (5m 34s):
It sounded, I always wanted to do like a college level study that if the reason women live longer than, than men is partially because what meant eat before they end up getting married, that span when they're in college and on their own. And they're drinking beer for breakfast and stale pizza for lunch. That is my theory of why, you know, most men have a shorter life span. So you're not this idea.

Jesper (5m 60s):
No, I'm not doing a very good job on behalf of all men in the world. I'm also teaching the kids how to do when the wife is not there. That's okay.

Autumn (6m 9s):
Either. Probably not. But you know, it's going to be fantastic memories. And you know, maybe you'll have some day when maybe they have kids you'll with regeneration, PE male only pizza party or something. And I think it's,

Jesper (6m 25s):
At least they are saying in the evenings like, Oh, this has been a really nice day. So at least that's good because especially, especially the older one, he tends to miss his mom a lot. So at least it's good that he, you know, some of the candy keeps his mind preoccupied elsewhere.

Autumn (6m 43s):
Yes. It's working like a charm

Jesper (6m 48s):
Dude. But how about you?

Autumn (6m 50s):
Oh, it's been a good busy week. I had some it's so funny. Cause we're going to be time traveling so much today. I've been doing some formatting for the books that we're releasing today. And that made no sense. No, isn't it. It's so strange. But we're recording this almost. We're almost at the car on the cusp of July. So we're almost a month ahead because summer vacations, these things happen. And so yes, it was a good achievement week of getting a whole bunch of long prep.

Autumn (7m 23s):
All those, all these months, we have said, Hey, we're writing this book, we're putting this together. We're going to release this. We actually have them. I mean, they're on preorder. The formats are done where they're out to the typo Slayer team. We're getting feedback. It's so close. And it's just a weird juxtaposition that we're so close. We're almost releasing it. And in all honesty with your listening on this, the day it's released, no books are out there available. This is so exciting. So I, it is, yeah.

Jesper (7m 56s):
Is the wonders of a prerecording, a lot of episodes because we want to have some time off during vacation. But, but yeah, if you go to Amazon or any online store where you normally buy your books, then you should be able to find them the, both the plotting book, the workbook associated to the plotting book and the how to do get story ideas and how to build a story premises. So if you just searched for either my name or Autumn's name on those stores, you should pretty much be able to find them quite easily.

Jesper (8m 29s):
I guess the one thing that we don't know yet is some of the online stores are really weird when it comes to the fact that you are mentioning, for example, Amazon in the back of the book or something. If you write that anywhere, then some stores are really weird about it. For example, Apple is don't like that. So, well, because we're prerecording here. I can't say for sure if some of the stores will end up rejecting the book, but I have, I have a principle that I do not change the content of a book just because Apple don't like it.

Jesper (9m 3s):
So if they don't like it, it will not be on Apple. You'll have to go somewhere else to find it. But for sure, Amazon it'll be on Amazon for sure. Kobo, it'll be there as well. Google books, it will be there. And then for the rest, I guess we'll have to wait and see how many of them, except the book files at least two or three places.

Autumn (9m 24s):
Yes. At the very least, if you don't see it in a store, go to am writing fantasy and look for it in the workbooks there because we will be selling it off of our website and you can get it in whatever format you need. So if it's not on iTunes because Apple books as being a bugger, just come and get it from us and we will make sure you have it for whatever reader you choose.

Narrator (9m 47s):
Oh, a week on the internet with the am writing fantasy podcast.

Jesper (9m 52s):
So actually thought it was just worth mentioning how the am writing fences. Facebook group just keeps getting better and better

Autumn (9m 60s):
Rowing and froing. It's been, it's like every time I turn around, there's another six people knocking at the door. Yeah. But I mean, this, this past week I had like in the morning I let in eight people and then in the afternoon it was like,

Jesper (10m 12s):
What? Now there's a list of six more. I mean, it's crazy. But there was actually at some point in the past where we were speculating to move the group away from Facebook and try something else because the engagement was just very limited at that point in time. But Oh my God, I'm glad we didn't do that.

Autumn (10m 30s):
No, it's been fantastic. And that's with them, you know, there's a lot of advertisers currently. Okay. We could look at word more recording this. So who knows what August will be, but there's been a lot of advertisers and things pulling from Facebook because of the politics and advertising policies. And it doesn't matter. The group is just outstanding.

Jesper (10m 50s):
Yeah. And I have to say as well that I really like, and because this doesn't happen in all groups, but I think at this group, people are actually very good at following the rules of not self promoting stuff over the past week. I think I had to delete two posts where people were self promoting, but it does not have happened very often compared to how much that actually gets posted in the group. So I think that's very good.

Autumn (11m 16s):
Yes. No, I agree. I mean, it's, you're on there more than I am and goodness, our moderator, Luke, a huge shoe shout out to him and you guys handle a lot of the heavy lifting, which I very much appreciate, but it is just, I mean, they're good. If something comes up, people are very good at not overreacting, not going crazy. They'll just, you know, the, let one of us know, say, you know, they'll, you can submit the post saying, Hey, I think there's something wrong with this. And it's been fine, but in general, everyone's so well behaved and so supportive and wonderful feedback.

Autumn (11m 51s):
And the, the of questions and topics is just amazing. I mean, it's everything from people getting advice to people, pushing bits of stories. It's really got it all.

Jesper (12m 5s):
Yeah. It's, it's in general, it's a very helpful group with a very positive tone. So if you're the listener have not joined us over there yet, then simply search for am writing fantasy in the group section of Facebook and you will find us and just apply to be let in

Autumn (12m 20s):
And we'll get to you as soon as we can.

Jesper (12m 23s):
It might take a bit, but sometimes it takes a couple of days, but we will.

Autumn (12m 27s):
Don't worry. Yeah. It's not usually that long, but, and I want to give a big shout out. I already mentioned once that the type of Slayer team has been helping us out with our edits and the last reviews for the books. And they have been getting back to us already. I think we just gave it to them. But three, four days ago, people are booking it through some of these books and have great suggestions. So big shout out to everyone who has joined us on the typo Slayer team you guys are doing awesome.

Jesper (12m 55s):
Yeah, absolutely. I think the ones that we got feedback for so far was the book idea book, which is a very short one. So that's probably why they are so fast, but I will bet you that it'll take awhile before we get feedback on the plodding book, because that's, that's a beast.

Autumn (13m 11s):
Yeah. We'll have to see if anyone actually goes through the workbook doing the work, then it might take them a while to,

Jesper (13m 23s):
So we started out with that quote from that crazy college professor before he must be slightly insane.

Autumn (13m 31s):
What does fantasy not? Or what does create, you know, not creative writing. This is just, it boggles my mind. How is this not creative? I think it's the most creative pursuit out there.

Jesper (13m 41s):
Yeah. But as well, I have to say he, he's not the only one who has like, I don't know, should we call it certain opinion about the fantasy?

Autumn (13m 51s):
I think people have a certain opinion about the physical fantasy genre. Yeah.

Jesper (13m 56s):
Because I feel like in, in writing fantasy, this is something that we are faced with. And also because of that, we have to sort of deal with that problem. If we can call it a problem or whatever,

Autumn (14m 8s):
At least a perception that it's just, it's pervasive in some ways that, Oh, you're a fantasy Rother. You're not legit. And I have to admit when you look at some of the awards, like for speculative fiction, the Hugo is one of the only awards that are out there. So, you know, there's all these other wonderful awards that other writers can get. But if you want to get to the top, top, top of the food chain and speculative fiction, that's basically the Hugo, you got one spot.

Jesper (14m 36s):
Yeah, indeed. It's like, usually at least I feel like if I tell people who maybe don't know me or only know me a little, you know, if they sort of ask her, so what do you do if I say that I'm, I'm an author, then they usually get very interested and they want to learn more. That's almost always the reaction I get, you know, people like to hear about what you're writing and what you're doing. And if you then tell them that you write fantasy, then the demeanor sort of changes a bit.

Jesper (15m 6s):
And all of a sudden you feel like now I have to justify myself for, I mean, it's almost like, Oh, okay. And I don't know why that is, but it just, it happens more often than, yeah.

Autumn (15m 18s):
I don't think, I don't think there's any fantasy author out there who probably has not experienced that where people are like, Oh wow, you're a writer. That is fantastic. Oh, you're right. Fantasy. I thought you were a real writer. I was like, wow. Really? So it's not real writing. That's I've heard that saying, but yes, I just, I am shocked. I'm really shocked that it's still in all of the movements and progressiveness that we haven't come to. The conclusion that fantasy is still real writing and I'm hoping we can blow that out of the water today.

Autumn (15m 54s):
At least we will try.

Jesper (15m 56s):
I don't know. I mean, there is, of course also the, the stigma around fantasy that it's something for nerds and geeks and stuff like that, you know, at least that has been, so when, at least when I was growing up, you know, it was a lot like that over the last 15, 20 years, it was a very much like a nerd and geek environment. Yeah. That's the whole fantasy stuff. I think it's starting slowly though, to become more mainstream. I mean, nowadays we have a stuff like game of Thrones and also the Lord of the rings movies that took to the screen some years back, you know, more like the general population they are becoming increasingly familiar with with, well, basically what the rest of us has known for ages.

Jesper (16m 42s):
And that is that fantasy is awesome. Yes,

Autumn (16m 44s):
Absolutely. I do think it came up with almost a whole generation of kids with thanks to Harry Potter books, that it was there. It opened up reading to them in a way that, I mean, reading was dwindling and Harry Potter came out and suddenly there's a surge of reading and it's all in fantasy. And those kids have grown up to their twenties now and they are, you know, some of them have kids and they're bringing them up with all of these stories and fantasy is doing really, really well.

Autumn (17m 15s):
So I think that is exciting. So I think the perception is changing in the younger generation. I think if I told someone in their twenties that, Hey, I'm a fantasy author and I have met, you know, you know, you've met, you know, social parties and I tend to hang out with the younger kids. I think I've mentally think I'm only in my twenties and maybe it's because I write fantasy and they find out I'm a fancy fantasy author and we have the best conversations and we get so excited. And then you talk to the parents and they're like, Oh, what are you talking about? Oh, you're an author. Oh, you write fantasy.

Autumn (17m 45s):
It's just like, you know, you hit the brick wall and very ashamed that that perception is still there. But I do think the younger, younger ish generation is going to get rid of that. And it's not going to be such a strange thing. They'll be excited about it.

Jesper (18m 4s):
Yeah. And maybe it was because in the younger generation or the, the ones who are younger now, at least compared to, I mean, young is relative, but at least compared to us, maybe the younger generation compared to us, they, as you say, grew up with Harry Potter, but to us, the generation we are in, I mean, when I grew up, it was mostly like it was spontaneous and drag and stuff. It was just too Orden. It was well, there was a few fantasy books, like while I read dragon lands back then as well, but there wasn't a lot of it.

Jesper (18m 38s):
No, really. I mean, it was different. And then over time then of course, well, we get those kind of mainstream trains that just pulled us through everything like, like a Harry Potter or a lot of the rings. And well, a lot of rings was back there as well. Of course, when I grew up obviously, but what was it I said before, like game of Thrones, I think game of Thrones is very oldest. Well, to be honest, I think he wrote it quite a long while back.

Jesper (19m 9s):
But, but again, I mean a lot of this stuff, if you look at it from a sort of mainstream perspective, it didn't really catch on until maybe within the last say five, six, seven years,

Autumn (19m 23s):
Maybe 10 years. Maybe I would agree at the outset of 10 years, I would agree that it's, that's where it's become culturally, especially the book part has become culturally accepted and popular where you can go up to somebody on the street and they probably heard of game of Thrones. So, you know, you can talk something fantasy where before it was like, maybe everyone, maybe half the kids in your high school, might've heard of dragon lands. And you know, a small percentage might have read some books of Shannara or the last unicorn or something like that.

Autumn (19m 54s):
But there were, so it was like a little club and it was much more intimate and quiet where now it is like, literally you go to Starbucks and you can talk to somebody about, Oh, did you know the new Lord? All the drinks series is coming out. You know, people are excited about it and you hear it as a type of conversation. And I do think that is interesting.

Jesper (20m 15s):
Yeah. I think so too big because basically, yeah, it would be a very small niece of people in your high school back when we grew up, that would actually read the paper.

Autumn (20m 26s):
It's like the nut club that you really want to read defenses, you books,

Jesper (20m 31s):
The rings back then it was like the nightclub reading that stuff.

Autumn (20m 34s):
Yes. But I do think, and I think part of that perception is, I mean, even as a kid, I used to call it brain candy. Cause you know, I was, you know, top of my class and all that other crap doing well in grades. And you know, they had high hopes for me that I became a fantasy author. They're so disappointed. I would call it brain candy. You know, this was, you know, something I read to relax my brain, but I think that's part of the misperception is that there's nothing important and there's nothing true or gritty or real and fantasy.

Autumn (21m 9s):
And I'm hoping maybe with games of Thrones. So with some of these bigger genres, I mean, they're looking at it as we're going to, I'm going to bring up some stuff today that looking at it from a moneymaking aspect, if people do not take this seriously for that reason alone they're fools. But I think there's a lot more to fantasy. I mean, it taught me a lot of perceptions and things about life and other people that I hadn't yet met and how to hold myself and be openminded because of the fantasy books I read because I was opened up to whole different worlds in different cultures and different ways of meeting people and stuff that you can't pack into this world.

Autumn (21m 47s):
You can't talk about the Israeli Palestinian conflict without bringing up some kind of grudges and history lessons. But you take that and you put it in a fantasy world and you can unpack it and you can question things and you come out of it changed in a way you can't do when we're stuck and entrenched in our own cultural values. And I don't think there's any other genre really, that can do that as well as fantasy. And for me, I feel bad now that I spent so much time jokingly calling it brain candy because, Oh my goodness, you can teach people.

Autumn (22m 18s):
You can open up their minds to so much stuff through fantasy that I don't think other cultures or John Rose can really enable you to do.

Jesper (22m 27s):
Yeah. I don't know if this is true, but I also feel like now that if we sort of go with the premise here that that fantasy has become a bit more mainstream nowadays, I feel like those who still looked down upon the fantasy genre isn't as much anymore, your average reader. I think instead nowadays it's very often those who are closely associated with writing programs and stuff like that. Do you think I'm right in that?

Jesper (22m 57s):

Autumn (22m 58s):
I think in many ways you're right. Like the incident I had just last week was more like, Oh, well, you know, my friend who's in publishing this advice and I was just like, wow, you know what? I've been in publishing since 2012. So good luck to your friend who told you this statement. That is completely not true. I just put it, you didn't take me seriously. And it was either my gender or it was because it was a fantasy author. I'm not sure why, but I didn't unpack it because I really didn't.

Autumn (23m 29s):
That was my Instagram personality type of, I really don't give a crap. I'm busy, so I don't need his approval. But I do think that there are definitely some writers, but there are also so many conferences and there are a lot of things set up now targeting fantasy. But again, is it because that they truly support the genre or because they see this group that grew up on fantasy that are now in their twenties, in their thirties and they're making money and they love fantasy and they want to write it. So therefore they're going to go ahead and target an audience that is there and willing to pay money to do it.

Autumn (24m 3s):
I don't know. It's hard. You would have to. I think it's different every case.

Jesper (24m 9s):
Yeah. But I also think that, you know, those kind of closely at those people closely associated with weed riding probate, it could be the professor from before. Right. But I think a part of it is basically that they compare fantasy genre fiction with literary fiction would stay sort of feel like that's proper writing literary. Right. But, but I don't, I don't understand why we, the whole premise of trying to prove that fantasy have some sort of literary value why we even have to accept that entire premise there, you know, because when somebody frowns upon it and we go into this sort of defense situation, now I need to defend why I'm writing fantasy.

Jesper (24m 57s):
And I have to explain it. I have to convince them, you know, it's sort of a bit like we insisting on grading fantasy on that same scale. Right. And I don't know, my question is more like, why do we even have to grade it at all? Why do we even have to try to defend the fact that we write fantasy? Why can't we just write fantasy? Because

Autumn (25m 19s):
We write fantasy. Exactly. I do agree. I don't know why they have, it's a pedestal, you know, there's certain types and certainly certain genres that are considered the true writing. You know, this is the Jane Austin of writing and the Charles Dickens of writing. But I think in the second part of the quote, you know, that, that was from that post I had found, it was just like, you know, these were people who were writing like Charles Dickens was paid per word. These were not high end writers at the time.

Autumn (25m 53s):
They just have come to us through the classics that now we consider it. But even to Shakespeare was, you know, people, some people hate it and they're throwing tomatoes at him. He was not revered in his time. And now, you know, even token, I think got a lot of flack when he first came out. But now it's just like, Oh my goodness, token, you know, I've met somebody who met him and you're like, Oh, you've touched a toll kid. It gives you chills. You're like, Oh my God, that's so cool. Your real life when he was 11, that was, would have been so awesome. So total fan girl, that is why, again, I agree with you.

Autumn (26m 28s):
We don't have to compare ourselves to these other genres. These are our own pillars and this is an amazing Gianna. And we create amazing works that they don't know. They're not the same as other things as, as you know, Shakespeare's plays, which I happen to love. And he has some very fantasy ish plays. I did get to see a Midsummer's night dream, which is definitely on the fantasy scale as well as the Tempus. So yeah, those are fantastic plays and this has fantastic writing, but it doesn't have to be, you know, no one else has to write like that anymore.

Autumn (27m 3s):
It's fine. You can write, you can write piers, Anthony. It's good. Yeah. True. And I actually, I have, I have a question for you and I don't even know what my answer is. Oh. So you're going to throw it on me. So I'm just going to throw it at you and see what you say, because I don't know yet. Oh, alright. I'm ready. Let's go. Okay. Okay. But do you think that fantasy Isha showing right that you either love it or you hate it?

Autumn (27m 34s):

3 (27m 37s):
Okay. Thank you.

Autumn (27m 41s):
Doesn't yes or no? No. I would say yes. And the first thing that popped to mind is my mom who has read my first, my debut novel. And she said, it wasn't bad for fantasy. So listen, Beth, she loves me anyway. But, and I definitely, I mean, even in my own family, I have struggled with the perception that I am doing well, and this is what I'm doing because I like it. I like I've mentioned, I've had cousins or aunts who have said, Oh, well, if you want a real story, if you want to write a real story, I've got the best idea.

Autumn (28m 13s):
And you know, I would be a little bit catty going, Oh, you should write it. Good luck. You know, there's a lot more to writing than just saying, I have a good idea because believe me, if everyone who had a good idea was writing, wow. I mean, there are a lot of books, but there'll be a lot more books. But I do think that fantasy is definitely, there's very little gray. It's you either love it. And you tend to love it passionately. Even if it's just a subsection, like you've loved vampires or you love zombies or you love just something about it.

Autumn (28m 43s):
It really gets it. It's like in your blood. And if it's not there, it's just kinda like whole-home lackluster. I mean, I, I like scifi, but I don't love scifi. If there's no fantasy element, there's no magic. And you know, star Wars is good, but I like it because it's a forest. So, you know, there's something else there I cowboy, you know, count, you know, there's a few genres that are okay. But I think when it comes to books, it's sorta like art. You either get it or you don't get it.

Autumn (29m 14s):
And I do think there's a large perception who just don't get fantasy, but there's a large group that is now just ground swelling that does get fantasy and does love it. And they want something magical in this world. So they're looking for this and it's giving them something else because it's either this or post-apocalyptic dystopian tales. Do you want to read? Yeah. I quite like science fiction as well.

Jesper (29m 42s):
I prefer fantasy over science fiction, but I do quite like science fiction because I also think that like fantasy science fiction offers a lot of escapism. You know, it's just those kinds of when, when you're in a different world in a completely different setting, that that's the sort of things that I, that I really like and science fiction can do that as well. But most of the times certain fictions don't have dragons.

Autumn (30m 5s):
That's a download. I know it's a total shame and I've even written a few short shines fiction-y tails. But I just, I don't know. I come back to the magic and the characters and the world. And I just there's something there that I adore though. It is funny. Cause you how you mentioned escapism. I mean, some of the most poignant readers who have gotten back to me in the stories I remember from readers are the ones who said, you know, I've been recovering from this or I've been in the hospital and I found your book. And I just, there was one woman who has read everything except like one of the most recent stories.

Autumn (30m 39s):
And she was apologizing for like, not giving a review, but she had just gotten diagnosed with breast cancer. I mean, I just sent her a free book. I'm just like, here you go. Really? It's not just, she's like, I'm going through chemo. It's been really rough. I mean, these are the stories that just stay with me. And it is people who are literally stuck in bad situations. Their body's failing them. They're in pain and they want to book. They want to go to a different world. And that's one reason, not all fantasy is happy, you know, happy escapism. There's definitely ones where, I mean, I look at game of Thrones and so many people die.

Autumn (31m 12s):
I feel like I could read it. I could finish reading it now because I know which characters I could follow, but I can't finish reading it. Yeah. Yeah. Because George RR Martin isn't done. But as soon as he finishes, I'll consider it again. Instead of finishing it, I can read it in five years time or something like that when I'm, when I have more time on my hands, but

Jesper (31m 31s):
I am. And when he was done reading it, writing it again in five years from now,

Autumn (31m 35s):
It might be. But yeah, I mean, I think that's why I'm drawn to Nobel bright, which has a new, it's a new term for the fantasy where the heroes, you know, somehow get through, despite all the odds. And I definitely, that's why I like it is because it is an escapism where good things happen rather than grim dark, where just bad shit happens after, after bad crap. And so it's a tough one to get through. I've read a couple of grim darks and they were fantastic writing, but I know I was walking with the character through the swamp and I'm just like, if this was me in my life, I would just lay here and die because I could not go.

Autumn (32m 13s):
It was too tough. So that's the light type of fantasy.

Jesper (32m 18s):
But now, now did you set out all of that? I had a bit of time to think about my answers because, well, actually I started thinking that maybe it is every Shong row is either you hate it or you love it because you know, growing up, my, my mother always told me when I was child, that you need to something, at least once before you turn it down, because otherwise you don't understand what you're turning down. Very true. And, and then I was thinking, could I apply the same thing to reading?

Jesper (32m 50s):
Meaning for example, I have a notion thinking that I don't like romance books. I don't want to read romance, but I've actually never read a romance novel. So you don't know. So I guess the premise could then be, well then I don't know if I don't like it, then I should try to at least read one novel to check it out. And I could then say the same thing to those who say that they don't like fantasy. Then I could say, well, at least read one novel before you judge it.

Autumn (33m 20s):
But that's a really good one. That's true.

Jesper (33m 22s):
Yeah. But that, yeah, because then I'm thinking, okay, if I'm supposed to read one to judge, whether I like to show him around at how do I know that the one that I read is actually strongly representative enough? And how do I know if it's good? I mean, if you go by the bestseller list, I read the way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson, which you must say is a huge, huge bestseller. And Brenda Sanderson is probably one of the biggest fantasy authors. One of them, at least that we have right now, but I did not like way of Kings.

Jesper (33m 53s):
Wow. I really was not my taste. And I love reading fantasy. So if I gave that to somebody else, somebody else will love. I mean, a lot of people, a lot of people love those books. So that is perfectly fair. My point is more to say, how can you know that if I, for example, picked up a romance book right now and said, okay, I'll give it a try. How can I know that the one that I picked up is just because I didn't quite like that particular one, but maybe I would have liked another one. But then again, when I say all of that, I also feel like, but I don't really, really feel like even yeah.

Autumn (34m 29s):
You know, it's true. So

Jesper (34m 31s):
That's why I'm thinking, is it just every show on where, so that either you love it or you hate it, but you don't really feel like trying the other ones, even though you don't really know for sure whether you like it or not

Autumn (34m 42s):
Follow my logic. I do. And I totally get it because I mean, I, yeah, like I said, there's a lot of genres that are kind of I've maybe I've read them, but you know, they didn't stick. I mean, I read some Nancy drew my best friend growing up, just love Nancy drew. So I tried a couple and that mystery is just not for me. I mean, I really like, I guess a Christie and as I joked, I, I wanna, I want an Agatha Christie book, a hardback, so I can use it as a knife holder in my kitchen. I just think that'd be so much fun, but I even Stephen King, I like some of his books, but his favorite ones are his fantasy ones.

Autumn (35m 18s):
His horror ones don't do much for me. And I think that's fair. And there's a lot of fantasy. I love Lord of the rings, but I skimmed through the battle scenes because I just went on forever. They were not fast enough for it. Right. So everyone, as the more you read them, the more discernment you're going to have, like icing. If I went back and read DRA dragon LANSA I think I would have a totally different perception now as an adult reading it, then when I was, you know, I read the,

Jesper (35m 45s):
I read the first book in the drag land series, a what is it like four or five months ago with my sons, because I wanted to read it to them. So I actually read it out loud to them. And I was a bit concerned about what it would feel like to read it as an adult, because I have so far memories of that series because I read it when I was like 12, maybe. So I was really concerned that now I'm going to ruin it for myself. And all my fond memories are going to get destroyed. That it's not that good anyway, but it was actually okay, good.

Jesper (36m 17s):
But it is not written quite like you write novels today. So, but it was also written in, in a different time.

Autumn (36m 28s):
I look, I look at that like the Shannara book. So when they turned that into a series, I was ripping my hair out because of, they didn't update some of the tropes and this is just not what people put up with anymore. So I much prefer modern fantasy because it is just varied and has depth. And the character building is so much more in the plotting is so much more, I don't want to go backwards, but I agree. Yeah. It's, it's changed. So I'm glad to know that though it held up.

Autumn (36m 58s):
Cause I did recently, my first fantasy book was on Pern Anne McCaffrey. And I recently re-read the first dragon flight and I cannot finish a review on good reads because I just, I have such fond memories of the book and the stories. And I read the book and I'm like, I'm glad I don't have a daughter. Cause I would not let her read this because of a man treated her the way that is okay. In this book, I would be like, you're going to jail. So it was so sexist.

Autumn (37m 30s):
It was horrible, but it was written in what the seventies. So I understand it from that. But looking back, I'm like, wow, this shaped my formative years. Seriously. That's horrible. I prefer stick to modern day fantasy. It's much better, much, much better.

Jesper (37m 47s):
Yeah. I guess we could say that. But at the same time, I also feel like, I feel like there there's a logic to this fact that we just love some stuff and we hate other stuff. And we're not really that willing to cross that bridge and try something else. But I can see the logic in that argument, but at the same time saddens me slightly because it's like, so none of us, and I'm looking at myself here because I'm not taking my own medicine that, you know, none of us is willing to try some other stuff out that we just keep reading the same moment.

Jesper (38m 19s):
But this is also why we keep talking about, and there's going to be a lot about this by the way in the self publishing course, once we release that later this year, but this is also why when you're creating your covers and all that stuff that you go with, the stuff that people expect, you don't try to be fancy. You don't to show them something new that they've never seen before on the cover or whatever. You just give them what they want because that's what they want to buy. But, and I understand all of that. I understand the marketing mechanisms of it. I understand why we have to do it. But at some level in my creative heart somewhere, it, it hurts me a bit as well as it's like, it's a shame.

Autumn (38m 56s):
It is a shame. But I do think with the TV shows and things like that, that are out there, more people are going to be introduced to fantasy. Even if it's through a show and they're going to maybe go on to find authors and try it out. So they're going to be exposed to it. Where before, before we got the CGI effects and some of the amazing things they can do with film these days that, you know, they were never even exposed to it. I remember, I don't know what it was like in Denmark, but for dragon lands in the United States, if you were in the Bible belt, which is where I grew up, it was a ton of, I mean, I had to hide these books from my parents.

Autumn (39m 35s):
I like got them from a friend of a friend just in the library. Oh, you're so lucky. No. If, if I hadn't had a friend who moved in from out of town who gave him to us, I would not have been able to touch them. You thought my fingers were going to ignite. They were very bad. And then you read them and you're like, seriously, you think this is bad. You should have you ever read Lolita? I mean, this is bad. So this, this was shocking, but yeah, this is a horrible perception. So back then, you know, it was a very strict mindset.

Autumn (40m 7s):
And nowadays, you know, my parents have heard of game of Thrones at least. So they're much more exposed to it. And not just because of me as her daughter. So I think that there's at least a more, there's more gateways. It's a little there's gateway. Drugs of game of Thrones.

Jesper (40m 26s):
Yeah. That is actually true. And it, what you just said reminded me as well, that when game of Thrones were sort of at its highest, when, when the whole series was going, I was in the office at the day job one day and I share office with a guy who's probably like 10, 15 years older than me. And he was like, so what are you watching these days? Usually, actually, we, we like to share what we're watching.

Jesper (40m 56s):
So I said, well, we're watching game of Thrones. And he said that stuff with the dragons and stuff, isn't it. I said, yes. And I told him it's the best. And he said, really? I said, yeah, you should try it. And then he said, well, I don't, I don't like all the drag and stuff. He's older. Right. He's a bit different than, than that point of view. And I said, well, no, no, but there's so much more, there's so much depth in this stuff. There's a lot of politics as well. There's Wars going on, you just try it out, try and watch it. And then I think a couple of weeks later when I came back to the office and he was like, Hey, I actually tried out that game of Thrones series.

Jesper (41m 31s):
And he said, my wife doesn't want watch it, but I love

Autumn (41m 34s):
It. That's fantastic. And we converted one and that's actually, that's what I want to get to too, because, so, you know, maybe people don't like, and they don't want to try it. And so there's no way of getting rid of that attitude and you can let it roll off your back and just be the better person. Or you can come back with some stats and I like stats, so, Oh, I've got a question for you. So in the top 50 movies, and we're talking about grossing movies, so the top 50 grossing movies of all time, as of even counting since COVID, so this is shutting down in may when COVID hit and they stopped counting this stuff.

Autumn (42m 14s):
How many do you think of the top 50 are fantasy related and I will give you a caveat. Do you count Jurassic park as fantasy or as not fantasy? Not okay. I wasn't sure. I mean the whole, I mean, it's there and it's not there. I think dragons, dinosaurs it's very close, but okay. So that changes it slightly. So how many books,

Jesper (42m 33s):
How many of the top 50 are you can make me look really stupid here.

Autumn (42m 40s):
Hey, you asked me a yes, no question. You had no answer for us. So this is come back. Well, we'll at least

Jesper (42m 47s):
My question was sort of an opinion question. This is like,

Autumn (42m 51s):
Okay. Okay. Well go for higher, low that if you want to be easy. Right?

Jesper (42m 56s):
Okay. So in the top 50 movies of all time, you mean in the city

Autumn (43m 2s):
Up until May 19th or something that shut down the cinemas in the United States, that's when they really stopped catching counting. And this was straight off Wikipedia. So this is like, you know, pretty current.

Jesper (43m 14s):
Okay. But I can only go with my gut feeling and I can be completely off here because actually I have no idea, but my gut feeling is that it's probably not as many as one might think. So I will say 10 or less.

Autumn (43m 34s):
You are completely abroad. Absolutely. The opposite out of the top 56 movies are not fantasy there's Titanic, like furious seven of a few other, like I mentioned, the Jurassic park is in there, but almost everything else ever Ginger's end game avatar, star Wars. Okay. I'm counting star Wars just because OSI fantasy science fiction. Yeah. I'm counting that.

Autumn (44m 4s):
But I mean, if you go by that and then there's a lot of the Disney ones I see where Disney puts out movies, but I mean, Avengers end game was two point seven billion million, 2.7 million.

Jesper (44m 15s):
But are we a bit lenient with how we classify fantasy right now? Or

Autumn (44m 20s):
I'm being lenient in the scifi fantasy, but just to give people, if I went through again, that's when you get into the Disney, are you going to count Disney as fantasy? Like kind of Disney movies

Jesper (44m 32s):
Are frozen. Are we talking?

Autumn (44m 35s):
I mean, I think frozen is total. She just got, yeah. I would say that's fine. Yeah. So, I mean, I'd have to go through if you wanted to count out some of the other ones, but I counted most of them. Like you would consider kids ones incredible. Give me like three, four examples there. Okay. Incredibles, which is definitely, I mean, a lot of these are based on superhero, almost every superhero and captain American Lord of the rings, Spiderman, Avengers, black Panther. Okay. We skipped Jurassic park, so we have to skip that one, but that's really like, there's a lion King too.

Autumn (45m 9s):
I don't know where that one would fit talking lions. Hmm.

Jesper (45m 14s):
Yeah. It's not really fantasy aside. At least not as the way I think of fantasy.

Autumn (45m 18s):
Yes. But, but it's still, if someone wants to argue, I mean, it's still a way over top of them. Yeah. I was gonna say, yeah.

Jesper (45m 26s):
Even if we say it's yeah, indeed. I mean, even if we say it's just 30 out of 50, that's still a lot. It's a lot. I did not think that.

Autumn (45m 35s):
Yeah. It's a lot more than I really, I was expecting a list of movies that were, you know, not even close that you could at least say how to shade a fantasy. These all do a lot of them do. So that was really surprising to me. And so that's one of the first one. And then I also looked up the top 20 books of all time, bestselling books of all time. And I looked at three different lists from Wikipedia book, cave, other web, you know, one that likes to keep things.

Autumn (46m 8s):
And they're all very similar. And out of the top 20, I won't put you on the spot again, but out of the top 20 books, only nine of them. So nine of them are not fantasy. So again, over 50% are fantasy. So we have almost every Harry Potter, Harry Potter just hit the

Jesper (46m 28s):
Right. That's the tough spots all over.

Autumn (46m 31s):
Surprisingly, not Don OT is the number one bestselling book of all time. Of course they took out. They, they say the Bible is actually the top one. We won't say if that's fantasy or not. So we'll skip that. But, and then there's actually a Chinese dictionary, which I don't think that's fair to put in there, but that Lord of the rings is number four, little Prince is number five. It's one of the best selling books of all time. And then we get into Harry Potter. There's one Agatha Christie, which is mystery. The rest of them. You know, DaVinci code is also up there, but again, not, not quite fantasy, but at least goes into the mystery side of it.

Autumn (47m 6s):
Yeah. But yeah, all the Harry Potter is Lord of the rings, the line, the, which, the wardrobe, the Hobbit, those are all in the top 20 best selling books of all time. So again, amazing. Look, this is over 50%. So everything else is a, you know, a dash of this and a dose of that, but solid 50% on true hardcore fantasy. So that's again amazing. And then I had to look up one, we'll close out with two more stats. So I wanted to look up a J K Rowling's just to see what was said about her and what her net worth.

Autumn (47m 39s):
So they consider her net worth right now at a billion dollars. She denies that she has that much. But what I thought was really interesting was this sentence, and that is JK. Rollings is one of the wealthiest private citizens in the United Kingdom and the first author in the world to achieve a net worth of $1 billion. That is not by genre. That is the first author in the world in any genre to be achieved.

Autumn (48m 10s):
1 billion was a fantasy author, not a woman. So I thought that was fantastic. And I mean, alone, they said the last two, Harry Botter ha her last two Harry Potter books, Harry Potter and the half blood Prince and Harry Potter and the deathly Hallows. So nine and 11 million copies within 24 hours of their release, nine and 11 million copies. So yes, when someone says, Oh, you write fantasy, you go, yeah. Are you kidding?

Autumn (48m 41s):
But I also want to touch on because we've mentioned game of Thrones. So George RR Martin, I looked him up very quickly too. And so he is obviously made a bundle and of course, everyone loves that. He he's still living. Like I say, a very frugal lifestyle. So he earns because from his books, from his writing, he has an estimated net worth of $65 million and earns about $15 million per year.

Autumn (49m 11s):
He's not the number one highest paid author though. James Patterson is considered that he is at 95 million, but he is really, really up there. So yeah, I, you know, could you handle making $15 million a year because you're a fantasy author.

Jesper (49m 28s):
I can do one that's okay.

Autumn (49m 30s):
Yeah. You know what? I can take a million a year too. So I think that'd be fine. But once you, to me, it's like, once you look at the stats, when you look at the best performing movies, I didn't even get to the best performing T sheet TV shows. I got sidetracked. But when you look at what is being made, what is making money, why they're making money because people are going out there and watching it. So yeah, the next time someone asks me like, Oh, you're a fantasy author play. Cool. Hell yeah. This is where of it is people. This is a fantastic genre and you don't need an excuse.

Autumn (50m 2s):
You should be proud of it. This is a one that is popular and makes money. People are craving. Well, of course, why wouldn't I write in it? I don't need to, I don't need a better reason than that. Yeah.

Jesper (50m 14s):
I think for me, the main takeaway out of all of this is really that we should just leave other people to their opinions. You know, we should just stop feeling like we have to justify why we write what we love at all. And it's very true. We're not hurting anyone if they don't like it, go and read something else. I really feel like we could defend it. We could say, well, do you know how much money a J K Rowling owns?

Jesper (50m 45s):
Do you know how great the song res and yes, it, I think those are all good and valid arguments, valuable arguments. And it's good to be aware of those steps that you mentioned. I think that it, I think it's very interesting if nothing else, but I almost as well want to say, maybe we should just stop defending it and just like, yeah, that's what I write because I love it. That's it? I think that'd be a very good place to be in, but until then, I would do not mind telling people.

Jesper (51m 18s):
I like it because it makes money too. Fair enough. Alright. So next Monday, we are going to revisit the topic of Permafree books because autumn took her book free off Permafree. So we're going to analyze how that,

Narrator (51m 37s):
If you like what you just heard, there's a few things you can do to support the am writing fantasy podcast. Please tell a fellow author about the show and visit us at Apple podcast and leave a rating and review. You can also join Ottoman Yesper on patrion.com/and writing fantasy for as little as a dollar a month. You'll get awesome rewards and keep the M writing fantasy podcast going, stay safe out there and see you next Monday.

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