Urban Fantasy:It all Started With Edgar!

Published on by Francesca Quarto

"Why do you write Urban Fantasy?"

I've been asked this question enough times that I feel I should address it and put to rest a few simplistic views of a genre that employs a vivid imagination, as much as good writing techniques.

While now, it is  a matter of "choice of voice" for me, I have written many articles that required lots of research and quoting of facts and figures. I've written poetry that groped their myopic way into an Anthology or two in my greener youth.  But for me, the call I heard from my muse was loudest when I was reading the bard of the macabre, Edgar Allan Poe. 

I loved the unique ambiance he always created for his stories, full of dread and foreboding, shadows and mental tortures.  This might be viewed as a bit off by some.  I can assure you, my association with Poe also exposed me to his remarkable insight for understanding human fragility on all its levels.

I was once accused, jokingly I hoped, of smoking pot, to write the kinds of characters and stories I was producing for my series.  While I admire Poe's incredible skills, I do not aspire to fall into the morass of drugs and depression he likely labored under.  

Sadly, I do think people have lost a good bit of what I see as the talent of imagining. Our lives are all about being connected to the moment, to the event, to the world.  Day-dreaming and freeing ones imagination gets squeezed out entirely.  Our hands are so full of smart phones, tablets, laptops, that I fear we will lose the ability to imagine other worlds, other beings, outside of ourselves.  And now that I'm all grown-up, I understand a basic truth in life; it isn't all about us!

While Poe's alleged drug use may have assured he'd be unencumbered by reality, it seems he gave us more than really great, scary stories under that influence.  He demonstrated the human need to explore the unimaginable; to recognize the day-dream as a road map to creative thinking; to flex our imagination like a muscle and create new worlds.  

Imagination...only humans have it...or maybe not????

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