RT Booklovers Convention 2011: Creating Dark And Dangerous Urban Fantasy Worlds

From demons to vampires, kick-butt heroines and dark alliances, the worlds of the Urban Fantasy genre are a dark re-imagining of our own. But what sources do authors mine for inspiration and how do they keep readers coming back for more? Earlier today Jackie Kessler moderated a discussion with Kelley Armstrong, Diana RowlandRachel Vincent and Jaye Wells about the ways that they create the creatures they feature, the directions that the genre is moving in and what fans can expect from them next. 

We got a chance to chat with Jackie Kessler about the characters readers can find in Urban Fantasy today and she said one of the best things about the genre is that "when you write urban fantasy, you aren’t limited to the human race."

While we are all familiar with the ever-popular vampire tales, Jackie was quick to point out that Urban Fantasy is not limited to just vampires. She then went on to give us a 'cheat sheet' to the creatures found in the panelists' books: 

Demons: Jackie's Jezebel and Diana Rowland's Kara Gillian, a demon summoner
Werewolves: Kelley Armstrong’s Elena Michaels
Werecats: Rachel Vincent’s Faythe Sanders
Necromancers: Kelley Armstrong’s Chloe Saunders
Banshees: Rachel Vincent’s Kaylee Cavanaugh
Vampires: Jaye Wells’ Sabina Kane is a vampire assassin
Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Jackie’s Missy Miller

For aspiring authors that may know what type of creature they want to write about, but don't know the ins and outs of creating a diverse universe, the panel moderator let us in on some questions that need to be asked next. “Once you populate your world, you have to have rules in place to keep the characters from killing each other (either on purpose or accidentally) and to make those characters more believable. Are your vampires blood drinkers? If so, do they just grab take out (i.e., snatch some hapless human off the street) or do they have donors? Are shapeshifters made or born? Do banshees have to carry a tune? Are the hottest creatures trying to get into your character’s pants because of her body...or because of a prophecy? These are some of the burning questions authors have to ask themselves when they create fantastical worlds.”

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To get an audio version of the entire discussion, check out www.ConferenceRecording.com. And if you are looking for more crazy creature action, check back on Friday night when we will be covering this year's Vampire Ball. The theme is Zombie Dancers from Planet 9 and we are looking forward to seeing the annual costume contest!

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