Thursday, June 5, 2008

Sapphire Phelan - Featured Author

Thanks to Tracey Kitts for letting me blog here today.
Today I like to talk about writing urban fantasies, both with romance and without. I wrote one, Being Familiar with a Witch that I submitted to Phaze, that hopefully will be out in 2009.. It is set in a city, and has paranormal elements in it, like a witch, and also demons, in particular, a demonic hero.

Urban fantasies have become popular, not just with fans of science fiction, fantasy and horror, but also with those who read romance. They are a sublet of contemporary fantasy, with a sprinkle of urban grittiness. The modern urban fantasy protagonist will face extraordinary circumstances as the plots unfold in where magic or paranormal events are commonly accepted to exist or where magical powers or creatures are concealed. Urban fantasy takes a metaphorical idea of many conflicting elements that is a city and weaves it into a literary framework with typically one central conflict. It is rock and roll, where fantasy is classical music and dark fantasy is Goth. It is more than battles between the world of Faerie and humans in a fantastical world, this time the battles are dropped into the mean streets of places like Chicago, London, New York, L.A., and San Diego. You name a city, and you might find fairies and werewolves hiding out in supermarkets and the clothing department at Wal-Mart’s. The heroine or hero can be a kick-ass type, or an ordinary woman or man.

Modern urban fantasy can be traced as far back as the 1920s (particularly in the field of children's fiction), it was in the 1980s that the term became widely used among adult fantasy writers and readers--and that the form grew in popularity to become a sub-genre of its own.

Pioneers of this genre were:

Charles de Lint—Moonheart and the Newford series, plus other books of his.
Emma Bull—War for the Oaks
John Crowley—Little, Big
Megan Lindholm a.k.a. Robin Hobb—Wizard of the Pigeons
Jonathan Carroll—The Land of Laughs
Matt Ruff—Fool on the Hill
Terri Windling in her role as editor of the Ace Books fantasy line and as creator of the Borderlands series.

Since then, others to enter this field range from Laura K. Hamilton to China Mieville to Neil Gaiman to Jim Butcher to Kelley Armstrong to Jeri Smith-Ready and many more. Television and Films too have entered the urban fantasy field with Beauty and Beast (I watched this one faithfully back in the ‘80s) Dresden Files, Blood Ties, Moonlight, The Crow, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, Big Trouble in Little China, Supernatural, Neverwhere, and more every day.

So now with summer upon us and the beach beckoning, or even your own back yard or air conditioned house/apartment, why not check out some urban fantasy from your local library. Or buy some from a bookstore in town, or download from an e-publisher or Fictionwise or Amazon?

Beware though, the next time you head downtown and walk the mean streets of the city to your favorite bar. There just might be a vampire or a ghost or even an ogre hidden in that dark alley you have to pass. Maybe even a vortex. Just be prepared for adventure.

Sapphire Phelan is an author of erotic and sweet paranormal, fantasy, and science fiction romance. She also writes as Pamela K. Kinney, for horror, fantasy, science fiction, and a nonfiction ghost book, Haunted Richmond, Virginia. She lives in Virginia with her husband and two cats, Ripley and Baste. You can find out more about her and what she has or will be coming out at her website:

Check out her MySpace at,
her blog at,
and subscribe to her newsletter at .

She admits she can always be found at her desk and on her computer, writing. And yes, the house and husband sometimes suffers for it!

Sapphire Phelan's Backlist

"Jack"-Sinister Tales Magazine, Issue #1
“Wedded Magic”—LoveYouDivine:

"Costumed Scare" and "Full Moon Lover" (Poems) in Phaze in Verse—Phaze:

"Old Friends" in December 2007 PDF issue of Cobblestone Press Quarterly:

“To Teach an Ancient God”—free read from Romance All eBooks :


Anonymous said...

Than you, Tracey, for letting me guest blog on your blog today.

Tracey H. Kitts said...

Thanks for being here, Sapphire:) I really enjoyed your post.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to drop by to say hello to both of you! I enjoyed your blog, Tracey and it's always great to read more about Sapphire!

Hugs, Destiny :))

Tracey H. Kitts said...

Hi, Destiny! Thanks for stopping by:)