Wow! What's new in Fantasy was great! and what's new in fantasy is lots of really exciting looking materials. I can't wait to start using these folks recommendations to get caught up.
We heard from Bonnie Kunzel - check her website:
and Susan Fichtelberg - check her website, too:
The gave us a brief overview of the history of the fantasy genre, which really started with Tolkien, and which has gained renewed popularity recently with the advent of the Lord of the Rings movies, and the whole Harry Potter experience.
According to these women these are some of the best of the new:
Shana Abe - shapeshifting dragons!
They say, fangs & fur are in!
Kelley Armstong - werewolves, vampires, witches, demons, etc. Strong women & humor!
Kristen Britain's High King's Tomb, is adventure & shadow men - it's extraordinary!
Bujold's Sharing Knife series is essentially a May/Dec. romance at heart
Jim Butcher's Dresden files are Sam Spade with magic
David Gemmell's incredible Troy trilogy, which was finished by his wife after his death is a non-stop action/love story - very engrossing
Both of these women recommended and loved Elizabeth Haydon. She has a great series, The Symphony of Ages - The Assassin King is the latest. Has romance & time travel. We heard about a testimonial from a middle school boy who says this is the best fantasy ever!
Both also loved Juliet Marillier - she's fabulous! She bases her books on Grimm's tales.
George R R Martin - "The American Tolkien" wrote Ice Dragon which is recommended for5th grade and up.
Sarah Zettel has a series with a lighthouse keepers daughter in WI - She is an outcast and has magical powers but doesn't know. It's a rich, engaging series with a strong protagonist.
Following these wonderful recommendations, we heard from Elizabeth Haydon. She
talked about her love of librarians - she says they were "the internet before there was one."
She has a book Dragonslayer coming out in July.
Ms. Haydon is a strong advocate for the fantasy genre. She feels the emphasis on realistic fiction needs to be tempered with fantasy. Fantasy provides nutrients for the soul. It allows us to learn to dream. It gives us the imagination to allow for possibility and hope, and fosters inspiration.
She doesn't write to teach a lesson- she feels that is arrogance. She is just telling a story. But her mail has shown she has inspired people. There is a "pecking order" to who she responds to first when she hears from her fans. 1) Soldiers in the armed services in other country 2)Those who are incarcerated 3)children 4)those for whom English is a struggle - these are the people most in need of dreaming.
She strongly urged everyone to let publishers know what you want and what you like. They need that input to know which genres to keep and grow.