In what we see as the “real world,” life is fairly mundane. People get up, go to work, eat dinner, watch TV and go to bed (at least that’s the perception). And the mundane can make for great stories, if you’re someone who can write those stories, with no magic, with no mysticism, and no supernatural.
I am not that person. I know what I love to write. Fantasy: Urban, classic, strange, etc. And in this case, that’s what I write. Okay, there is some argument between “Magical realism” and “Urban fantasy”. I prefer the second term. After all, many of my short stories are set in the “real world” (often AU Seattle), with the elements of fantasy. Vampires, fairies, elves, etc.
Then what do you do? How does one add the magic? It really doesn’t just fit in like a book between the book ends. There has to be a reason for it. Has it always been here? Is it new, and if so, why? If it’s always been here, does everyone know it exists? Or does it change for everyone.
I admit, I write it as though it’s always been there. It’s not new, and it’s not spontaneous. Instead, either it’s a secret (as in the case of Det. Lilah Evan’s in “Nightlife”) or everyone knows (like in the Noir Detective stories with “TamLynn Lostfinder”). For “Nightlife” it has to be a secret, as it’s a dangerous and strange world that humans would just get themselves killed in, were they to know about it.
In the “Lostfinder” stories though, it’s accepted. There’s the “Vampire District” in Seattle, where most businesses are owned and run by vampires. There’s the mysticism of the psychic you know is real, or the elves that live up by Snoqalmie pass. You know not to go there, without an invitation and to never carry iron if you do.
There are many other ways of course, but these are two I use. Secretive, and scary. Or blatant, and sometimes funny as hell…either way, the story sings with the magic we don’t find in our own normal lives. And that, for me, is what keep me coming back to reading, and taking a break from our world, just for a little while.