Realms of Fantastic Stories Vol. 2

by Leigh on August 17, 2017

Summer days near an end. Children are back in school or will head there soon. It’s time for a great new anthology, with stories sure to please all lovers of fantasy. Solstice Publishing presents Realms of Fantastic Stories Vol. 2, for all who enjoy a great fantasy tale.

Will a prophecy determine their fate?

Aegeus depends on his honor in a life or death struggle.

Marcus accepts a difficult job.

Only good ratings can save her father.

For better or worse, Jane’s incredible fantasy becomes her reality.

Has she ever been told the truth… about anything?

A tale of great conscience and delicious treats.

Tales of far off places, of fun, and of dreams. Join K.C. Sprayberry, Noelle Myers, Justin Herzog, K.A. Meng, E.B. Sullivan, Leigh Podgorski, and Joshua Rem as they take you on a tour of their special fantasy worlds.


Is It Magic Realism or Is It Fantasy?

by Leigh on July 28, 2017

I write across multiple genres. Recently, my Contemporary Western Romance, Western Song was published by Solstice Publishing. Straight forward. Not a hint of magic, magic realism, or fantasy anywhere there. I greatly enjoyed writing Western Song, and am so appreciative of Solstice. And here’s the best part. They publish multiple anthologies throughout the years, so multiple opportunities for their authors to create new work. Their newest anthology is Fantasy. I wrote a short story for that one, and wow! What fun it was to be back in the “magical” realm again.
I love working with that “sixth” dimension in my writing. It causes my imagination to soar. Working again in that realm, I ruminated anew on the differences between Magical Realism and Fantasy. Writers live in a word of categories arguably more now than ever before. So how do you know whether what you are writing is Magical Realism or Fantasy?
Bruce Holland Rogers writes in “What Is Magical Realism, Really?” “Magical realism “is not speculative and does not conduct thought experiments. Instead, it tells its stories from the perspective of people who live in our world and experience a different reality from the one we call objective. If there is a ghost in a story of magical realism, the ghost is not a fantasy element but a manifestation of the reality of people who believe in and have “real” experiences of ghosts. Magical realist fiction depicts the real world of people whose reality is different from ours. It’s not a thought experiment. It’s not speculation. Magical realism endeavors to show us the world through other eyes….As a tool, magical realism can be used to explore the realities of characters or communities who are outside of the objective mainstream of our culture.”
Can be and often is used just this way. Think of the introduction to Columbian and South American culture and everyday life the granddaddy of Magical Realism Novels One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez gave to the rest of the world. Or Like Water for Chocolate? What an elegant, mystical, and poignant gateway both of these pieces provided. Beautiful and so very painful, more so because of the beauty and simplicity of the writing. I believe the impact would have been nowhere as compelling or powerful without the use of Magical Realism because it was through this use that the very culture and the people were conveyed. Many argue Magical Realism was, in fact, born in these regions.
If you are writing Magical Realism you are making the ordinary miraculous and the miraculous ordinary. You are writing about real people living in real time, going about their real lives, but one that is very different from the “mainstream,” and you are showing us their experience, their life through their eyes.
So what is Fantasy? Fantasy often takes place in an imaginary universe (The Lord of the Rings Trilogy) but can have “real” locations, events, and even humans. Most, if not all fantasy has supernatural or surreal or magical elements and may employ magical creatures as well. It can even take place on Earth but in an unknown world such as underground or in a secret forest. There are hard and fast rules as to how the “magic” can be applied as opposed to Magical Realism where the ordinary can explode into the miraculous but goes unnoticed or is simply a part of the daily experience.
Some argue that Magical Realism is the “deeper,” more “serious” form. And indeed, there is much compelling Magical realism literature: The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende, Beloved by Toni Morrison, and the Tin Drum by Gunter Grass in addition to the others already mentioned to name just a handful—books that have all impacted my life. But did these tomes have more impact than Dune by Frank Herbert; Watership Down by Richard Adams; or A Wizard of Earthsea by the incomparable Ursula LeGuin.
Some may consider Fantasy silly or escapist. But in my working with Fantasy—both in reading and writing, I have found the power of the creation of these new worlds compelling and inspiring. And at the heart the values remain the same: the triumph of good over evil; the unchangeable desire for justice to prevail; and, of course and always, the unquenchable search for love.
Different tools, different pathways, the use of different methods, lead to different genres. In the end—what do you want to express? What world do you want to create?
The initial questions will lead you to the answer—is it Magic Realism or is it Fantasy?



June 30, 2017

My latest book WESTERN SONG has just been released, published by Solstice Publishing. Many people have asked me throughout my years as a writer: “How do you get your ideas?” Well. I’ve been writing since I was old enough to hold a yellow pencil to a blue-lined piece of paper. The urge to write, the […]

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Magic is the World and it is Ordinary

July 25, 2016

I miss Magical Realism. My last novel, Western Song, is a contemporary western love story which features a bull-riding ranch owner and Thai immigrant mail order bride and nary an alternative world view in site. Pretty gritty and down to earth these two as they struggle against their circumstances which include falling in love against […]

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July 29, 2015

Sometimes categories feel like gilded cages. Sometimes they feel like steel traps. In todays’ literary world, largely thanks to Amazon, the lid has blown off the publishing world, and anyone now has access to what once were the forbidden gates. Of course, now along with the profound, we have much profane, but that’s another story. […]

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July 6, 2015

Jay over at Choosy Bookworms has devised a brilliant plan to put together eager readers with plentiful writers — and the price of admission is quite simple– a review. Readers get to choose from hundreds of books– most of which are free as writers add thousands of new readers. Right this very moment, DESERT CHIMERA, […]

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September 11, 2014

“… gripping, thrilling, touching, ..perfect…The only reason this book got put down were things I couldn’t postpone any longer- supper was already late, the errands were put to the last minute… I couldn’t stop reading. You won’t either. Read this book. B.R.A.G.H OURAY’S PEAK 5 out of 5 stars. “[O]ne of the best novels I […]

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Is It or Isn’t It Magical Realism and Does It Matter?

July 31, 2014

Magical realism, unlike the fantastic or the surreal, presumes that the individual requires a bond with the traditions and the faith of the community, that s/he is historically constructed and connected. (P. Gabrielle Foreman. Past on Stories: History and the Magically Real, Morrison and Allende on Call. Magical Realism. Ed. Zamora and Faris, p. 286). […]

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March 27, 2014

Where Do Your Ideas Come From? Authors are often asked, “Where do you get your ideas from?” It’s a fair question. I have been fascinated with the metaphysical and the unseen universe as far back as I can remember. My favorite authors as a kid were Poe and Asimov, and then, when I got a […]

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Flying High with Magic Realism

July 21, 2013

Currently, I am completing the third book, Neuri Shape-Shifter, in my Stone Quest magical realism series. Recently, Evie Woolmore of Allonymbooks reviewed the first book of that series, Desert Chimera, and followed up the review with an interview. Desert Chimera was first envisioned as the play Desert Wolf some fifteen years ago that premiered at […]

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