Alice #Alice – Gary Gautier @GaryGautier1 , A #GuestPost

– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –

blog-guest post

Today I’m not on a blogtour, but I’m sharing a guest post written by Gary Gautier, author of ‘Alice’ to promote this book.
Before I let you read it, I’ll first post some ‘basic’ information.

About the Author :

bio picAward-winning writer Gary Gautier has taught university writing and literature and given numerous radio interviews. He has had Amazon #1 bestsellers (90-minute reads free list and metaphysical fiction free list), both poetry and fiction shortlisted for the Faulkner-Wisdom Prize, a novella selected for the Innovative Fiction Book Club, and a screen adaptation of his novel, Mr. Robert’s Bones, was selected to the second round (top 10%) at the Austin Film Festival. Gary has hitchhiked through 35 states and 16 countries and currently lives in the pueblos mágicos of central Mexico.


Synopsis :

Hidden In the Mists(2)Alice lives with her lover, Evelyn, in a cabin set in a dreamlike forest. Their hamlet, New Arcadia, is a small hippie utopia, but the utopian surface begins to crack for Alice when strange things start happening. A small deformed creature with a bowling ball head appears out of nowhere and turns to Alice for support. Her trips to the pond start to bring transcendental omens and strange visitors. Thus begins a journey in which Alice wanders away from her idyllic home to find another world and to slowly connect the dots of her own world’s missing history. This post-apocalyptic adult hippie fairy tale is comic, poignant, thoughtful, and sparkling, a magical tapestry with many threads.

Opening Scene Teaser


Guest Post :

World Creation

World creation is one of the most talked about aspects of fantasy writing, and I probably come at it from a different perspective. My previous novels were literary or historical fiction, or even Southern regional (which is about as far from a fantasy setting as you can get), and my latest, Alice, really pushed me into the realm of fantasy/speculative fiction. The novel was written on its own terms, though after the fact it might be broadly considered fantasy. I’d call it a post-apocalyptic adult hippie fairy tale, which means that it does take place in an imaginary world, or at least one far removed from present reality.
When I say it was written on its own terms, I don’t mean to say without influences, but my influences are less contemporary fantasy and more things like Richard Brautigan’s In Watermelon Sugar and Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse. The Brautigan book is the only precedent I can think of for a post-apocalyptic adult hippie fairy tale, and Woolf, although not writing fantasy by any stretch of the definition, creates a whole world of subjective and intersubjective ebb and flow, a world of poetic rhythms, that certainly influences my vision.
I start with a magical setting, a fairy tale setting really, a utopian forest community in which Alice lives, and then see what magical characters and elements emerge organically as the story develops. One thing I found I needed was a population of characters who were individualized people and yet archetypal enough to match the fairy tale setting. So Alice’s little hamlet is populated by the rain king, the kleptomaniac, the sweeper, the mapmaker, the white witch, et al. But of course if there is to be a narrative, the little utopia must break – there must be a disruption – and, since this is fantasy broadly defined, that means a little freeplay of imagination – hence, the coming of a stranger with a bowling ball head and squid-sucker tongue, the transcendental omens and characters that begin appearing to Alice, and then her journey to a whole new world – equally magical but more urban – where she can begin to connect the dots of her own world’s missing history.
Bottom line is that if I am asked about world creation, my sense of world creation is probably more rooted in fairy tales than in contemporary fantasy, and my development more along the lines of the early modernists or of literary fiction, without holding too tightly to the standard furniture of the fantasy genre. I think it’s safe to say I have no tips to offer, no template. If pressed, I’d have to fall back on a witty but profoundly true remark by the great British novelist, W. Somerset Maugham: “There are three rules for writing a great novel; unfortunately, no one knows what they are.”
I think Maugham’s remark applies not just to fiction generally but to any particular genre of fiction, including fantasy and the world-building vision it implies. However you dice it – fantasy, speculative, utopian, metaphysical, paranormal or visionary fiction – the world-building challenge took this particular writer down some strange and narrow paths that my previous novels had not. Let’s hope it all worked out 😊.

The Magic of Wor(l)ds

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