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About Urban Fantasy

Publishers are investing in a genre set to take the world by storm - Urban Fantasy. The writers, aka the movers and shakers of LiveJournal, Fanfic and more specifically Fangs, Fur and Fey are on the cusp of dominating the market and for a change, It’s the female writers that are raking the cash in

A brief overview:
The Genre:  Urban Fantasy =
supernatural characters, often fairies, in real urban settings. Think of it as fairies under neon lights. TWILIGHT is therefore slightly to the side of this community and genre, since it's about supernatural characters in a rural setting....

Sarah Rees Brennan described urban fantasy on her blog as being the kind of fantasy in which the hero kills some demons and then goes home to fix a leaking sink (It's as good a description as any.)

The most prominent literary antecedent is probably THE WAR FOR THE OAKS, by Emma Bull (1987). It was never as big in its day as TWILIGHT is now, but it was HUGELY influential on all the writers involved in this genre. It's about a war between the Seelie and Unseelie courts of Faerie, and as such can be seen as a direct influence on the writer Holly Black and Melissa Marr (who writes about the tension between the Winter and Summer courts, basically the Irish version of Seelie and Unseelie). The influence of Emma Bull's book on other (predominantly female) writers cannot be overstated. (Though of course it's notable that a couple of these authors came up writing Harry Potter fanfic, so the colossal reach of that book has something to do with it too...)

So the phenomenon really started in 1987 - with the help and input of the movers and shakers, the genre is now on the cusp of becoming a multi-million dollar industry.

How it all started: Online community 
The focal point for all these new urban fantasy writers is livejournal, and more specifically, the group fangs, fur and fey (http://community.livejournal.com/fangs_fur_fey) which has become something of a hotbed for (particularly YA) urban fantasy. The loose group of authors in or linked to this community is:

 * Melissa Marr (huge publishing deal) http://melissa-writing.livejournal.com/

* Cassandra Clare (huge publishing deal) http://cassandraclare.livejournal.com/

* Sarah Rees Brennan (huge publishing deal) http://sarahtales.livejournal.com/

* Sarah Prineas (huge publishing deal) http://sarah-prineas.livejournal.com/

* Holly Black (author of The Spiderwick Chronicles and Tithe, and one of the most important and longest-standing of the community - very encouraging to other new authors (Sarah Rees Brennan counts her as a sort of mentor)). http://blackholly.livejournal.com/

 (Melissa Marr and Holly Black are members of fangs, fur and fey, all names listed have livejournal pages.).  It is worth mentioning that there is some overlap with the fanfic community, with some authors a member of one community and not of the other).

Fanfic Community:
* Sarah Rees Brennan (wrote Harry Potter fanfic under the name Maya - http://fanlore.org/wiki/Maya_(Fan_Writer)

* Cassandra Clare (wrote Harry Potter fanfic under the name Cassandra Claire - http://fanlore.org/wiki/Cassandra_Claire)

 Sarah Rees Brennan is mentioned in this Washington Post article from 2007 on fanfic: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/20/AR2007072002397_pf.html - note that the article appeared before she got a high 6-figure deal for a fantasy trilogy of her own...

LiveJournal is for Authors as is MySpace for Musicians 

web 2.0 - The term "Web 2.0" describes the changing trends in the use of World Wide Web technology and web design that aim to enhance creativity, communications, secure information sharing, collaboration and functionality of the web. Web 2.0 concepts have led to the development and evolution of web-culture communities and hosted services, such as social-networking sites, video sharing sites, wikis, blogs, and folksonomies. 

Melissa Marr’s new book, Fragile Eternity has been described by Publisher’s Weekly as   "Compulsive enough to give TWILIGHT a run for its money"

Fragile EternityFragile Eternity by Melissa Marr
ISBN:  9780007267194   £6.99 out 28/05
/2009
Mortal affections and faery rivalries continue to collide in the town of Huntsdale, as New York Times bestselling author Melissa Marr takes urban fantasy to new heights. After the terrible events of Ink Exchange, the Dark Court has a new ruler. But will Niall's kindness survive his new responsibility to the most violent of Faerie courts? Meanwhile, Seth and Aislinn attempt to mend their relationship. But Aislinn is the Summer Queen and Keenan is her king -- and as summer approaches, their chemistry sparks. Will Seth's mortality lose him the one thing he loves above all others? As Niall seeks to control his new Court, Aislinn attempts to resist the seduction of summer, and Seth searches desperately for the gift of immortality, a delicate balance is threatened, and a terrible plot is revealed!


 
www.melissa-marr.com

www.harpercollins.co.uk

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