I am not sure when this giveaway runs through, it may be over, but…
Today I’m excited to welcome Christopher Bunn to the blog as part of the LUMINOUS Blog Hop and Giveaway. Christopher will be chatting with us about writing noblebright fantasy (including what the heck that is), his own contribution to LUMINOUS, and his favorite re-reads. To wrap it all up, we have an awesome giveaway of a “Not All Those Who Wander…” LOTR tote bag + an “I Solemnly Swear I Am Up To No Good” Harry Potter Journal at the end of the post, plus author swag! So make sure to scroll all the way down. Here we go!
Hi Christopher! To start us off, what is Noblebright to you?
I think I was writing in the Noblebright genre long before I’d ever heard the term. For me, life has to have an ultimate meaning, a hopeful meaning; something bigger and deeper, something beyond humans, outside of our existence and outside of our control. I’ve taken that hope and written it into my stories. I’m not saying my books are all sweetness and unicorns and little fairies wearing bluebells on their heads. On the contrary, light and hope shine all the brighter in the darkness, and there’s plenty of shadow in my books.
How do you portray the Noblebright ideals in your work in general and the Luminous selection in particular?
I write in three genres: fantasy, science fiction and humor. My humor is rather odd and mostly written, I suspect, as a therapy (much cheaper than paying a psychologist).
However, in both fantasy and science fiction, the Noblebright ideals are vital to how I create my heroes. They don’t always make the right choices, but, when the story’s over and done, they’ve always chosen hope, even if it results in loss and pain. That’s a choice that’s always before all of us, even in our everyday lives, and it’s something I want my readers to recognise when they read my stories. If I can create a character that feels familiar to a reader, despite the fantastic trappings of magic and dragons and strange monsters, if they can journey along with that character through a book and start thinking, “Hmm, I hope he makes the right choice–I hope I would make the right choice if I was inside this book,” then hopefully I’m encouraging my readers.
That’s what a lot of great stories are about, isn’t it? Leaving readers with a sense that life can work out, even in the darkest times. Charles Dickens wrote some masterful stories with that thread running through them. One of the best, in my humble opinion, is Tale of Two Cities. Despite the story ending sadly for Sidney Carton, he made a fantastic choice, laying his life down for someone else, and even though he went to the guillotine, his death, oddly enough, leaves you with the sense that here was a man who died well, who died nobly, whose death was full of hope.
That is Noblebright.
My story in the Luminous collection is The Hawk and His Boy. The main character, Jute, is just a rough, young street thief. He doesn’t always make the right choices, but, as the story progresses, he slowly becomes aware of a world much bigger than what he knew and believed. Ultimately, he learns that there’s much more to life than simply living for himself. That’s a lesson we all need to learn and relearn, every day. I know I certainly do!