Fantasydun dun DUNNNNN.
I love how excited and supportive my friends and family are about my decision to quit my day job and write full time. Their faith in my writing ability is a constant source of motivation. But 9 times out of 10, when I'm asked what type of book I'm writing, the blaze of interest in the questioner's eyes fizzles as soon as I mention the fantastic elements of the story. I can almost hear their thoughts... "Oh, it's one of those books."
Immediately they picture alternative worlds and dragons and wizards and vampires. (None of which I have a problem with by the way.) But it's for the people who shudder away from the fantasy genre that I'd like to make this clarification between what they think when they hear the "F" word, and Project Jane. Hopefully I can dispell some of those (perhaps not so misguided) predispositions.
First of all, Project Jane is not set in an alternative universe. The characters are all human, with natural human tendenceies, issues, and regrets. There are no swords or dragons or monsters in Project Jane. No vampires, no werewolves.
The story I'm creating is a young-adult (YA) fiction. There's adventure and romance and a just a teensy bit of history. The main characters are teenagers. They have normal teenage trials and tribulations and successes. They also develop some unusual (magical) abilities. Enter, consequently, the fantasy classification.
But the story of Project Jane is not driven by the extraordiary abilities of the characters. The story is driven by the characters themselves; their relationships, their complications, their growth... the decisions that they make and the ways those decisions affect their lives.
I'm proud of it; I'm writing what I'm passionate about. I love stories that take me out of real life and let me imagine a world other than the one that I know. So, that said, as to the fantasy? Well, the whole point is to allow readers to escape from the real world for a minute... To have fun and imagine what life could be like if just a little bit of magic were real... How could anyone not want that?
PS Current word count is: 32,115!