World within a world.

Photo: World through my eyes by Alexey Novitsky. CC BY-SA 2.0
Photo: World through my eyes by Alexey Novitsky. CC BY-SA 2.0


I was asked…’What genre do you write?’

My answer…’Urban Fantasy and Paranormal.’

Then I had to explain what ‘Urban Fantasy’ is. It is a story set primarily in the real world and contains aspects of fantasy. Having said that the ‘real world’ can be historical, modern or futuristic, both real and imagined or a mix of.

So why do I write this genre?

Because I love the freedom to explore a recurring theme which this genre allows.

I was talking to a friend the other day about ‘favourite TV show’. Now my friend has lots to choose from. She likes Dr Who, Grim, Once Upon a Time and a whole slew of others that I just can’t think of right now.

I don’t watch a lot of TV. I hate adverts. I’m more likely to watch a movie. And I’m pretty new at the whole download thing. I have to make sure it’s legit before I go anywhere near bringing it onto my computer. No pirating for me, thank you very much. I feel more comfortable being old fashioned and purchasing the DVD, because then at least I know I’m paying to keep people employed.

But I digress.
I had to think about my favourite shows. I don’t have many. Maybe, because I don’t watch a lot of TV. But I have a lot of favourite movies…and musicals. And I do have a favourite theme. I like the ones where ‘the world we live in, isn’t quite the world we know’. Or perhaps’ the world we live in, isn’t the entire world we know’. Where things can happen that can’t possibly exist, yet it makes sense that it does. And that theme can come in various forms.

The ‘specialist’ who has a special kind of skill set that brings the story to a sense of heightened reality.

  • James Bond
  • Bourne trilogy. (Yes, it currently has four in the franchise, but I like the first three.)
  • Any heist movie you can think of like, The Italian Job.
  • Shooter
  • Salt

The Sci-Fi ‘normal’ world with adventures.

  • Firefly / Serenity
  • Star Wars
  • Star Trek
  • Galaxy Quest

The fractured fairy tale. There are so many versions of this, in so, so many formats. I’m keeping this list short or it would go on forever.

  • Grim
  • Once Upon a Time
  • Into The Woods
  • Brothers Grim
  • Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium
  • Bridge to Terabithia
  • Ink Heart

Steampunk or Gothic ‘eras’.

  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
  • The Raven (Brandon Lee)
  • Raven (John Cusack)
  • Poe

The world within the world

  • Matrix
  • Total Recall
  • Repo Man
  • The Manchurian Candidate

A lot of physiological thrillers.

  • The Number 23
  • Insomnia
  • The Moth Man Prophecies
  • The Final Cut

Anything in the Marvel / DC Universe.

There are just so many variations and interpretation on the theme, and there’s something that draws me to it time and time again. I write Urban Fantasy / Paranormal, because that’s the closest I can come to naming this particular theme. I love the opportunity to dive into a world, where ‘normal’ is actually a thin veneer coating ‘real’.

I love the theme. The intricate ‘wheel within a wheel’, ‘dream within a dream’, ‘world within a world’. Hopefully, I’ll get better at weaving stories around this theme. It’s my passion and focus. No matter which ‘TP Hogan book’ you pick up, whatever the sub-genre, this is the recurring theme you’ll find.

TP Hogan – Escape…and explore hidden worlds.

2 thoughts on “World within a world.

  1. These are my favourite books too – where the magical borders on the everyday. One of my favourite novels is The Unicorn Sonata by Peter S. Beagle. I like it exactly because not all of it is set in the magical world, like the Lord of the Rings for example, but a crossover between two worlds.

    Last year I discovered the Rivers of London novels by Ben Aaronovitch … classic crime mixed with magic, ancient deities and a lot of urban development critique. Weird but wonderful. 🙂 Then there’s Catherine Webb’s Waywalkers and Timekeepers, where mythical creatures walk the Earth using multidimensional pathways that normal humans cannot see. And the “Night Watch” books by Sergei Lukianenko, where the forces of darkness and light are battling each other in a rather gloomy Moscow. This year I stumbled upon the Percy Jackson books, in which offspring of the Greek gods live in the modern world and still have to fight against ancient monsters – minotaurs, gorgos and the like. Of course, Harry Potter is also in that category, with its mix between the wizard and the muggle world – where the muggles never even notice the weird magical things that are going on in their midst. 😉 Didn’t know this was called urban fantasy … but it’s exactly what I love best.

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