author C.C.Cole's blog

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Common Sense Writing Tips | Writinghood

Common Sense Writing Tips | Writinghood

Utterances of an overcrowded mind: 3. Poems and Short Stories (Writing for Success)

Utterances of an overcrowded mind: 3. Poems and Short Stories (Writing for Success): "Note: This is part 3 in a series of 25 articles from my upcoming 'Writing for Success' series. 3. Poems and Short Stories There’s no bett..."

Writing, Reading, and Life: Ten Useful Blog Posts For Any Writer

Writing, Reading, and Life: Ten Useful Blog Posts For Any Writer: "If you're like me, you're constantly looking for ways to improve your writing skills. Every book, every paragraph, every line, and every wor..."

Carolyn Arnold: We're Always Learning

Carolyn Arnold: We're Always Learning: "Ask yourself, have you ever gone one day without asking a question? If you think about it, we’re always asking questions for the purpose of..."

Monday, May 30, 2011

On Book Eating by C.C.Cole May 30, 2011


I’ve known two types of readers.  Those who read slowly, taking their time in every word, mesmerized by the content and beauty of literature.  Then there are those whose interest in a book becomes almost an obsession, with only physiological needs (sleep, etc.) in order to put it down until completed.

I describe myself as the latter reader.  If I lock into a book, that’s it.  Nothing else can happen in my life until I’ve finished it.  I don’t feel like I’m reading, it’s more like I’m eating it.  As a kid reading Mother Goose, it was war with my two siblings if they dared try to take it away.  Coming from a family of educators, reading was encouraged, so as a pre-teen I devoured “Catch-22” three times (took that many to understand it, and it is a masterpiece),  “The Exorcist,” which was very controversial in rural Mississippi at the time, and as a teen, I got into Robert Ludlum’s books, with my favorite “The Matarese Circle.”  Let me make a small note that my family didn’t want me reading just anything, but they were fine with bestselling novels.   During college, I had the misfortune of attaching to “Dune” (only the first of the series) during final exams.  The virtual teeth marks in that book exist today.  By the time the final Harry Potter book came out, I burped the paper after 22 hours, including sleep.  I doubt that’s a record, but I gave myself a sore back from reading so long at one sitting.  Don’t get me started on the reading of “No Country for Old Men,” that book was grinding in my molars within a couple of hours.

This gets back to us new authors and getting to know our audiences.  Each reader has in his/her own mind what he or she wants out of the book (I use genre novels as my example, since that’s what I write).  Even the most perfectly copy-edited manuscript can leave readers unsatisfied, and other readers breeze past the typos and move on with the content.  So, is copy-editing important for the new author?  Yes, yes, yes!  I’m no grammar expert, so if I see outrageous grammatical errors I get turned off, knowing it’s hard for me to spot them.  Other reviewers more sophisticated at grammar get turned off at the first misspelling that I likely wouldn’t have noticed on my third read. 

Does it matter which kind of reader is in your audience?  To me, the content drives the audience to like or dislike, while grammatical errors add pertinent negatives but offer little positives in the way the story is perceived.  In other words, get your grammar the best you can, to avoid stumbling on avoidable mistakes.  A myth exists amongst some that traditional published authors have fewer grammatical errors and self-published authors have so many errors the manuscript is unreadable.   I believe neither is true.  Publishing companies churn out books (some very successful ones) that I can spot the mistakes, and after having my own work copy-edited three times, and I see a grammatical error in the finished product, I either scream, make a martini, or both.

How has the new digital revolution affected readers?  As a lifelong book-eater, I am an impatient reader, and prefer to read a book two or three times than have a dozen sittings to just take the words in.  With my impatience, comes my short attention span, and with that, I tend to start a lot of books, wanting to eat them all, and realize my eyes are bigger than my stomach, like when I order sushi.  So now I have a nice combination of e-reading devices, all with different types of books, and I’ve read some of all of them.  In the past, it was a book, standing alone for me to read veraciously or not at all.  I get irritated with myself for getting behind on books by fine authors I want to review, while distracted by movies, especially when “The Dark Knight” is on. 

What can we as new authors do with our writing to keep up with the growing ebook demand?  My answer:  write.  That’s what authors do; new and unknown, or famous and regaled.  Readers want to experience our stories, regardless of genre.  Some say ebooks will allow books “that are not any good” to “contaminate” the market.  I don’t buy that.  And the audience won’t buy it either (literally), if they have no interest.  The final decision of a book’s value is not the author, the famous paid critics, or reviewers (clarification:  many reviewers are unpaid readers so there’s a gray line there), it is the readers that decide.

So what of my book eating?  Well, it’s tougher in the digital age; the kindle cover is hard to bite through, and my computer is just a click away from a shoe sale.  So competition for especially the new author remains to be tough, but definitely worth it.

Special thanks to Mirta Oliva for the art, see link below for more of her excellent works!!


My Review of “The Apprentice” by author K. L. Coones

Author K.I. Coones provided me with a nicely written medieval fantasy adventure piece that is suited for young pre-teen and young teenage readers.  The central character is Ralik, a boy that enters a Guild for training of weaponry and magical skills.  The story falls well along with what young boys experience, making friends, sneaking around and finding adventures, and his first love at first sight of an attractive girl.  The story is generally light and is a nice, smooth read, and gives some danger without much graphic detail, which to me makes this story appropriate for pre-teens.  My critique is that the story line comes a bit close to Harry Potter, and the challenge the author has is to bring this story up to stand on its on, as J.K. Rowling’s mega-buster is a tough act to follow, whether one likes Harry Potter or not.  My subjective opinion is that it needs to move faster into action to keep the manuscript fresh.  I hope Coones has upcoming sequels to this story; as some questions about the Ralik’s parents, a pair of identical magical items that he and a girl both possess, and to see Ralik’s growth as he continues to face the challenges inside the Guild which he trains.  I hope this author lets us know when a sequel is available, because I’d like to read it.  Overall, 3 stars!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

On Swimming in the Blog Bowl by C.C.Cole May 28,2011

As a new author, I spend time earning a living, with a career I enjoy and using my spare time reading and writing. Blogs have almost overtaken my mind with so much to read (mostly great), so many to join, and so many contacts can be made.
I’m now in a bowl of blogs, feeling like I’m losing control of where I go, which way I spin, but either way, unless I change, I’m going down the pipe into the forgotten sewage of cyber-space. (Hence, the “earthy” comparison pic). 

How did I arrive to such an unpleasant situation?  Back in 2009, two millennia in cyber-time, my first self-published novel “Act of Redemption” came out.  After years of painstaking writing, erasing, losing discs, re-dos, edits, dollars, my new book was displayed on amazon!  After my purchase of some overpriced marketing “packages” with some results, my last departure with my hard-gained earnings was a “social network package.”  Within a week, I had author accounts on email, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, Goodreads, Shelfari, LibraryThing, and probably some others I’ve forgotten.  A website was considered mandatory, so it was set up for around two thousand dollars for me, and I was given excellent email videos about dissecting the password mumbo-jumbo codes with helpful people to make changes for a little above three hundred dollars a year, with extra charges for any image changes.

Part of the package was my first blog.  It was through wordpress, (not a punch to wordpress, guys & gals) fashioned with a black-grey-red print and anything I posted would blaze in red.  So what do I say?  “Hey, check out my book “Act of Redemption!”  About a month later, “Hot New Series!”  I did equally bad posts for several more months.  When I really couldn’t take it anymore, I closed the blog and re-started with Blogger, found because a FB friend directed me to the hilarious site “How to Write Badly Well.” (I highly recommend it).  That’s when I discovered Blogger, which was easier to use for me, the non-cyber expert. Later, I had the website removed it as well.

While in the process of the above, I asked another FB friend if a new writer needs a website + blog, or just the blog.  He told me an author such as myself, could avoid some charges by just having a blog.  Multi-published authors have a lot more to show, so it makes sense they have a website.  Now I’m happier as I’ve turned “blog-only.”   

Now here comes the $64K question: How do you get people to read you blog?  It’s almost as difficult as getting a stranger to read a non-edited manuscript for free. The social network experts give good advice: work at blogging.  Every day.  Write thought-provoking articles.  Promote the works of others instead of being self-centered.  Pictures.  And last, but not least, interact with other bloggers on their pages and they will be more likely to visit your blog.  Twitter is an excellent service where you can see what people are doing, and before following, I try to check out their blogs.  If a new author is not working Twitter and is still able to make good contacts, I’d love to know their secret.

So, why do many of us have unvisited, uncommented blogs?  Competition in the blogosphere is understandably abundant as the air we breathe.  Another issue with blogs is the frequent sign-ins, which are security reasons that I may not understand, but I do understand the importance of cyber-security.  With every sign-in, there’s a password, then some blogs take you off the page you want to see in order to do that, and when one has a short attention span as myself, I’ve already clicked my way to another blog or the Coach site for the handbag sale.

How can new authors avoid being total losers in the blogosphere?  My answer: I don’t think we’re losers, we’re just new.  People with huge websites/blogs/thousands of FB friends/tens of thousand of Tweeps have often been around for years.  Success doesn’t come overnight as the saying goes, and it’s often true for the new author.  So far what I’m doing is some articles with my finite wisdom (my catch-phrase on Twitter), Tweet regularly, visit my FB friends, as there you can have better interaction with network experts.  Also, follow some blogs and if you’re short on time to comment, checking them out leads to good information and contacts.  For new authors, I also recommend the site Goodreads, where, as you write longer, will see the same people you see on Twitter.  I also like The Blog Farm, because they really try to help you to make your blog look better, remind you that the links you post need to work (who me?  I did that?) and they syndicate your blog, allowing reach to a broader audience. Book Blogs, Book Marketing  and LinkedIn (should be SwallowedUp) are some of many sources for readers , reviewers, and fellow bloggers.

When it’s raining outside, do your Tweeps a favor and go to their blog, and make a comment or two.  With newbies like me, it doesn’t take much to keep me happy.  Stick to the blogs you like to visit if time is stretched; nobody has time to regularly visit them all.  I’m working on an organized approach to visiting blogs I’ve joined.  And make no mistake about it:  blogging and promoting is hard work.  It won’t lead to slimmer thighs, but in the long run it is enjoyable and brings rewards for both the new author and the blogger.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

2x4 Therapy for the 21st Century: The Efficacious Yet Overused Comma

2x4 Therapy for the 21st Century: The Efficacious Yet Overused Comma: "The comma is a signal to the reader that the words or phrases associated with the comma are being set off for a reason. Although you may fin..."

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Shannan, heroine of the YA fantasy series ALLON. by author Shawn Lamb

As the mother of adult daughter, I wrestled with all aspects of life that assault a girl’s self-image and society’s ideal of what a woman should be. Most heroines are portrayed as kick butt, take no prisoners, mouthy, independent and cunning. I tried to make Shannan atypical of fantasy heroines and show another side - one of a quiet, unshakeable self-confidence that can allow her to blend into the background or take charge when needed. Central parts of the story hinge on Shannan and her unflappable nature but mostly she in the undergirding support for Ellis and the Guardians.

Girls today are rarely given a role model in fiction that shows how unselfishly giving strong, unwavering support for the hero, friends or family, can be helpful and desirable characteristics for a woman. How there is strength in serenity and beauty in a positive calm, self-controlled spirit. 

Shannan is far from dull. She can stand toe-to-toe with Ellis, handle a bow, keen to nature and stare down any Guardian or Shadow Warrior, but not necessarily with weapons in hand rather an unyielding determination to do what is right.  Using Shannan, I hope to give girls an example of the beauty of spirit and will that transcend physical appearance or martial prowess to a person’s heart and character.

Melanie's Book Addiction: REVIEW : Act of Redemption First Book of the Gasta...

Melanie's Book Addiction: REVIEW : Act of Redemption First Book of the Gasta...: "Title : Act of Redemption Author : C. C. Cole Published April 29th 2009 by AuthorHouse *E-book courtesy of the autho..."

Melanie's Book Addiction: REVIEW : Children of Discord (Second Book of the G...

Melanie's Book Addiction: REVIEW : Children of Discord (Second Book of the G...: "Title : Children of Discord Author : C. C. Cole Published January 12th 2011 by CreateSpace * E-book courtesy of the author ..."

Sunday, May 22, 2011

On Shevata of the Gastar Series by C.C.Cole May 22, 2011--Winner of Goodreads Poll for Most Memorable Female Assassin

As a new author, it’s difficult to restrain my enthusiasm when I am approached to discuss my books on radio or blog interviews/features.   So when asked by a fantasy site to introduce my lead character Shevata,  (shee-VAH-tah) I found it to be an exciting challenge, as this is the first time I’ve been asked to discuss this dark character of my creation enjoyed by many readers.  When Goodreads nominated her for Most Memorable Female Assassin, I screamed with excitement, because, to a new author, that’s like winning a National Book Award (please, I’m not saying my writing should be a frontrunner for that).

Shevata’s journey began in my mind while recovering from my sister’s death, as I’ve written in previous articles.  I knew I wanted to write a medieval fantasy/action/adventure story.
I asked myself what I liked most and the least of strong female lead characters, which are already abundant in fiction.  My definition of a strong lead character is one that the reader remembers long after the book is closed.

Who is Shevata?  She is a former child slave fighter, amongst thousands of children born and bred for the sole purpose to fight a centuries-long war for the city of Gastar against the Abbians, evil priests who conjured undead soldiers of slain people, creating an almost limitless army.  Shevata was born in the latter years of the war, and was made an assassin instead of a soldier, so she rarely visited the battlefield.  Instead she eliminated enemies inside the great city by direct order of the city’s leadership, a King at the time.  She had parents, but were unidentified because all efforts were made to the ongoing war and the once-great city of Gastar was doomed to fall.  Historical comparisons to her creation would be the numerous regimes that use children for soldiers, for example, the Nazi children of WWII or the Khmer Rouge in the 1970’s, just to name a couple.

What are Shevata’s abilities?  I decided early what I didn’t want her doing.  No magic, no clairvoyance/mind reading/ and no martial arts.  She’s a small, underdeveloped, sixteen year old girl that doesn’t appear dangerous, which is a great advantage for an assassin.   So how can one so small be such a competent killer? I added her one unique skill, moving objects with her mind (telekinesis).  As a weapons expert, she can use anything from swords, arrows, and a kitchen skillet to the bad ends of her opponents.  As she concentrates, the weapons are propelled far beyond her physical strength, making her a particular nasty adversary. She rarely misses her targets, and most strikes she makes count, thus making her a perfect killer.  She can open locks without keys, climb walls with expertise, and move the earth to bury small buildings and slain enemies.

On a radio interview I was asked what was Shevata’s weakness.  Physically, she has few.  In the first two novellas, “Act of Redemption” and “Children of Discord,” her soul was removed as a curse for killing the last Abbian high priest without a death order, which demoted her to murderer.  With no soul, she doesn’t bleed nor age. I know too well by taking martial arts myself that a small person cannot easily overtake a large person by hand-to-hand combat. So size does count in the Gastar Series.  Shevata loses plenty of fights with opponents her size and larger.  As a small spoiler, I’ll say she does re-gain her soul for the final two novellas.  Readers have asked me how can I keep a story moving when a character becomes weaker.  My answer is “Why does becoming a person make a character weaker?”

The main supporting character of the Gastar Series is Zermon, demon lord of Hell.  His personality is based on my older brother, now a family joke.  He met and imprisoned Shevata in hell after she rescued scores of living child soldiers held by him as a favor to the Abbians.  She was captured and imprisoned by in hell for twenty years before her escape, so the two know each other quite well.  This pair of powerful adversaries plays off one another to add an element of humor to the story; as some call it a “backward spin” of a huge demonic monster accusing a small teenage girl of barbarism.

What does Shevata want?  She wants to grow up.  A reader told me something very moving regarding my sister’s death.  She said Shevata was “stuck” in an existence with no way out.  Following the death of my sister, I felt “stuck” as well in my life, and with time, faith, family, and creative writing I found my way out.  Shevata will find her own way out as well.  Unlike many medieval stories, she doesn’t make a geographic journey. Her path lies within herself, and the challenge is for her to change everything she’s ever known or learned to become a completely different person who matures, discovering the true life of love and family.

So I welcome readers to meet Shevata in my Gastar novellas.  These are not romantic cuddly stories; Shevata’s tactics rival the brutality of her enemies.  But her feelings are real, she sees people around her living a normal life, and yearns to do the same.  But she knows her enemies from the dark past and her intentions towards them are not forgiving.  War, not vengeance is her primary motivator. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Author Kimberley Johnson's Review of "Act of Redemption!!

I really enjoyed reading Act Of Redemption! That said, this is not my usual genre. But I found myself sucked in to this fantasy world with a strong female lead Shevata. It moves along at a swift pace. What makes a great book for me is when I can see it play out like a movie in my mind. This means the author painted a clear picture but allows the readers imagination to take over. This is exactly what C.C. Cole has done.
In my reviews, I don't like to spoil, just comment on how I felt about it. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys colorful writing, dark fantasy and young adult. 4 stars!!!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Teen Review of "The Virgin Diaries" by Kimberley Johnson

 I understand how Moms are concerned about their adolescent sons/daughters and intimate relationships; I recommend the mothers out there to check this out. 


Indie Authors Challenge the Media

Music Moment: Ernie's Denial by C.C.Cole

What's better than some great rock music to wake you up in the morning?  I grew up listening to rock 'n roll music being a child of young parents.  While my friends have parents that dance to big band and Sinatra, mine cranked up Steppenwolf every morning.  At the grandparent's, country music was favored but it never caught on with me, though I enjoyed Johnny Cash's music and his show.

Therefore, I'm sharing some rock music from an upcoming band and FB friend, Ernie's denial.  They were kind enough to answer some interview questions for me.  Like genre fictional writing, as I do, these guys are in a tough business where it's difficult to get noticed.  Many musicians do their best work on the way up (and writers), and hopefully Ernie's Denial will evolve into a music career.  Their music reminds me of the past head-banging Black Sabbath (vocalist reminds me of young Ozzy), and some Nirvana influence (never a bad thing for a rock group.)  In common we like artists like Jimi Hendrix (duh?  Yes!) and Dave Grohl (yes!) and I do like their positive lyrics which give us a nice recess from past groups.

How long have you been playing?

Ernie's Denial has been around since 1992. The name was made up by Joe's major influence in life, his big brother, JB. There's a history, but let's start it off from it's resurrection.

Ernie's Denial was resurrected in February of 2010 when Joe had a huge crush on a woman named Summer. He made this song called "Summer" and the first time he played it on stage in the Rainbow open mic on Sunset Blvd., the crowd just went wild. The host, whose name is Erik Valentine, even said "That was the most rocking performance tonight. Everybody else sucked.". No one was amused by that of course.

How long have you been together?

October of 2010, Fer came along as the new drummer of Ernie's Denial. The first day of jam was an instant click. By January of 2011, we had a full demo of 12 songs ready.

Who are the band members?

Current members of the band are
Joe singer and songwriter and on vocals and guitar
Fer Cornejo on drums, the new drummer
Chris Purcell is still practicing the bass parts. Pretty soon he'll hop in.
Ernie's Denial was always just a duo of a drummer and a vocals and gutiarist. This time, we'll have Chris on bass. To make it a trio.

Who are your main musical influences?

Fer Cornejo is a big fan of Nirvana. He's majorly influenced by Dave Grohl and he really respects Kurt Cobain.

Chris Purcell's major influences are Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles.

Joe likes Tom Petty (& The Heart Breakers), and Credence Clearwater Revival.


It's pretty obvious that what really gave Nirvana their edge is the drummer, Dave Grohl. That's why Fer is heavily influenced by Dave Grohl. Our songs, "Caliber", "Pass The Ball", "Pick Up The Pieces", an "Million Candles" haven't sounded so stronger.

As the songwriter, Joe, I write lyrics that are positive. If the lyrics are positive, the stronger the song. No matter what, a song with good words is a song that'll move mountains. And good worded lyrics bring about BadAss riffs. BadAss Riffs + Hard Hitting Drums, equals a Rock Band that is so strong, that even the super bands would get on their knees when they watch us play.

How would you describe the kind of music you play?

ROCK. We are Rock. (All Right!!  ..that's me...)

What kind of venues do you play?

The trends clubs and bars went with is the "pay to play", wherein a band has to presell tickets in order to play. We don't buy that jibba jabba.

We like parties and events. 90% of Our fanbase are kids who don't care much about the internet except when they want to download our songs or watch some new skate trick.

Have you made any records?

3 months after the band's resurrection, we made our demo cd. The songs are downloadable for free at our site www.ErniesDenial.com

We'd like to keep track of it too so if you wouldn't mind downloading it for free and becoming our fan@ http://www.reverbnation.com/ErniesDenial

Who are your favorite current bands?

I can say that we can't think of any because let's face it, the groups and artists we hear now are 10th or 15th generation Soundgarden, Tool, or even Nirvana. 20th or 30th Generation Madonna, Metallica, or Skid Row even. There's nothing new.

What was the last CD you bought or downloaded?

Chris has been getting a lot of promo cds from various artists who play in the open mics of Unurban Cafe in Sta Monica and The open mics at the Church of 10th and California also in Sta Monica.

What kind of equipment do you use?

Drums, Guitar, Bass. Vocal Windpipe and diaphragm.
Who's your musical hero?

Fer's would be Nirvana. Especially Dave Grohl.
Chris' would be Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles.
Joe's, that's me, would be Ernie's Denial. I gotta admit that I listen to our demo everyday at work. And when I hike it's in my mp3 playlist. I know for sure we're the next Great Rock Band and this time as we lead the new generation, we won't burn out or fade away.

We're Ernie's Denial. Lend us your ears. The only thing you'll lose are those demons that dance on your shoulders. We'll make you happy.











Wednesday, May 4, 2011

We Wear the Same Glasses!!

I’ve decided to take a brief “book vacation” (this is a toast to the reviewer BookVacation) detour from the usual prefer-to-be-different point of reference to the vast, intriguing journey of an great well-known bestseller author with emphasis on his work and his hype.  Like any other author, as noted in Anya’s article I previously posted, the work is not necessarily the life of the author.  He’s been interviewed, he’s given speeches and much has been said about his life, so I don’t plan to add anything to that.

Except we wear the same glasses. Well, almost the same glasses.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Between Fire & Ice: Judging a person by a book's content

Between Fire & Ice: Judging a person by a book's content: "So recently Judy Mays came under fire when it was discovered that she was not only an erotic romance author, but also a high school English ..."

In My Head by Kimberley Johnson: What I Have Learned As A Self Published Author

In My Head by Kimberley Johnson: What I Have Learned As A Self Published Author: "In this last year of marketing my book The Virgin Diaries , I have learned quite a bit. I often get emails from other authors asking me how ..."

Sunday, May 1, 2011

On Shedding Light Upon Dark Fantasy by C.C.Cole May 1, 2011

Readers of “dark fantasy” genre are amongst the most devout followers of current fiction.  The immense popularity of Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings” went “viral” before we used computers, and is still widely read, spawned role-playing games, similar literary works, and blockbuster Hollywood films.  I’m not saying Tolkien stated dark fantasy, but his work led to a lot of what we see today.

What makes a story “dark fantasy?” The answers are generally vague.  Usually the genre involves the “good guys” and the “bad guys” each or all as something beyond human; for example, the long time popularity of vampires in stories.  Werewolves, zombies, ghosts also are frequent antagonists, with elves, dwarves, and human characters often as protagonists. Dragons tend to be longstanding favorites of medieval dark fantasy, and remain an interesting mythical creature as these monsters are seen in so many historic cultures.

Dark fantasy is often thought of as a medieval story with royalty housed in a castle, knights wielding great swords, and wizards weaving magical spells to either good or bad intentions.  This type of world doesn’t define dark fantasy; for example, the hugely popular Harry Potter and Twilight series use similar characters in modern society.  What is light to some is dark to others.  I’ve seen LOTR quoted directly by a high profile minister, and I’ve known people that believe Harry Potter is the root of evil.  “Twilight” is embraced by young popular culture and is a favorite of mothers because the platonic, romantic concept overrides the vampires and werewolves as potential dangers to society. 

What draws readers and writers to dark fantasy stories?  I believe the concept of good vs. evil by use of historic culture and mythical creatures stand out intensely and powerful in our minds.  Even if we’re not experts in world history, most readers know the dark ages were a historic time of immense danger and bravery.  Non-human creatures are parts of nursery rhymes and fairy tales that play into our imagination as we mature.  To marginalize the real and un-real is what fantasy gives us, a break away from daily routine and immerses our minds into something completely different than the world we live in.  The idea of danger without actually experiencing it yields mental stimulation by witnessing conflict and bravery that we read in books, graphic novels, and films.

Dark fantasy is “dark” because of the endangerment of innocence and presence of evil.  I like to think of it like I do gangster films.  When someone suggested gangster stories “glorify” crooks and murderers, I asked, “How often does it work out for the gangster?”  In dark fantasy, how often does it work out for any evil creature; be it vampire, werewolf, wizard, or dragon?  The good guys always win, often at great cost.  It’s the cost that brings us back to reality and appreciation of what we actually have in this world.