Mystery and fantasy writing

This is the first in a series of posts on What I Am Reading. In my case, it’s What I Am Re-Reading, because I can read the Discworld books over and over and never get tired of them.
I like authors who can mix humor and drama, and nobody does this better, in my opinion, than Terry Pratchett. Pratchett is a world famous author of fantasy novels, but to call them fantasy is to do the books a disservice, for they are clever, funny, sad, touching, satirical, insert your own emotion here stories. Most are set on Pratchett’s Discworld, a wonderful alternate universe where he can riff on rock music, the post office, the printing press, equal rights for women and golems, Jane Austin, the phantom of the opera, soccer fans, and more.
I came to the Discworld by way of The Truth, a novel about a young man who inadvertently becomes the first editor of the very first newspaper in the capital city of Ankh-Morpork, a sprawling city filled with humans, dwarves, trolls, vampires, werewolves, zombies, and every other fantasy creature, all trying to get along. The humor and suspense drew me in, and I was hooked. There are over thirty Discworld novels, but you can hop in anywhere. A couple of my favorites are Masquerade, a satire on opera with the requisite phantom, and Going Postal, in which a reformed rogue has to get Ankh-Morpork’s defunct and abandoned post office up and running again, despite a villain’s schemes to destroy it. Going Postal is also a dead on satire about the Internet.
Pratchett also has a series about a young witch named Tiffany Aching and her adventures with the wee free men, a clan of blue-skinned pixies whose idea of a good time is to fight men and/or animals much larger than themselves, but who are fiercely loyal to Tiffany, their “wee big hag.” His most recent book is Dodger, a re-imagining of Oliver Twist, with Dickens himself as a main character.
When I write, my goal is to have the characters you care about, the sparkling dialog, and the amusing as well as suspenseful plots that I find in Pratchett’s books, but from my own imagination. His work is definitely an inspiration and just fun to read.
Thankfully, Sir Terry, who was knighted in 2009, is still writing, so there will be more Discworld novels to come.


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