Last week, I got to attend a book-gala (by verge of e-mailing them ‘I would like to attend’ in time, no special circumstances or anything) organized by a newly founded local initiative for promoting the fantastical genre. There were a couple of writers there I really admire, and a very large of aspiring writers like myself.
One of the big things where they deviated from earlier book events I have attended, was the dress code. We were supposed to dress up for this event.
Now, I have a slightly troublesome figure for affordable black tie dresses, since the waistline tends to be too high for my figure, or the chest-space too small, so I figured I’d make one myself. I didn’t manage in time, so I had to settle for more of a cocktail dress(those tend to be more figure-hogging and thus work just fine). Still I dressed up, and so did almost everyone else.
I thought it was merely just fun to dress up, until I was at the event. The atmosphere had somehow transformed from a group of people hanging out, to an official event. Instead of feeling like an enthusiastic hobbyist, I felt like an aspiring professional. That was a very magical feeling. I realized it was something that mattered to me, and that while growing from an aspiring writer into an actual writer might be hard and in the end might even prove impossible, it is something truly worth aspiring to, to me.
This very personal realization was not the only the only realization I had at the event. One of the people hosting the event, and one of the founders of the initiative, said that he wanted people to be proud of writing fantasy, and proud of reading it. Even though there are a lot of people enjoying fantastical tales, and most works within the genre is not what you’d call ‘light’ reading, especially not in the literal sense, and even though it is a big part of books for children where fantastical tales are celebrated openly, there is not a lot of pride in reading these books for adult. Sometimes, a lot more frequently then I’d like, when people speak about books in the genre, the fantastical elements are downplayed as unimportant. Like it’s uncool to read or write fantasy, and the related genres. You have to ‘look past’ those elements. Like it’s easy to craft a well developed world, or like you can not tell interesting, worthwhile and inspiring stories through fantastical tales. He wants to change that reputation, and I wholly support this initiative. Besides all the other things I read, I read and write fantasy, and I am proud of this.