Small town, Rural, Country, Nature, or Wilderness Setting
You’ve probably heard of urban fantasy. That’s a fantasy story that takes place in more populated areas like large cities. In rural fantasy there can be small cities and towns, but often the setting includes the countryside or wilderness. Nature exists in rural fantasy. Sometimes nature IS the setting.
As a writer, I spend a lot of time in my imaginary worlds. But in real life, I live with my husband on 160 acres in the Ozarks of northwest Arkansas. We operate a small business called Wild Ozark, which also specializes in nature-influenced products, mainly American ginseng. We’re homesteaders working toward a self-reliant and off-grid life.
Nature inspires my fiction. I write 100-word flash fiction inspired by the nature that surrounds me here on our 160-acre property in the remote Ozarks. Most of these tiny stories started first with the photo. An even shorter bite can be gotten in the Twitter fiction.
If longer works are what you’re interested in, the first book in my Bounty Hunter series, First Hunt, is at Amazon now. I’m working on 2nd Hit, the second book now.
First Hunt is a 150 page rural fantasy/dystopian novel set in the Ozarks after the global collapse. It’s the first book of my Bounty Hunter Trilogy (working on book two now). Treya joins ARSA to become a bounty hunter, a profession with some rather odd guidelines. The targets are hunted three times, killing them twice, to force them into “grub stage”. However, since the dust settled after TEOTWAWKI, things are not normal with the world. Treya discovers she has skills that aren’t ordinary and there are rifts in the Universal fabric where portals have opened to other realms. Martial law is in effect and people have been herded into the cities precisely to keep them from finding the portals. Treya’s mentor knows more than he ought to, though, and he hopes to recruit Treya into seeing his side of the story. This first book introduces the characters and setting and culminates in the first kill of Treya’s first target.
Most of this series is set in rural northwest post-collapse Arkansas Ozarks, though they do take some side-trips through portals to other dimensions. The agency’s home base is Bentonville, AR.
Alter Egos and Pen Names
Oh, by the way. Ima Erthwitch is an alter-ego for my fiction writing. I write nonfiction under yet another one called Madison Woods. Most of my nonfiction is about plants or nature. You can find out more about that side of my writing life at my Wild Ozark blog.
If you’re a FB user, you can follow me at my page: https://www.facebook.com/erthwitch/
My Latest Projects
Where to Find More Rural Fantasy by other Authors
So far, Amazon doesn’t have a subcategory for “rural” fantasy. I think it should. Paranormal fantasy could fall under either urban or rural.
Even though books like Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley, 1983) had settings with populated places like Camelot, they still had a very old-world and rural feel to them. So I put those in the Rural Fantasy category, too. I’m trying to think of more. Help me out here.
Do you have a favorite fantasy read that could be considered “rural” fantasy? If so, leave a comment and let me know the title and/or author. I’d like to curate a list here.
My Favorite Rural Fantasy Works
Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, and all the sequels and prequels.
Tanith Fairport Adventures series by Nathan Lowell
Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. Not sure this is “rural” but it is post-apocalyptic and felt rural in the reading. It’s been a while since I read it and this one might get moved to a new category if I re-read. What do you think?