The Most Obscure Niche in the World; or, Welcome to My Imagination

I wrote this post as a series of questions that absolutely no one has asked, but I thought they would be fun to answer as a way of introducing what I write. In trying to define my style in terms of modern genres, I boiled it down to this:

Sweet contemporary romantic comedy, implied intimacy with traditional Christian values but not overtly Christian, in a small town urban fantasy setting.

And if you’re still with me, there’s one more thing:

The characters are anthropomorphic ponies.

LOL. I literally just alienated the entire world.

Why not write about humans?

Because I don’t care about a human-centric world and human characters the way I do about anthros. So if the choice is between writing soulless stories about humans or a vibrant world about ponies, guess which I’ll choose?

And what if I swallowed the bile that comes up when I imagine my characters as humans? Well, it still wouldn’t be marketable. It’s still completely different from any existing niche; ponies are just the final dramatic hurdle to cross. So screw it, I’m going to write about ponies.

What is the level of anthropomorphism?

My ponies walk on all fours by default BUT can function bipedally as needed (for carrying something, or dancing, or sword fighting, or whatever). They sit in chairs human-style. They can do everything with hooves that we can do with hands.

I’ve never been around real horses in my life–never felt like I wanted to. I don’t know anything about real horses, so my characters don’t really have equine traits, other than using hooves and forelegs in place of hands and arms. So yes, people will think it strange that I find the fantasy equine form appealing but lack an interest in the source material. Do I have an explanation for it? Not really. That’s just how my imagination works.

So you’re a furry?

I don’t consider myself a furry; maybe I am by some definitions, but the public perception of furries is very far from what I do. Plus, there are as many definitions of a furry as there are individuals in the world.

I mean, yeah, my characters may have s– in certain circumstances, but here my standards verge far, far away from the industry standard. It’s implied but happens off screen, and only after marriage in 99.9% of instances–because to me, that’s the s–iest move of all. Find me another person with THAT kink.

So you’re a brony?

Don’t insult me. I eat bronies for breakfast. I’m old school–I was a My Little Pony mommy long before any of these bronies existed. Next question.

So you write Christian romance? What do you mean by “traditional Christian values but not overtly Christian”?

What I am really getting at here is that s–ual relationships are reserved for marriage as a societal norms. I find s–ual freedom chaotic and unpleasant, and it’s not the standard behavior in my imaginary world. I’m also not saying that these behaviors never happen in my writing, but it is perceived by society as wrongdoing. I know this attitude is looked down on these days as unhealthy and restrictive; but me, I find comfort in rules.

But how is this presented in my world? This is what I’m talking about when I say “not overtly”–rather than blathering on and on about God’s mercy and grace and redemption, my characters’ faith is demonstrated through their actions, not by bashing the reader over the head with the Jesus sledgehammer. (I’m not saying that these principles are bad, just that they’re very annoyingly presented in Christian fiction.) So yes, my fantasy world includes a Christian-esque belief system, there is a system of clergy, and everybody goes to church. But I believe in dealing with matters of faith in an indirect fashion that is story-driven rather than the sledgehammer approach.

BORING. Cut to the chase–what’s the heat level?

There’s making out, without getting genitals involved, which is a really scarce combination. (I’m just a whole mixed bag of scarce combinations.) I’m going to make a bold statement that will scandalize the Christian romance cohort–you can kiss passionately without it leading to s–. It’s true. At least in my world. Anyway, that kind of passion gets it kicked it out of the clean romance category. I’ve heard it claimed that sweet romance gives you more leeway in that respect–but still, in my world, premarital intimacy is the exception, not the rule.

So what ARE you?

Short answer: Beats me.

I’m someone who likes to observe the funny and ridiculous aspects of life. I adore love triangles and structure and rules. When I was six, I wrote and illustrated a story about a salamander who had babies (spoiler alert: she had babies). But that’s all beside the point. At my very core, I’m someone who finds the combination of fantasy colors and the equine form to be the pinnacle of human achievement. It’s visually appealing, and that’s what the characters of my imagination look like.

Click here for The Heiress and the Veterinarian.