Victoria “V.E.” Schwab

Escapist, other-worldly, and mind-expanding. These are just a few of the things that describe what fantasy is to its readers. In this week’s episode, Grant and Brooke talk with Victoria Schwab about creating fantasy that pushes the boundaries of our known power structures and why it matters to her to write accessible fantasy. Plus, we discuss how important fantasy literature is to children, and how and why The Harry Potter series is the most influential and important series of an entire generation.


Victoria “V.E.” Schwab, is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of multiple novels, including the acclaimed Shades of Magic series, This Savage Song, Our Dark Duet, Vicious, Vengeful and City of Ghosts. Her critically acclaimed work has been featured in publications including the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Washington Post, translated into more than a dozen languages, and optioned for television and film. When she’s not haunting Paris streets or trudging up English hillsides, she lives in Edinburgh and is usually tucked in the corner of a coffee shop, dreaming up monsters. Her new middle grade novel, Tunnel of Bones, will be released in September.

The Takeaway: Flip the Dynamics or Imagine: What If?

In order to nourish that more fantastical side of your brain, brainstorm some possible fantasy worlds by flipping things, such as making women physically stronger than men, as Naomi Alderman did in The Power. Or consider questions like: What will Florida be like 100 years from now if it keeps sinking into the ocean? Or what if we artificial intelligence eventually reduces the need to work? What will happen if advances in anti-aging keeps us all living well past 100? And what if we live that long, and have to live in a space station? Add in some wizards, good and evil fairies, a couple of alchemists, a troll or two, and a unicorn, and see where your story goes. This is a fun way to consider future stories, but also to keep your brain engaged and to dabble in a bit of escapism—any time you want.

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