I knew exactly what I wanted to write about for my book, The Lioness of Brumley Hall, but struggled with how to explain it and where to place it on amazon, Goodreads and even in bricks and mortar bookstores. I knew the book was not pure children’s literature or fantasy. My story takes place in a real world setting but with some unusual occurrences. My characters, especially Gran, possesses a spiritual attitude towards the daily world and tried her best to maintain this perspective in response to the unseen within the visible.
Visionary metaphysical magical realism seems to be the most accurate place to land—a combination of the hidden mystery behind the magical realism fiction and the embrace of esoteric wisdom emphasizing the human transformational capacity of visionary fiction. This type of fiction, according to Italian writer, Massimo Bontempelli, attempts to change the collective consciousness by “opening new mythical and magical perspectives on reality”.
In the genre of magical realism, this is accomplished by blending the supernatural with the natural and familiar world by using the existence of fantasy elements in the real world. This is not done by inventing new worlds as fantasy books do, but in revealing the magical in this world. The magical is a common and ordinary occurrence at Brumley Hall and harnessing these magical elements is one of the key themes of the book. Political critique is often a main or subtext used by magical realists to challenge the reality of established viewpoints. Cultural clashes are part of this critique. The Lioness does this by briefly highlighting the political/cultural clashes between China and Tibet and accessing the Celtic mythology of the Faerie.
Visionary fiction is similar but focuses more on spiritual and esoteric wisdom relevant to modern realities. This is accomplished by weaving a story in which the readers experience the wisdom from within themselves vis-aʹ-vis the narrative, characters, setting while keeping any proselytizing or preaching to the barest minimum as possible. The growth of consciousness envisioning the transformation of humanity is the central theme.
The combination of visionary and magical realism allows me to overcome the “ la la” aspect of being too precious in expressing the spiritual wisdom of the former, but from also succumbing to the harsh political commentary of the latter. Humor is a necessary leavening agent for keeping the narrative moving and focusing on a great story instead of an overtly spiritual or political agenda. For more information, click the link on the top page bar.