Mythic Scribes: ‘Secrets of Fantasy Literature’ Interview

I gave the Convocation Lecture last fall at Mount Aloysius College in Cresson, Pennsylvania. While there, I spoke in a public forum about the meaning of popular literature, to a group of English honors students, and to two Religious Studies classes taught by Dr. Anthony Dragani (largely about How Harry Cast His Spell). It was a full speaking agenda but the hospitality and the conversations there were first rate. I have nothing but happy memories of beautiful Mount Aloysius!

I promised Dr. Dragani that, when I got home, I’d gladly answer questions for a website run by fans and writers of fantasy literature that he enjoys, ‘Mythic Scribes.’ He sent those questions over the course of several weeks and let me know yesterday that the interview had been posted: Secrets of Fantasy Literature – Interview with Harry Potter Scholar John Granger.

If you’re looking for the short course on literary alchemy, ring composition, soul triptychs, and what I think makes a story work, this is the shortest possible treatment of those subjects. Let me know what you think!


  1. Great interview. Simple and short, but a lot to think about. I’m thinking it’s about time I read Around the World in 80 Days!

  2. Great interview, John. Thanks for sharing. One part of the interview that struck me was your list of the 4 Most Common Mistakes that Aspiring Fantasy Authors make, specifically the first item on your list:

    “Neglecting how much their work is necessarily an acting out of psycho-biography and wish fulfillment fantasies”

    Could you talk more about that at some time. Or, If you’ve previously discussed this on the blog, can you point me to that discussion/exploration? I’ve never seen an in-depth discussion of this aspect of fantasy fiction that was done from a writers/authors point of view. Thanks ahead of time for your help.

    – Jeff

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