UF Contributor Stanley Gray: Book An Urban Escape

Reading a book offers a wealth of opportunities to explore not just the worlds that exist, but also those realms that formed themselves in the magical mists of the mind. One of the most powerful tools at our disposal in an era of darkness and cynicism is a book.

Because a book is a gateway to hope and diversity. It is a place where arcane secrets become accessible and anyone can beat the odds. Sometimes novels allow us to look inward. Or afford us a chance to gain a different perspective on the world just outside that narrow space behind our eyes.

Sometimes tomes give a chance to probe the invisible. Piercing the veil of the shadows that linger just at the peripheries of our perception like some nagging toothache that remains impossible to ignore. Sometimes we encounter strange people, settings, or events that force us to challenge what we know is real.

An Urban Fantasy book provides a needed escape.

An Urban Fantasy book provides a needed escape.

Hi There, I’m Stanley

Speaking of strange people, many of you may not know me. I’m Stanley Gray, and I like to think I’m an author.

Mostly, I just pretend, because, dang it, I love to tell stories. I have written and published many works over the last few decades, a few of which have won some awards.

The first time I realized I loved writing and existing on the fringes of that pesky thing we call reality was in the first grade. I doodled with crayons about the naughty things I wanted to do to my mean teacher. I got sent home from school.

In a strange way, what I learned from this is that stories have power and that I can get out of the boring banalities of life if I tell a tall enough tale. But, I digress.

You don’t want to know about me. You want to know why reading or creating urban fantasy stories is a wonderful and noble calling.

What Makes A UF Book A Great Escape

The great thing about the urban fantasy genre in particular is that it integrates the real world with the world we all wish existed. All stories do this, to some degree. But no other is so explicit and powerful in the way this juxtaposition occurs.

Many of us, or, if we’re honest, most of us, have harbored a fleeting wish that we could read someone’s mind or cast a spell to fix a problem. We intuit that there is a world just out of reach that coexists with us while remaining separate, its own distinct entity, and we want to reach out and touch it.

Urban fantasy allows us to explore that secret chamber in our minds.

Police aren’t likely to start using werewolves or mages as independent consultants any time soon. Or ever. But by imaging the impossible, we begin to expand our own awareness of what is possible.

We can begin to examine our own paradigms in light of the metaphors that are rife within the genre. And that, my friends, is truly magical.

Reading offers a wealth of opportunities to explore.

Thank you for me giving me the unique privilege of being one of your guides on that journey. It is a humbling honor to be invited into your heads and homes.


About the author

Stanley Gray

Stanley Gray is an award-winning writer living in the Pacific Northwest. His bestselling works include Traits of Darkness, book one in the Gems of Paradise series. Beyond writing and exploring the contours of urban fantasy, Stanley loves reading, spending time with his family, and his pets. You can connect with him via Facebook, Twitter, Amazon.