Some people might be a little iffy on the differences between fantasy groupings. And, indeed, many books cross over. My book is a Dark Fantasy, but it's also Magical Realism and has touches of Paranormal. So what does it take to be a Dark Fantasy book? The consensus is that Dark Fantasy has scary, horror or thriller type elements but is primarily a Fantasy book rather than Horror.
But I'd like to make a different distinction because I love a few authors and take pointers from a few authors, when writing my own books, who are not even considered Dark Fantasy, necessarily: like Poe and Hawthorn (primarily short stories). They're work is spooky, so people tend to put them with horror or American greats. Those categories aren't bad, but I also thought them very Fantastical. They play with elements of what should be and what isn't. But mostly, they are scary because of they are uncanny, psychologically upsetting. And I think that a book which is a Fantasy that attempts an uncanny feel, that plays with many people's nightmares or psychological hang-ups in a unsettling way, that book is Dark Fantasy. Which is why Neil Gaiman is considered Dark Fantasy, one of my favorites, actually.
Monochrome is settled in a Contemporary time. It is not Epic or High Fantasy, but it has elements of magical, world creation, and, most importantly, darkness. It is a dark world physically, but it is also a dark world in feel. It's a place representative of depression, and so is terrifying and hopeless. That's why I am representing my work as Dark Fantasy, today, and I why I have joined Virtual Fantasy Con Dark Tuesday. So, please join us if you are fan of things dark and fantastical. Even if you're not, we are still interested in hearing from you and converting you. Mwahahahaha. Stop by our booths, giveaways and cosplay and have fun.
H.M Jones is the author of B.R.A.G Medallion Honor and NIEA finalist book Monochrome, its prequel Fade to Blue, the Adela Darken Graphic Novellas, Al Ravien's Night, The Immortals series, and several short stories.