After reading this review written by author Holly Black (The Spiderwick Chronicles) I really started thinking about how most of my favorite stories involve the magical intruding upon the mundane. I love the idea of turning the corner in my everday life and encountering something completely unexpected. Those stories draw me in better than anything else.
I always had a harder time getting into straight fantasy and stories set completely in their own invented world. There are always exceptions, of course, (ahem, Lord of the Rings, ahem), but those generally don't delight me in quite the same way. Take author Jim Butcher, for example. While the Codex Alera books were interesting and well-written they didn't excite me in the same way that the Dresden Files did. I love the idea that the local P.I. down the street is actually a wizard!
You just know I have to mention Harry Potter, right? The possibility that any 11-year-old living in our world could out of the blue receive an owl with an acceptance letter from Hogwarts... (hmmm, Elias is turning 11 this year, must think on this!) I couldn't help but grin whenever the worlds crossed. Platform 9 3/4. Number Twelve Grimmauld Place, sandwiched right there in between two homes who never knew it was there. Diagon Alley.
The best part of reading the review though, was the realization that juxtaposition is exactly what I am writing.
I had simply never thought of it in those terms before. You always hear to write what you know, and this is what I know. An iPhone in heaven? Ahhhhh.... It wasn't what I had set out to write, I hadn't actively thought "How can I blend two worlds?" It just naturally happened. It also explains why my previous attempts at fiction set in pure fantasy and fiction set entirely in our world never quite worked.