About Margaret Duarte

Although warned by agents and publishers that labeling her work Visionary Fiction was the “kiss of death,” Margaret Duarte refused to concede. “In a world riddled with fear, misunderstanding, and lost hope,” she says, “I believe there are people prepared to transcend the boundaries of their five senses and open to new thoughts and ideas. The audience is ready for fiction that heals, empowers, and bridges differences.” Margaret joined forces with other visionary fiction writers to create the Visionary Fiction Alliance, a website dedicated to bringing visionary fiction into the mainstream and providing visionary fiction writers with a place to call home. In 2015, Margaret published BETWEEN WILL AND SURRENDER, book one of her "Enter the Between" visionary fiction series, followed by book two, BETWEEN DARKNESS AND DAWN, in 2017. Through her novels, which synthesize heart and mind, science and spirituality, Margaret encourages readers to activate their gifts, retire their excuses, and stand in their own authority. Margaret is a former middle school teacher and lives on a California dairy farm with her family and a herd of "happy cows," a constant reminder that the greenest pastures are closest to home.

Visionary Fiction;Crossing Over is Easy

Visionary Fiction; Crossing Over is EasyI didn’t choose to write visionary fiction; it chose me.

This may sound strange to you and what I’m about to share even stranger, but I can think of no better way to explain how I ended up writing in a genre that parallels the new neural sciences and has yet to find a receptive audience.

A word from my protagonist

I open my case with a message from my protagonist, written shortly after I completed my first novel.

Dear Reader

My name is Marjorie Veil Sunwalker. Margaret Duarte, the writer of this novel, believes she has created me. She believes she has made up the events and details of my journey. What she doesn’t realize is that I have been with her for a long, long time. She was only an instrument, my interpreter.

Margaret first felt my presence during a visit to the Monterey Peninsula in California. It was August of the year 2000. She was on the 17-Mile Drive and had stopped at the landmark of The Lone Cypress. There, I gently touched her, beckoning her for the first time. At her next stop she saw what remains of “The Ghost Tree,” bleached white by wind and sea. As she stood entranced, I nudged her one more time. Finally, at the Carmel Mission, I set the trap and she was caught. She didn’t know the how and whys, but she knew she would write a story.

From then on, I’ve been her invisible guide. I’ve whispered my thoughts and experiences to her, lifting the veil … Continue reading

Billion $ Market for Visionary Fiction?

visionary-foresight-28034198

I write visionary fiction.

Unfortunately, mainstream agents and publishers do not recognize visionary fiction as a genre. In fact, they have dubbed it “the kiss of death” with the flat of their swords.

In the past, visionary fiction was heavy on preaching and light on storytelling, so it deserved temporary banishment to the time-out corner.

But enough is enough. The majority of today’s visionary fiction writers have mastered page-turning plot and in-depth characterization, with the bonus of writing fiction that uplifts and transforms.

There’s a need – no, a yearning – these days for what visionary fiction has to offer.

Need convincing?

Let me introduce you to an organization called GATE (Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment), “an evolving community of creative, business and technical professionals in entertainment, media, and the arts — and the interested public — who realize the vital and expanding role media and entertainment play in creating our lives, and who aspire to consciously transform those domains for the benefit of all.”

Each year, GATE holds a public event for networking between media professionals with transformational values. GATE 2 was held on February 4, 2012 with a standing room only crowd of 2,400 at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills. One of the featured speakers was sociologist and author of Cultural Creatives, Dr. Paul Ray.

In the video below, Dr. Ray presents a convincing argument that transformational entertainment has a billion dollar market just waiting to be tapped.

You are what you read, what you see, and what you hear. Where you put your … Continue reading

The Puzzle Of Visionary Fiction – Part Two

Harold_Bennett_9222_Nathanael_BennettBy Margaret Duarte

For part one of the article, click here.

Hal Zina Bennett points to ebooks as a significant piece of the puzzle when it comes to proving to the mainstream that visionary fiction has something valuable to offer.

 “Maybe successful visionary fiction is a little like the legendary Hindu rope trick,” Bennett says, “where the fakir throws a rope into the air. Instead of it falling to the ground the rope stays firmly in the air like a solid post. Then the magician orders his assistant, usually a young boy, to climb the rope. The boy obeys but when he gets to the top he refuses to come down. The angry fakir throws a knife, which swirls viciously toward the sky. Soon, severed arms, legs and body parts of the boy come hurtling down. The magician’s assistants collect the pieces, toss them in a basket and cover the basket with a cloth. The magician passes his wand over the basket, sweeps away the cloth, reaches in and helps the restored and whole child step out.  Thousands of people have sworn that they know somebody who has seen this trick done.  But of course, the first hand witnesses never seem to be found. Perhaps visionary fiction is a little like that. We know the trick. Sometimes as we’re even convinced we’ve accomplished it. And maybe we have. But where are the spectators, the witnesses, when we need them?”

1204250_magic_book Continue reading

The Puzzle of Visionary Fiction

By Margaret Duarte

Harold_Bennett_9222_Nathanael_BennettThe genre of visionary fiction leaves many people puzzled, even the experts.

Take Hal Zina Bennett, author of more than thirty books, including: Write from the Heart, Writing Spiritual Books, Follow Your Bliss, and Spirit Circle, his own contribution to visionary fiction.

When I asked Hal to define visionary fiction, he said, “I think I have some understanding of spiritual non-fiction, and have written one moderately successful ‘visionary fiction’ novel, but sometimes I’m not sure I really ‘get’ visionary fiction at all. I find powerful spiritual work in books that don’t at all announce themselves that way, for example, in mysteries such as Louise Penny’s The Beautiful Mystery, about the murder of a priest in a remote Canadian monastery. Most mainstream publishers I know are prejudiced against reading anything that calls itself visionary fiction, just certain it’s going to be ‘religious’ and that the author is going to sermonize. Most editors won’t even get to the first page. Whenever I present a new project to an agent or an author, I avoid such labels. My advice to writers of spiritual fiction is just call it fiction. Ten years ago, it looked like the category “spiritual fiction” was gaining traction and was going to be adopted by the publishing industry, thanks mainly to the efforts of Hampton Roads Publishing, but I would not claim that today.”

Okay, I understand that Hal Zina Bennett is primarily an author of spiritual non-fiction, but I won’t let him off the hook that easily. In 2002, he wrote an excellent article about visionary … Continue reading

A Letter From Dean Koontz

Editor’s Note: This post appears courtesy Margaret  Duarte’s site (slightly edited).

By Margaret Duarte

I’ve been blogging for over two years now , and lately I’ve been doing some serious soul-searching about the value of working so hard.

Then today (16 October), I received an email from Dean Koontz concerning the post I wrote about him here at VFA, and it has energized me in a way I haven’t felt energized in a long time.

Dear Margaret,

My editor at Bantam, Tracy Devine, sent to me your lovely post at Visionary Fiction Alliance, and I’m asking her to forward this to you. I was quite touched by your words.

After a long career as a novelist, I’ve learned that what anyone writes about my work, good or bad, will only occasionally, very occasionally, be written with true insight regarding my intentions. For so many years, I have denied being a horror novelist, never thought I was, and struggled to prevent earlier publishers from putting that word on my books.

You got to the heart of what I try to give readers when you mentioned hope and healing, and spoke of seeking to “help readers see the world in a new light and recognize dimensions of reality they commonly ignore.”

If you will provide my editor with a mailing address, I would like to send you two inscribed books that are close to my heart.

Best wishes,

Dean Koontz

Oh my, talk about synchronicity!

Thank you, Dean Koontz, for taking the time to inspire a fellow writer to not give up.  Ever.

I’m back.

Margaret

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Is Dean Koontz a Visionary Fiction Writer?

By Margaret Duarte

Dean Koontz is generally categorized as a writer of horror, and I’m not a fan of horror, so I’m not sure what possessed me to read one of his novels. Maybe someone gave it to me. Maybe I picked it up in a bargain bin somewhere.

What I do remember is that the book’s title was Watchers and, while reading it, I fell in love with a dog named Einstein and an author named Dean Koontz.

Then along came the Odd Thomas series. Again, I don’t know how I discovered it, but I do know that Koontz’s “odd” protagonist nabbed and bagged my heart before I even got to paragraph two. The series is written in first person, from the point of view of a short-order cook named Odd Thomas, who pulls you in with his wit and humility and then captivates you like a first crush with his concern for the underdogs of – and out of – this world.

“My name is Odd Thomas, though in this age when fame is the altar at which most people worship, I am not sure why you should care who I am or that I exist.”

Peculiar things happen to Odd Thomas that don’t happen to anyone else. He communicates with the dead, for instance. Not by choice, mind you. Odd Thomas is a reluctant confidant and can’t resist helping the quiet souls who seek him out for justice.

Almost every page of Koontz’s novels contains a line or phrase that teases and pleases the brain. I’m down right envious of Koontz’s ability to penetrate beneath the surface of things (the beautiful and ugly, humorous and sad, inspiring and depressing) and share observations that vibrate with truth.

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Relevance Of Visionary Fiction – Margaret Duarte

Margaret Duarte

Before I explain what Visionary Fiction is, let me position it on a chart that shows the basic types of literature and genres.

As you can see, rather than being a genre of its own, Visionary Fiction is a subgenre of Speculative Fiction, which makes it hard to categorize, and, although VF has been around for a long time – think shaman stories of ancient times, most agents, publishers and big book buyers don’t recognize it as a genre or subgenre.

That said, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, and Christian/Spiritual Fiction are also subgenres of Speculative Fiction, which doesn’t make them any less popular with agents, publishers, booksellers, and fans.

So what, exactly, is Visionary Fiction?

In its simplest terms, VF is what John Algeo calls “a modern and sophisticated version of the fairy tale.”  And, according to W. Bradford Swift, what separates VF from other speculative fiction is intention.  Besides telling a good story, VF enlightens and encourages readers to expand their awareness of greater possibilities.  It helps them see the world in a new light and recognize dimensions of reality they commonly ignore.

In a world riddled with fear, misunderstanding, and lost hope, I believe there are people prepared to transcend the boundaries of their five senses and to open to new thoughts and ideas.  In other words, I believe the audience is ready for fiction that heals, empowers, and bridges differences.

That’s why I write Visionary Fiction, and that’s why I joined the talented visionary writers at Visionary Fiction Alliance to promote a genre whose time has come.

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