Here's the thing, for me at least: this is a huge genre now. It wasn't always so. Not so many years ago, it wasn't so. There is a tremendous diversity in fantasy today.
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Whenever you're writing a book or creating a movie or a game, your first task is to get the reader/audience/player to suspend disbelief, to buy into the logic and boundaries of your world, even though those boundaries might include things like dragons and magic. To do that, you need long threads - of history and culture.
The British are so funny. It's like they can't believe I lived in Hackney. 'You could live in Bondi Beach. Why would you want to live in 'Ackney?' But Hackney's fantastic. I'm serious. There are so many artists there. I loved the markets, the parks, the pubs, the diversity. It was a cultural melting-pot.