I know I'm in my own little world, but it's OK.
They know me here...


Saturday, January 14, 2012

WORLD-BUILDING: Origins of the Light Blade series

As a kid I was the one with my head in a book - at recess, lunch, on weekends, anywhere I could squeeze in a few minutes reading.

I discovered the science fiction and fantasy worlds quite early on - the first SF book I ordered through the Scholastic Bookclub was PLAGUE SHIP written by Andre Norton.

As a teen, I devoured The Pern series and most of Anne McCaffrey's other books (I still have them all on my bookshelf, yellowed pages and well worn).

Some of my favourite authors include Andre Norton, Mercedes Lackey, David Eddings, Patricia McKillip, Isobelle Carmody and John Marsden - their worlds so rich and full of characters, creatures and adventures, ones much more exciting than the real world (or so I thought).

But the best thing about most of these series - the maps! I spent hours pouring over them, learning the names, orientating the characters journeys, making up my own.

So, when I started writing I HAD to have maps for my stories too. More often than not, I stole names from the family atlas or any of my father's cattle breeder catalogs he'd left lying around (the property names were excellent names for cities).

Fast forward ....mumble, mumble...years to now - the legacy of those early years continue in my fantasy romance novels - you'll see maps in the Light Blade series!

Sacred Lake (human city) and the Light Blade  compound

Unfortunately, the one of Sacred Lake (one of the human cities) didn't make it into my first book, VENGEANCE BORN, (so this is a sneak preview of my very amateur mock up), but the others (who were created by my very talented friend, John Wrench) will appear in ALLIANCE FORGED and the untitled Book #3.

The second map is of human territory and where Kalan, Arek, Kymora and the Na'Chi live.

While VENGEANCE BORN begins in Na'Reish territory, most of the story unfolds here.

HUMAN TERRITORY - Sacred Lake, the Sharvadan Forest and Ostare play significant roles in ALLIANCE FORGED (Bk#2).

This map though will appear in ALLIANCE FORGED, Book #2 of the Light Blade series.

The third map belongs to (untitled) Book #3 of the Light Blade series.

You'll be able to track Arek and Imhara's story through Na'Reish territory.

NA'REISH TERRITORY - the setting for Book #3.

So, what do you think of maps in books?

Are they essential for you as a reader? Or can you take or leave them?


  1. This is just fantastic! I love maps in books. I'm so glad you'll have one in Alliance. Can't wait to see it too!!

  2. You're bright and early, Kaye (or is that late night early? LOL)! Thanks for commenting! :-)

  3. Well done Kylie,

    those maps look great!! I love maps if I'm really deep into a book and want to go back and trace the characters journey =)

  4. Hi Kylie,
    I found, as a child, that maps made the stories so much more involving. I felt I was there with the characters as they travelled the terain and now I still check out the maps to see where we are going and to ground myself in a story.

  5. Natasha, that's exactly how I felt as a kid too! I loved travelling right alongside the characters.

  6. Hi Kylie, I love maps in books mainly cause I'm a visual person. Every so often, I will look at the maps & imagine where the character is at that point of time in the story & like to see (visualise the terrain) what remains ahead of him / her.

  7. We could be two minds! I used to get the fish-and-chip paper when I was a kid and draw complicated maps for all the worlds in my head. Each country would end up becoming individual in my mind, with its own languages, towns, cultures etc... Then I'd never get around to writing the actual story!
    As to school, sounds like your schooling years were like mine. I used to talk my friends into hanging in the library at lunch, 'cos it's cold outside'.

  8. Hi Suz, good to see you here - and funny how some people are more visual than others. I know I like things drawn out or pictured so I can see it all in my head.

  9. Ahh, Bec, so good to hear a similar story - LOL! And school libraries were wonderful places eh? I used to haunt the "new books" shelf, and reserve as many as I could. Sometimes borrow them and read them overnight! :-)

    As for drawing maps, any paper would do. I had notepads, and old exercise books filled with maps, keys, languages etc. I think some of them might still be sitting in the bottom of one of my plastic crates of unfinished manuscripts.

  10. Hi Suz, good to see you here - and funny how some people are more visual than others. I know I like things drawn out or pictured so I can see it all in my head.

  11. I just love maps, Kylie. It gives an even bigger sense of the world.

    Love your maps. Can't wait to peruse them in the book.

  12. Hey, Eleni, thanks! It was really fun making these ones.

  13. I absolutely love maps in books. And family trees! Can't wait to read it Kylie!

  14. Hi Nan, great to see you! Ahh, yes, the family tree! I used to draw up those as well. Especially after doing a genetics topic in biology at high school. LOL

  15. Thanks Kylie. Maps are a fantastic tool as are family trees. I'm into Game of Thrones and his family tree must be incredible no wonder it took him six years to write a book.

    Love you blog, always interesting and informative.


  16. I haven't had the pleasure of reading GOT yet but by the sounds of it it's something I'd enjoy.

    And always pleased to hear the blog is providing useful information. Thank you for saying so. :-)