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?