I want to thank Novel Approach for allowing me to visit. I don’t write a lot of blogs because I never really know what to say. I’m good at writing things when there’s a story in my head but talking about stories tends to confuse me. When people ask me where I get my ideas I never know what to say to them. In my mind I don’t understand why they don’t. If I see a large unexplained hole, it’s just natural to think it might be the home of a troll or a dragon and build and entire story around the concept in my head. I’ve always been a dreamer, but only within the past eight years have I found enough people as strange as me to make a career out of the process.
There are many approaches to world building. Some authors go into incredible detail, chronicling everything from the type of leaves in a tree to the source of the blue pimple on the back of their new fictional race. I tend to take a different approach, or maybe I’m just a bit lazy.
World building can be anything from creating a new species in the world as we know it, to designing entire planets. In my Thresl series I created a planet of cat shifting people but I don’t really go into a lot of details about the planet itself. A bit about lush vegetation with poisonous bugs and another of desert indicates a diverse geographical variety but I never include tons of details. I prefer for my readers to build up the details for themselves untilit seems so real they are secretly waiting for the tourist guide for their visit.
In other books I introduce vampires or werewolves into contemporary environments and build the mysticism about their races. From one series to the next I might change how werewolves are made or if vampires can go into sunlight but I’m consistent with each series. To change the rules halfway through is cheating and nothing is more irritating than to discover an author changed an entire concept halfway through to fit a new idea. If I change a rule I make sure there’s a solid reason or else why make the rule in the first place.
Anything is possible in world building. It is the author’s job to make sure the reader is pulled into the story enough to want to create the image in their mind. I recently finished a book where I built a city and the entire mythology behind it. I’d been inspired by a trip to Europe and all the stone used in their roads and buildings. The true test will be if a fan reads my book and can envision the narrow streets, the cool stone beneath their feet and the magic glowing underneath. If the reader builds my city in their mind and can understand a reformed street thief and his moral lover than I’ve done my job.
My last book released is My Man Declan, where I invented a world of vampires, werewolves and house elves. I had no idea a sexy half house elf would be so popular. I made this one pseudo-contemporary, and the same characters made a brief visit in my Moon Pack Marking Mikel.
I’ll be attending Euro Pride Con because I’ve recently been having my books translated into French and Italian. I believe publishing my books in different languages increases their access to the world at large and I’d like to encourage their dispersal into more readers’ hands. It doesn’t hurt that it’s being held in Munich either. I get a lot of world building ideas by leaving my familiar environment.