Hello readers! Today I'm extremely excited to have one of my favorite author as a guest on SNR! Please welcome Maria V Snyder who is here to discuss how she maped out the realms in her new novel Touch of Power! Stay tuned at the end of the post for a chance to a copy of Touch of Power!
Don't forget to check out my 5 out of 5 start review: Touch of Power (Healer #1)
MAP QUEST for TOUCH OF POWER- Maria V. Synder
Since I write mostly fantasy, I’m often asked how I invent a new world. My usual reply is I start with characters and a situation and the world develops from there. And that’s how it worked with my Study and Glass series of books.
Poison Study begins with a woman on death row for murder, but I couldn’t have her commit a pre-meditated act or no one would like her. So the society she lived in had to be strict enough to execute a person who killed in self-defense. From there the Territory of Ixia was born with eight military districts and a powerful Military Dictator. As I wrote the story, the southern lands of Sitia developed as a counterweight to Ixia, but I didn’t have a good map of Ixia and Sitia until after I wrote the third book, Fire Study.
For my Insider books, I had dreamt the world. It was all in my dream, so world-building in that case was easier. But for Touch of Power, I needed a map right away. I knew the characters would be traveling and from various countries so I needed a visual to help me keep track of everything. And I must admit that was daunting.
I love maps – always have and always will despite GPS and online directions. I have a stack of them in my office for every state in the US. I have all those beautiful maps that came with the subscription to National Geographic Magazine. I also love to travel and the summer before writing Touch of Power, I was on a Baltic Sea cruise and visited Sweden, Finland, Russia, Latvia, and Poland.
Combine those two loves and I printed out a map of Eastern Europe. I thought to traced the countries with a black marker and make them my Fifteen Realms. I didn’t follow the real borders exactly (no fun in that). Then I turned the map 90 degrees to the right and I had my Fifteen Realms. I can’t take any credit for the idea of turning the map. Wim Stolk, a writer/friend of mine gave me the idea (see Map 1).
Once I had a blank map, then I colored in the oceans and named everything (see Map 2). As for the names of the Realms and the town names, I went back to my maps of Eastern Europe and Russia and found names of small towns that were interesting. I made a list of them. I changed the spelling of some or combined two, but kept most of them the same. The name of the mountain chain, the Nine Mountains, isn’t on any map (that I know). I named it that because Touch of Power is my ninth novel. J
Then I scanned my rough/colored map and used Photoshop to make it legible (see Map 3). Not being an expert, I sent the file to my publisher where their artists converted into the beautiful map in the front of the book. Easy, right?
Oh, and I never trust my GPS – I always check its directions against a map, making sure I agree with it before leaving. And if I agree, then I let it tell me where to go (it helps not to have to drive and look at a map – remember those days?).
Is anyone else a map-aholic?
Maria V. Snyder switched careers from meteorologist to novelist when she began writing the New York Times best-selling Study Series (POISON STUDY, MAGIC STUDY and FIRE STUDY) about a young woman who becomes a poison taster. When she’s not traveling, Maria lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, son, and daughter.
RELEASE DATE: January 2011
Laying hands upon the injured and dying, Avry of Kazan absorbs their wounds and diseases into herself. But rather than being honored for her skills, she is hunted. Healers like Avry are accused of spreading the plague that has decimated the Territories, leaving the survivors in a state of chaos. Stressed and tired from hiding, Avry is abducted by a band of rogues who, shockingly, value her gift above the golden bounty offered for her capture. Their leader, an enigmatic captor-protector with powers of his own, is unequivocal in his demands Avry must heal a plague-stricken prince—leader of a campaign against her people. As they traverse the daunting Nine Mountains, beset by mercenaries and magical dangers, Avry must decide who is worth healing and what is worth dying for. Because the price
NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY!
Fill out the form Below