Well, thanks to you wonderful readers and your encouragement, your faithful scribe has been busy the last several weeks writing the sequel to ‘Alexandria Rising.’ I am on a ridiculously tight deadline, but am hoping to have it on the market by the fall. (My initial plan was to start writing it in March, but after your positive feedback, I started around Christmas and now hope to have draft one completed by March. I guess that is what one gets what one ends a book on a cliff-hanger; I’m not complaining as it is a fantastic challenge to have.)
One of the joys, and a source of constant revision and vision, has been discovering the idea of World Creating in fiction. As I said during an interview with ‘Are you Afraid of the Dark?’ while writing, ‘Alexandria Rising’ I was introduced to the ideas of world creation which – while I was aware of i.e. J.R.R. Tolkien, George Lucas, Susanna L. Clarke, etc. – I had not dived in before to this extent. Discovering that path and challenge has been loads of fun.
This weekend I had a few days off for a Winter Break. While I may have only accomplished writing a few thousand words, I actually worked for many hours researching, creating, drawing maps to help me flush out my locations, cross-referencing names, double-checking symbolism and, at the same time, trying to work these ideas into the story while not slowing down the narrative.
The last few days, I’ve read about Hopi Mythology, types of antique Victorian tables, Spanish mission architecture, how adobe bricks are made, weather patterns for July in middle America and the average miles a trip-phibian plane can make on one tank of fuel.
These are the types of things a writer does if he/she wants to make their story believe-able. Fiction can be a fickle beast, but providing some real-life anchors can aid in the suspension of disbelief in other areas I believe.
I suppose I write this to give you all a glimpse behind the curtain of my strange little world I live in. I also write it to show my respect and affection for those masters of world creation and fiction. I first read Lord of The Rings about three decades ago and, like a fine wine, I revisit it every 6 to 10 years. I am re-reading it now again and my awe of Tolkien only grows every time I take that trip to Middle Earth.
To paraphrase Tolkien, it is an adventure stepping out your front door as it is stepping into your own book of which I am about to do now.
PS: The image is of a location in the sequel. There are no spoilers, but a few clues.