Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mapping it Out

                               Map of the Lands of Lost Lore

Are you a map fan?

I love looking at maps, real or made up. I love planning journeys through faraway lands or looking at fantastical realms and charting the journey of the protagonists I'm reading about. Whether I'm wondering over Tolkien's map for his world, or looking at cities I want to visit - Samarkand, Taskkent, Marrakesh, I just love maps. (Growing up maps lined the wall of the toilet, so I looked at them quite a bit!)
When I wrote my first books way back in high school, it made sense to make use of my art classes to  map my world - and my protagonist was a teenage girl whose drawings came to life in a new world... so there was a certain symmetry. Several years later when the book was published, it was such a thrill to see the old map used at the front of the book.

                                          Map of the Kingdoms of the Seventh Pool

Now, I'm having so much fun mapping new lands. I'm a little depressed to see I did a better job of it way back then and came up with better names - but I'm looking forward to playing around with the map until it sings.
One of the things I love most about my new lands is that it was created by 33 generations of women (starting with Scheherezade) who all got to chose three things no longer believed on earth, to come to life in the Lands of Lost Lore. It sort of gives me leave to throw myself into every fantasy cliche going. Winner. Fairy circles? Tick. World resting on the back of a giant turtle? Tick. Werewolf Mountains? Tick. A city of dragons? Tick. A moon king and sun queen crossing the world in their chariots? Tick. Never-ending pudding bowl? Tick. Amulets against pregnancy and period pain - okay, periods full stop. Tick. Tick. Tick.
And then of course some more personal choices.  It's not a coincidence that a humungous library sits at the very heart of the Lands of Lost Lore... my inner-librarian cannot be quelled!
Over the centuries some women made crazy choices, obviously, but others made haunting and wonderful choices. I love picking and choosing what made it into my lands, and any modifications needed. And of course deciding the lore my protagonists chose to bring in to the Lands is agonising... but thrilling. (I'll try not to let the power go to my head!)

But now to return to my maps... there's still room for suggestions... 5


  1. This is awesome! I hav a geography degree, so you can guess how much I love maps. ;)

  2. Always had a fondness for magic flying carpets and winged horses -except maybe when its raining