It’s finally happening! “The Monster of Selkirk Book I: The Duality of Nature” is FINALLY available for digital pre-order on Amazon! More formats will be coming later, never fear, but, in the meantime, I wanted to share a little more with you all about the land of Selkirk and how I personally go about world building as each fantasy writer takes different approaches.
First off, I start by picking a feeling, an atmosphere if you will, that I want my land or world to encapsulate. Tallis’s story starts off a bit tragically, no spoilers there, and the forests around her home are unknown, murky, and hide more than just animals in their shadows. So I started with that and then, I decided that because of the situation Tallis and her country are in, they’d need to be isolated, so an island made natural sense. From there, I thought about places in our world that kind of fit that vibe and that I enjoy because, after all, Tallis’s home country isn’t an evil place, just a troubled one. And ultimately, I thought of Scotland.
Yes, Selkirk is based a bit off Scotland.
If any of you have ever been to Scotland, you’ve probably noticed that Selkirk is actually the name of a town there! I didn’t do that on accident either, I made the choice to do that. In fact, most of the human towns and cities are named after places that either still exist in Scotland today or did in the past. This is my way of paying homage to the real place that inspired Tallis’s fictional home.
A lot of fantasy writers build their worlds 100% from scratch, they have to because they include amazing and impossible things with their magic systems, weaponry, or food. Tallis’s world is not like that. Which isn’t to say what I’m doing is better, this is just the way I wanted to do it for this particular series. Tallis’s world does not have magic. It’s meant to be realistic with the exception of fantasy creatures and deities which allowed me to root her world in a kind of realism that I think is pretty cool and I hope makes her, her friends, and her world, much more relatable and approachable in the long run.
Which is why, if you read the book, you’ll notice that the names of the people in Selkirk, the food they eat and drink, the clothes they wear … all fit what you’d expect to find in medieval Scotland. I don’t make it 100% authentic, this isn’t a historical fiction after all, but whenever I can and whenever it makes sense to, I make sure to ground Selkirk in that realism. That way when you finish the book and if you ever go to Scotland, you can feel like you are wandering around Tallis’s hometown!
“The Monster of Selkirk” is a long series, and because of that, I keep my formula for land building throughout. All the lands are based on real locations, or a hodgepodge of locations that are topographically near one another. So the country names, city names, the people, and food will all be authentic to those kinds of areas. This may get me into trouble when people have visited places like Scotland and they notices inconsistencies, but again, this is a fantasy story, not a historical fiction so I hope you’ll forgive me for the liberties I take.
I hope this gives you better insight into my process and that it gets you excited to jump into Tallis’s world APRIL 18TH! If you’ve built your own world, please share what your process like! Or let me know what you think of mine in the comments!
Book Launches and ER Visits
Yesterday marked the official start of preorders for my book! It's out APRIL 18TH which is AMAZING! But, instead of being able to hit the ground running and doing promotion and stuff like that. I was in the ER. Here is a list of my observations in the hopes that none of you fine people ever need to experience them for yourself...
1. People are really eager to get you in a wheelchair to wheel you to the waiting room that's only a few feet away (I may have looked like I needed it though... meh)
2. Not nearly enough nurses put the EKG stickers on you in the shape of smiley faces. Missed opportunity.
3. When you can't breath well, and certainly not deeply (the reason for said visit) having the chest X-ray technician demand you breath and get exasperated when they have to do the X-ray multiple times is not your fault. Breathing is hard.
4. EKG's and X-rays are fast. Seeing the doctor who spends all of 5 minutes with you takes 5 hours
5. Apparently an 18 gauge needle for a massive IV is really big and causes a lot of bleeding. A lot. Hospital gowns needed to be changed.
6. Touching the heart monitor "sticker" on your finger causes the machine to freak out. The nurses don't like that. Don't do it, even though it's super tempting.
7. Being hooked up to a heart monitor does actually make you feel like you're about to jump-start a car battery. The movies got something right.
8. Cat scans (not sure if it's actually "cat" but I'm going with it) are weird and the contrast they put into your massive IV for the contrast during said cat scan makes you feel... not bad. But just really, really warm all over, head to toe warmth.
9. If you go to the right hospital, the doctors and nurses are really pleasant and have no intention of "keeping you overnight" despite the fact that you may have been there from 6:30 pm to 2 am. They don't grasp the irony.
10. Coming home to your SUPER excited dog after said visit is the best. The best!
In case you're wondering, I'm fine. The tests showed nothing despite the feeling of a midget sitting on my chest making it hard to breath and elevating my heart rate to near heart attack levels. Apparently, I got a thing called Pleurisy which is just a lot of inflammation around my lungs from an infection. Though the doctors seemed baffled by how i got it. So now I'm on meds. All the meds. So that's fun and EXACTLY how I wanted to celebrate the launch of preorders for my book*. My husband was a champ though. He hates needles. Like, hate them to the point of getting physically sick. But he never left my side so I guess that means he loves me.
I'm recovering now but will be posting more as I can, especially since I am really excited about the launch of "The Monster of Selkirk"!
*said no one ever.