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!