Today, I have author Thea Harrison here with us talking about world building.
Welcome to The Book Vixen Thea!
The way the Elder Races universe is constructed, time and space buckled when the Earth was formed, and Other lands were formed, pockets of land—sometimes quite large places— were magic has pooled, and time runs differently from the rest of the world. These places connect to Earth by crossover passageways, which are extensions of natural breakages in the land, like ravines.
When I wrote Dragon Bound, I hoped that someday I would be able to write at least one story that was completely in an Other land. There are so many fun things that can be done with this concept. Mainly it would give me the opportunity to satisfy my love for fantasy while also it would give me the opportunity to pull in modern slang and concepts from Earth in a rational way.
My fourth novella in the Elder Races series is Hunter’s Season, and this is my first opportunity to tell a story that is completely centered in the Other land of Adriyel.
Adriyel is the Dark Fae Other land that I developed for book two, Storm’s Heart. Storm’s Heart tells the love story between Niniane Lorelle, and her lover Tiago, who was formerly the warlord for the Wyr and is now Niniane’s chief of security.
Because of Storm’s Heart, I had already done a little world building for Adriyel so I knew some things. In general Other lands are rich in magic, but they are low tech—any kind of combustible technology invariably fails, sometimes with disastrous and even fatal results. That means no guns, no cars, trains or planes, no electricity and no modern furnaces for homes.
With the Queen, Adriyel also has a monarchy. There is a nobility, which by extension means that there are commoners too. The capital city sits by a waterfall on a river. The whole culture has a vaguely British feeling to it (which was intentional). The Dark Fae are magical, long lived, and they have a particular facility for metallurgy. One quirk about them is that the number three shows up a lot in Dark Fae culture, in triads of servants, fighting formations, in their government, in teams of assassins, and in other ways.
I enjoyed getting to write about this from the ground level, so to speak. Xanthe, the heroine, is an agent who works for the crown, and she has just returned home after a long, dangerous assignment in America. She arrives home with a stray kitten that she has rescued:
Because she had been gone to America for some time, she stopped at the marketplace to buy food: fresh bread, meat, eggs, vegetables and fruit. The familiarity of the task soothed nerves that were tired and stressed from living with too much strangeness and danger for so long.
At midafternoon, the best of the goods had already been picked over, but there was still enough variety to meet her immediate needs. The market stalls were stocked with meat and fish, vegetables, fruit and grains from nearby farms, a variety of cooked foods, beautiful cloths of rich colors and intricate needlework, pottery, spices, soaps, and metal work, and the recent, jarring addition of American goods. Hawkers called their wares, and the smells of cooking food wafted along the narrow cobblestone streets.
Xanthe paused as the small creature she carried in her pack stirred. A small creature might be too hungry to wait until she had cooked supper. After a moment’s thought, she backtracked to the baker’s stall to buy a meat pie. Her last purchase was an earthenware jug of fresh milk and a small tub of soft cheese. When she had finished the milk and the cheese, she would return the jug and the tub to the dairyman.
The wriggling in her pack became more urgent.
“Patience,” she said to it.
Then she walked out of the city, down the narrow road that hugged the river for a couple of miles to the overgrown path that led to the small two-room cottage that had been her home for her entire life. Ignoring the increasingly strong wriggles in the pack on her back, she studied the cottage as she approached. It had a neglected air about it, as well it should, since she had been gone for over four seasons, but the roof looked solid enough. It led her to hope that the inside was dry.
She opened the door and looked into the shadowed, dusty interior. For a moment, it all looked too rustic, small, and strange. Then the strangeness of the last several moons—months, they were called in America—fell from her eyes, and the cottage became once again as familiar to her as the back of her own hand, and she was home.
She remembered something a human had once said to her while she had been in the strange tent city at Devil’s Gate in the American state named Nevada. The human had been sunburned and had worn a cynical expression when he said, “You know how that old saying goes—you can’t go home again.”
Xanthe had never been to America before, and she didn’t know how the saying went. She wasn’t sure what the human had meant.
For readers, which stories have you read where you liked the world that was created?
Comment for a chance to the ebook of your choice from my Samhain backlist! If you already have the three novellas on my backlist, you can always give your prize to a friend!
Thea Harrison is the pen name for author Teddy Harrison. Thea has traveled extensively, having lived in England and explored Europe for several years. Now she resides in Colorado. She wrote her first book, a romance, when she was nineteen and had sixteen romances published under the name Amanda Carpenter.
She took a break from writing to collect a couple of graduate degrees and a grown child. She experienced waitressing as a teenager, has worked as an activist for a non-profit consumer rights organization, has been a receptionist, an office manager, a penniless graduate student, a director of development and research, and a single mom. Her graduate degrees are in Philanthropic Studies and Library Information Science, but her first love has always been writing fiction. She’s back with her paranormal Elder Races series, which began May 3, 2011 with Dragon Bound.
She adores animals and currently resides with several small pets that have very large personalities.
Title: Hunter’s Season
Series: Elder Races, #4.7
Author: Thea Harrison
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: September 18, 2012
Duty. Devotion. Desire. When fate brings two isolated people together, love is in the cards.
As a palace guard and assassin for the Dark Fae, Xanthe always wore a mask, hiding her emotions to do her duty. But when her identity is compromised, she trades undercover work for guarding Queen Niniane—a position that often brings her in contact with Chancellor Aubrey Riordan.
Aubrey’s trust is shattered. A year ago his wife tried to assassinate their new queen in his name, a betrayal of everything he believes in. And now an attack on his life is proof the dark conspiracy is not yet over. Although injured and weak, Aubrey can’t help but be drawn to this shy assassin and loyal protector. Xanthe is everything Naida wasn’t, and the passion she stirs in him is something he thought had long passed him by.
Warning: Take a man recovering from an assassination attempt, the assassin sworn to protect him, add in a magical Tarot card deck and an isolated cabin, and watch the sparks fly!
Thanks to Thea Harrison, one lucky winner will receive an ebook of their choice from Thea Harrison’s Samhain backlist!!
- Giveaway open Internationally. Void where prohibited.
- Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
- You must leave a comment answering Thea Harrison’s question and fill out the Rafflecopter form in order to enter this giveaway.
- Please read TBV's Giveaway Policy before entering.
- Giveaway ends 9:01 pm (Pacific Time) on 9/27/2012.
Good luck to all who enter!