In some ways, every author engages in worldbuilding because their fictional setting is unique to their story. However, some stories require more planning than others. If I’m using an actual location, I must be true to it. London can’t suddenly be north of Edinburgh, for instance, unless I’m writing some sort of alternate history tale. For Plaid to the Bone, I created my own Bonniebroch Castle.
I borrowed heavily from other Scottish castles of the period, like the picturesque ruin of Kilchurn seen above. I sketched out a blue print of all the buildings within the confines of the crenelated curtain walls so I’d know where things were located. In my files, I’ve also got a rough floorplan of the keep so all the chambers, even down to the dungeon, and the secret connections between them were clear in my mind. Wild horses could not compel me to share my doodles. I’m not a graphic artist, but it helped me to visualize the special world of Plaid to the Bone (and to a large extent, the setting for Plaid Tidings too since much of that upcoming novel takes place in Bonniebroch!)
I recreate a world gone by for my historical romances. My friend, CL Wilson creates an entirely new world for her fantasy romance. She and I first met when we were writing for Dorchester. She’s gone on to sign with Avon and I’m with Kensington & Sourcebooks now, but we’ve kept in touch through the years.
Like the works of Tolkein, her books call for a map. Here’s the link to the map of Eldoran , the setting for all her Tairen Soul novels. Her heroes shift from handsome warriors to great winged cats! CL’s stories are epic, richly imagined and deeply emotional. I love visiting her fantasy world.
How to Vex a Viscount
We’re counting down my 20 published works with another backlist book each day. For Day 14 of my 20Days/20Books, I’m spotlighting one of my Dorchester titles–How to Vex a Viscount. This story is closely related to How to Please a Pirate because the heroine is Daisy, Gabriel Drake’s niece. She was a ten year old terror in Pirate. Now she’s a spinsterish bluestocking who’s desperate for an adventure in her own tale.
Both stories are available separately or in my How To series book bundle along with How to Distract a Duchess. As I type this, the How To series is currently the #1 Victorian Romance in the Amazon rankings. I’m thrilled that readers have taken this book set to their hearts. And it’s still only 99 cents!
Today you can win Plaid to the Bone from Kensington Publishing, Lord of the Fading Lands from CL Wilson or How to Vex a Viscount from me. Your comment will also enter you in the Grand Prize drawing for a Kindle Paperwhite!
Here’s our question to get the discussion going: A romance is a “take me away” sort of read. The rules of our world don’t necessarily apply. What sort of things would you like to see in the special world of a fantasy–magic, mythical creatures, a quest of some sort? Let your imaginations fly!