And so my last (for the moment) historical fiction novel is now doing its satellite thing across the reading universe and another novel is in construction phase.
Or should that be the ‘imaginating’ phase or the ‘jotting and plotting’ phase?
I’ve been pinning for 12 months-ish. I had thought that it might just be a fad for me, perhaps even a fad for the world at large.
But not so.
The participation levels are huge, my own involvement at least every second or third evening when I’m busy, every evening if I’m not.
I’m a miniature book collector, but I’m sure those of you who know Mesmered’s blog are quite aware of that. Quite aware also that I have an occasional creative partnership with a highly respected miniature bookmaker from the USA. Pat Sweet of Bo Press Miniature Books
The New year introduces some changes to the Big Red Chair on Mesmered. Rather than limiting it to just indie writers, I have decided to extend it to people I meet in real life and virtually who fascinate me, in the belief that something of their choices and their activities will interest you as well.
The difference between my world and our world is that Eirie is overlaid, underlaid and woven through with the Other world. At all times and in each of the provinces, Others; enchanted beings like the Færan or Siofra, hobs and merrows (and a thousand others from legends of our own world); merge and mingle, causing malicious mayhem before retreating to their secret places within Eirie. Till now the story of Eirie has shown little of the Other worlds, as though Others dragged at my pen for fear of what I might say. But in the fifth novel, I am fairly sure we shall be meeting a cartographer who shall cross through the cloak that veils those Other worlds and we shall see him taking his chances.
Till now my world-building has shown little geo-politics, something critics have found wanting. My comment is this: this is a story about characters, about what happens to those characters. The arc that the characters follow is never driven by some nebulous Venichese Doge’s political ambition or the Baron of Pymm’s mild mannered management of his archipelago, but by interaction with Others who help and hinder them in their journey. To be frank, life goes on for my characters in one way or another, whether the Doge, the Baron, His Bright Light in the Raj or the Emperor of Han sneezes, scratches himself or passes a law. Such detail which works for many, doesn’t work for me and I prefer not to drag my own characters through it.
What I love about world-building is the freedom to create rivers, forests, mountain ranges, villages, oceans, even celestial byways and to name them the way I wish. I use names that exist, some that might resonate and be familiar. But I never make up names. Again it’s something that works for others but ill-fits me. Tolkein is an icon and he managed it par excellence. Why would I even try? My names are now synonomous with my world, with a toe in the world of fantasy and reality. The most recent editorial report describes the path I’ve taken as magical realism and I’m immensely happy with that. Never have two words meant such a lot.
I admire the many fantasy worlds created by the most highly regarded of our fantasy writers but the ones I love the best come from my childhood, from legend told by heavens knows how many mouths. Tales from the riverbank or from the willows. From the wild oceans. From soaring minarets and ochre deserts. They have names I know, that are familiar, that may even exist . We all write differently, we all have different imaginations. This is just one writer’s view of a world . . .
Once upon a time, in an unfamiliar land called Eirie, a young man decided he must find out how far the land and sea stretched from his very feet. Thus began the life of Gervais the Explorer, later in the annals of Eirish history known as Gervais the Cartographer.
My writing life has the capacity to be chaotic at the moment. Flittering from one direction is the fine-tuning of Paperweights, from another comes the continued creation of the story of The Shifu Cloth, from another direction still comes the writing of a short-story for Bo Press’s new limited edition Masked Ball box and book, and from the busiest corner of all, the development of the ‘virtual’ Masked Ball.