Fantasy Tree

Mountains near the lool forest

Fantasy world building is fun. It is also difficult. There are so many things to consider: cultural differences (their are some regional dialects), technology (about where our world was in the mid-1800s), a monetary system (tokens: 10 coppers = 1 silver; 10 silvers = a gold), and magic. In my Fire Song books, some people have the innate ability to summon elemental magic: Earth, Fire, Water, and Wind. My world does not have is religion. It has nothing to do with the story, so I left it to the readers’ imaginations.

Lool tree comparison

I invented a tree for the second book.

Lools live only in the far northeast of the Four Realms in the Fayazor Realm. (A single other lool exists, but that comes later in the story.)

The Four Realms, Remnon, Cambia, Fayazor, and Arikaan
(Note that Treetown is in the northeast of Fayazor)

People historically ignored the lool tree because its wood is incredibly hard, so it is not harvestable. It is almost impervious to fire, insects, and cutting, and is virtually immortal. A century ago, following the Lee-Ath war, a group of people established a community in its lower branches aptly called Treetown. They built platforms (made of wood from other trees) that connect from tree to tree. Since the platforms cannot be nailed to the trunks or branches, they are attached by a system of ropes. The ropes allow for minor movement when the trees sway, thus making them stable. The lower branches have needle-like leaves that, when distilled, make a soporific painkiller, which is the town’s only export and its sole source of income. The townspeople make more than enough to provide for their needs.

The canopy leaves are the size of dinner plates and provide enough shade to keep the ground beneath the trees free of undergrowth. The leaves also move and follow the sun. Since the forest is on the western side of a tall range of mountains, the movement of the leaves allows them to absorb maximum sunlight.

The trees have porous cores in their trunks and branches. Treetowners long ago invented a waste system that utilizes that space. It takes a month with a heated iron bit to drill into a tree. A pipe inserted to the core allows for drainage of gray and black water which the tree utilizes for nutrients. Thus humans have a sewage system, and the trees benefit. The townspeople collect rainwater in cisterns atop their houses which are built snugly against the smooth trunks. The trees also provide water: their cores absorb nutrients from the waste water, thus purifying it and, since they require very little water, they exude the excess via the canopy leaves, which drips into the cisterns.

Have you invented a world? Tell me about it.

My Alternate Universe

I have published dark fantasy involving giant spider creatures and good and evil Magic, a contemporary fantasy/time travel story set in 10th century Ireland and modern times, and children’s books.

As an independent author I hustle my books wherever I can. I recently took part in an art fair with artists and other authors. There were lots of grandparents in the crowd, and I sold 17 of my children’s books, Meena Mouse’s Perfect Raspberry and Hubert Little’s Great Adventure. It was a successful day.

I keep saying I don’t need any more ideas. I’m currently about to release a dark fantasy called Chaos, sequel to Gatekeeper. You can get a free copy of Gatekeeper for a short while here:

Click here for your free copy

I got the Chaos proofs in the mail a few days ago. You can see by the image there is a glitch in the font, as the O doesn’t show up on the cover. The O doesn’t show on the back or in the interior either. But I love the font and figured out how to fix it. I’m also working on two other novels: a paranormal and an other-world fantasy.

(Technical info: I turned the title into a png file and imported it to the inDesign document. Voila. Problem solved.)

While at the fair I was in an area with other writer friends. I should have known not to join in the conversation about next projects. Someone mentioned companion books, and the discussion turned to perhaps I should do a companion book for Circles in Time, my time travel fantasy. Perhaps a book of magic spells or something like that?The floodgates opened. I now have a completed draft of a personal journal to accompany Circles in Time. It’s called Circles in Time Spell Book: A Personal Journal. It’s a small volume in which to write or doodle ideas and reflections. There are made-up spells, “potions” (some involving alcohol), and quotes from the book. Great fun. There are written and visual prompts. I’d like to think the little journal will encourage readers to find magic in their lives. Here’s the cover and two sample pages.

As if all this isn’t enough to keep me busy, I’m editing a short book for a client, and putting together a video for another client. I also formatted a book of poetry for a friend. The poems tell a raw but sometimes gentle story of abuse. When she publishes it, I’ll post a link.

Even when I’m not writing for myself, I always find ways to keep busy.

Click here to buy Circles in Time

Watch for my forthcoming Spell Book. Perhaps you will find your own magic. And check out Circles in Time.

Why I love Contemporary Fantasy

Faerie, Magic
Guliver from Pixabay.com

When I was five, my mother read Gulliver’s Travels to my brother and me. All my brother remembered was that Gulliver urinated on the Lilliputian town to save it from a fire. I remembered the fantastical element of tiny people living their lives in what amounted to another world. I also remember a book from my childhood about brownies and fairies and magic.

I loved the idea of magical creatures co-existing with people who for the most part were totally unaware of them. Except for a select few who, for some reason, were given the gift of seeing the invisible.
In my stories I see what is invisible to others, whether the world of faerie, or aliens.

As do all stories, my contemporary fantasy, Circles in Time, came from a “what if” idea. What if a modern man met a fairy? Irish mythology is peopled by fairies and other magical beings. I chose the time of the Tenth Century because little documentation has survived from that period except for myth and legend. This makes for fertile ground for planting the idea of Siobhan, a fairy woman wronged by a clan chieftain, who is rescued by the queen of the fairies and sent to the future to escape and heal.

Siobhan returns to her time. Even though damaged by her interaction with human society, she seeks legitimacy for her son among the humans, in the stronghold of the clansman who forced himself on her, the father of her son.

Thus begins Siobhan’s spiral of bad choices. Choices that culminate in her summoning a forbidden spell whose consequences follow her descendants through a thousand years of history.