Friday, June 16, 2017

Mapping the Worlds

Hi everyone!

I've just finished a more polished version of the world Map of Amassia, the series I am currently writing. It's out in 2018 with Entangled Teen. I'm thrilled to be writing Young Adult Fantasy for this publisher.

About the Map

Amassia is a time so far in the future that the continents have reformed into a single landmass. (It's predicted to happen in another 250 million years.) Here's a glimpse at my original drawing, before I learned the open source image editor, Gimp.

My worn sketch and noted for the world of Amassia

Why Maps?

We humans have been making maps for thousands of years. From cave paintings to ancient Babylon, Greece, and Asia, to the 21st century, maps are used as tools to help us understand, and explain, the known world.

My Father's Dragon
It's no wonder that many fantasy authors choose to do the same, even though their worlds will only exist in their reader's imaginations.

It all started with Tolkien. The Hobbit, and the LOTR came with a map, and it's an unspoken expectation that authors of this genre will follow suit.

But for me, the longing to look at maps of imagined worlds began before LOTR was ever published, in a little book by Ruth Stiles Gannett called, My Father's Dragon. I loved hearing the story, and tracing the journey of on the little map.

Another classic map on the heels of Tolkein, Brooks, Goodkind (who apparently didn't like the idea of mapping at all), Eddings (who thought it was essential), Hobbs, Le Guin, Martin and countless other fantasy authors is the world of Harry Potter.

More recently is the Shadow Hunters, a TV version of The Mortal Instrument Series by Cassandra Clare. With this app, Mundanes can download and view an overlay of the Shadow World right on their phones.

Mundanes' Guide to the Shadow World

One of my favourite maps artistically is from our very own Helen Lowe's Wall of Night Series. I love this fantasy world!
Wall of Night's world of Haarth

And finally, here's the map from one of the more ingenious and mind bending story worlds from China Meiville - The City and the City. When you think about it, it't not that far from the Shadow Hunter world, where one city is superimposed over another.

The City and the City Map by Simon Rowe
What are your view on maps in books? Do you read them? Are they spoilers, or part of the adventure? Have a favourite?

All of us Sup authors would love to hear your thoughts.


Kim Falconer's latest release is out now - The Blood in the Beginning - and Ava Sykes Novel. Find this novel in a store near you.

You can also learn more about Kim at, the 11th House Blog, and on FaceBook and Twitter.  Or on where she teaches law of attraction and astrology.

Kim posts here at the Supernatural Underground on the 16th of every month and runs Save the Day Writer's Community on Facebook. Check out her daily Astro-LOA Flash horoscopes on Facebook


Helen Lowe said...

Hi Kim,

I love maps in my Fantasy stories--I think it's all about charting the course of the journey 'tangibly', if you know what I mean. I love the idea of Amassia and the map concept you've shared: many congratulations on the book deal with Entangled Teen!

Am so glad you like the Haarth map - a fine piece of work by artist Peter Fitzpatrick, although of course I had to put together the original draft (or 'squiggles')

Kim Falconer said...

As a writer, sketching out the map does make the story more real, more tangible. It's amazing how it comes to life once you find the lay of the land.

Peter Fitzpatrick did a fabulous job on the Haart map. I love it!

Thanks for the support on Amassia. I'm so excited it's coming to life!

billabong1502 said...

love, Love, LOVE maps!!!
to me it makes the reading experience so much better and enjoyable.... following the travels of the characters in my minds eye while reading... there's nothing better (least in my opinion).

I am a fan of detailed maps that show all places mentioned in a book... and not just give an overview of the entire world/earth (e.g. Haarth) with the biggest it leaves me searching for those places mentioned - but I can only guess as to exactly where the characters currently are - going by the last city mentioned that is on the map.

I am also a fan of my Kindle/ebooks to take with me anywhere without breaking my back due to the weight of the physical copies that I used to take with me while travelling in the past (10 most of the time) ... but for reading maps, ebooks are not equipped (thinking about the maps of Santhenar + Mirrilladell & the Great Mountains in Ian Irving's "Well of Echoes" series... - the details are almost impossible to make out & only with the greatest effort + strain to the eyes)
I could not find a 'magnify' function on the kindle (and enlarging the fond has no effect on the maps).

In which direction will the digitalization on e-reading go anyhow? will it be possible at some point in time to call up the map at any given time and get shown the characters on the map as e.g. blinking lights (and the current travel path show in dotted lines)?
... I reckon time and technology will tell... ;-)

@ Kim and Helen: I am very much looking forward to both your new books....
any estimate on when I can expect them ;-)

all the best & thank you for your awesome works of art :)

Kim Falconer said...

Hi Billabong1502,

I agree with you on the detailed maps. They are so much more enjoyable. I don't think I'm going to put paths on the Amassia series maps, because it would be too much of a spoiler. I will plant a flag and name every town, villa, city, sanctuary and bone thrower's cave they pass through.

I'll make sure they are on the website too, for those kindle moments when you really want to check, but can't view on the eReader.

I love your idea of the interactive eReader that will track the character's journey depending on what page you are on in the book. That's brilliant, esp for the Fantasy genre.

The first in the Amassia series is out September 2018.

I'll check with Helen for WON #4.

Thanks for dropping in!