Our guest today is author Jennifer Estep. The sixth installment in her Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series, By a Thread, will be released on February 28, 2012. Please join me in welcoming Jennifer back to Dark Faerie Tales. You can also read an excerpt from the book by clicking the link that I provided at the end of the post.
Thanks to Jennifer, one lucky commenter will have a chance to win By a Thread. As always, details are listed at the end of the post.
So today, Angela wanted me to write something on world building. I write the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series. The books focus on Gin Blanco, an assassin codenamed the Spider who can control the elements of Ice and Stone. When she’s not busy killing people and righting wrongs, Gin runs a barbecue restaurant called the Pork Pit in the fictional Southern metropolis of Ashland. The city is also home to giants, dwarves, vampires, and elementals – Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone.
World building is always an interesting topic to think and write about because everyone approaches it differently. Some authors will sit down and figure out all the details of their fantasy world, what the magic system is, and how it works before they do anything else.
Me? I’m more of a panster when it comes to writing. I usually have a general idea of the story in my mind, and then I sit down and start writing it. I don’t usually do detailed outlines, storyboards, character outlines, or anything like that.
The same thing goes for the world building. Usually, I’ll start with my heroine and think about the kind of magic she has and how she can use it to defeat the bad guy. I also like to think ahead about how the heroine’s magic can grow and change and how she can use different aspects of it in future books.
Once I have that figured out, that’s when I start thinking about the world around my heroine. Okay, if she has this kind of magic, what kind of magic do other people have? Does everyone have magic? How does the bad guy’s magic affect my heroine? Is everyone human or some variation of that? Or are there creatures in the world?
The list of questions you can ask yourself about magic and world building is endless, and just when you think you have everything figured out, you’ll think of something that will throw everything else off.
In general, I like to set up a few basic rules for the magic in my worlds, like the four elements – Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone – in my Elemental Assassin series. Those are the main elementals, but I also mention that folks have related powers, like electricity would be an offshoot of Air power. This way, there are rules and folks know what kind of magic they can expect to see in the books, but it also gives me some flexibility to write about villains with different powers. So far in the series, I’ve written about villains with Fire, Air, Stone, and electrical magic.
In the end, though, I think the most important thing about world building and writing in general is to just have fun with what you’re creating. If you enjoy what you’re doing, it will show in your writing, and hopefully other folks will enjoy it as well.
What about you guys? What sort of magic and creatures do you like to read about? What are some of your favorite fantasy books and authors?
Jennifer Estep is a USA Today bestselling author who also writes the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series for Pocket Books. The books focus on Gin Blanco, an assassin codenamed the Spider who can control the elements of Ice and Stone. When she’s not busy killing people and righting wrongs, Gin runs a barbecue restaurant called the Pork Pit in the fictional Southern metropolis of Ashland. The city is also home to giants, dwarves, vampires, and elementals – Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone.
Books in the series are Spider’s Bite, Web of Lies, Venom, and Tangled Threads. Spider’s Revenge, the fifth book, will be released on Sept. 27. Visit Jennifer for free short stories, excerpts, and more.
Want to read more from Jennifer Estep?
This giveaway is provided by Jennifer Estep
One winner will receive a copy of By a Thread by Jennifer Estep
Available on February 28, 2012 from Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books
About the Book:
When killing people is your job, there’s no such thing as a vacation.
Then again, how often does an assassin live long enough to enjoy her retirement? In this line of work, you either get lucky or you get dead. And since I destroyed my nemesis Mab Monroe a few weeks ago, all of Ashland’s lowlifes are gunning to make a name for themselves by taking out the lethal Spider—me, Gin Blanco. So I’m leaving behind my beloved barbecue joint and heading south with my baby sister, Bria, to cool my heels in a swanky beach town. Call it a weekend of fun in the sun.
But when a powerful vampire with deadly elemental magic threatens an old friend of Bria’s, it looks like I’ll have to dig my silverstone knives out of my suitcase after all. Complicating matters further is the reappearance of Detective Donovan Caine, my old lover. But Donovan is the least of my problems. Because this time, the danger is hot on my trail, and not even my elemental Ice and Stone magic may be enough to save me from getting buried in the sand—permanently.
Click HERE to read an excerpt
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