Fascination with maps, strange lands, and even monsters is nothing new. As long as mankind's walked around, there have been people who dreamed about what lurks beyond the horizon. The map below shows Scandinavia as one cartographer imagined it, surrounded by sea monsters.
|Carta Marina - printed 1539|
Today, many epic fantasy novels feature a map drawn by the author. I, myself, was unable to start writing School of Deaths until I'd sketched a quick reference map on a sheet of paper. I remembered all of the fantasy worlds I'd encountered as a child. Wonderland isn't a story about Alice, it's a story about a magical place. Tolkien never considered having Gandalf hop onto an eagle and toss the Ring down the open top of Mt Doom, because the readers wouldn't be able to fully immerse themselves into the richly imagined world he'd created.
|Tolkien's Middle Earth|
|Title Credits- HBO's Game of Thrones|
School of Deaths is not epic fantasy. The characters know and begin in our world. However, setting a novel in a location that trains Grim Reapers opened up many avenues for a fantasy world. The World of Deaths is home to struggle between three races: Deaths, Elementals, and Dragons. As I work on the second novel Sword of Deaths, the nature of their struggle has taken new shape, and I find myself drawn repeatedly to the map of their world.
|The World of Deaths|