A big thank you!

I’ve only been on wordpress for a couple of months now, and got a notification on the first week of March, saying that I had received 100 likes for my content! I know this, to some of you, may not be a big landmark, but for people to read, admire, and like my content and ideas means a lot! I’ve put so much effort into this project, and love every single moment when I’m writing! Obviously, I’m still going strong, releasing excerpts from ‘A Monarch’s Gamble’ up to three times a week. They’ve been quite successful, getting quite a lot of views, but all I can say is a big thank you to everyone who has viewed my content, and liked it! As a small celebration, I am very excited and pleased to announce the title and front cover of the sequel to ‘A Monarch’s Gamble’. Everything in the first novel sets the scene for books to come. ‘Arrows of Fire’, will be mainly based in the Deep Woods, focusing on four characters. That’s all I’m saying, making it very ambiguous. So please, to all my followers, and people who like this post, enjoy the front cover for the next instalment of the ‘Right of Legions’ series.

Arrows of Fire

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Pravum – finished map

In-between doing work, and going to go and get some paprika, I thought I should write a post, and do a bit of book stuff, since I haven’t done much recently. I’m not really in the right mood to write, so I decided to continue my map making…given that I’m supposed to be good at it (considering my degree subject). Here is Pravum, the main country in the book, where most events take place, which I’m currently focused on at the moment. I like what I’ve done with it, but comparing it with the Central and Southern Reaches maps, I’m not quite sure I REALLY like it, not as much as the other ones anyway. I tried to keep the same formatting, making it as consistent as possible, but annoyingly, because of my own stupidity, I didn’t save the Central and Southern Reaches map in a format which I could add and edit stuff (I merged the layers, so there’s no way to separate them). However, it is still an accurate representation of the book’s narrative and setting, and it also, greatly helps with writing, to know where places are, it’s really useful to plan out where characters are travelling to, how far, and how long it will take them.

pravum-merged

Pravum – the Central and Southern Reaches

Instead of writing, I thought about making a map of the main story plot would be a good idea. As a geographer, I love maps! They’re awesome and tell so much in such a finite space; and this map is no exception! Beneath, is a map of the Central and Southern Reaches of Pravum. Many of the places have Latin names (a beautiful language), giving cities and places meanings, relative to the way the book is formulated, and how these places have come into being. Praevalidus (the centre point of the book somewhat), means ‘Great’, (I know, it’s not very creative), but in the land of corruption (Pravum), Praevalidus is the great city and stronghold that the population looks/used to look up to. The scale of the map is based on how long it would take for a cavalcade to travel to and from places. So, averaging a pace of 2mph (walking), it would take roughly 40 days to get to Mountain Fall from Praevalidus. This is the main part of Pravum, with the Northern and Western Reaches being published soon.Pravum - Southern & Central Reaches (better).jpg

I know it seems strange, and slightly odd, for a writer to be producing this kind of thing, but sometimes I like doing something different, which also helps with the development of the story, but it does make writing a hell of a lot easier…especially when you’re writing about travelling and timescales. I’m quite fastidious about that sort of thing, making sure that events fit properly in the time allotted to them. This certain piece of work (on an unrelated note) took around an hour to make, first drawing the entirety of Pravum, then scanning, then splitting it, enlarging, then printing, drawing over it in a pen, then scanning….and the process goes on and on. Many parts to writing are, unfortunately, laborious, including scanning, but you have to admit, if it wasn’t for the boring parts, you wouldn’t appreciate the fun and exciting parts as much…especially when I added filters in Photoshop to make it look even more awesome, and like you’d find it in a book, or a map in the book’s time setting. The map, unfortunately, doesn’t include the Casbian Sea (to the left of Praevalidus), as I ran out of space…and forgot to include it. So, stroke of genius, I’ll put it into the western reaches map!…also forgot (rookie error, and stupid on my part since I’m a Geography student) to put a north arrow…North is up, east is right, west is left…and south is…well…

Something a little different than writing…

Writing isn’t the only thing that I do which involves the making process of this book. There is also the need of a front cover, other little pictures, or emblems that may be included in the book. Luckily for me, I’ve got the hang of Photoshop, and for the past two days decided to draw and fill in colours, and use filters, to create a piece of artwork, which I’m happy to say, I’m proud of!

The process of doing this, wasn’t exactly straightforward! Firstly, there was the matter of my printer/scanner. Annoyingly, my printer is from the dark ages (or you’d think so), so I spent a good, painstaking hour how to figure out how to scan a document straight to my pc; obviously with modern printers, you’d do it wirelessly…THIS DOESN’T EVEN HAVE WIRELESS! So yeah, many trial and error attempts of downloading and installing various drivers to get the damn thing working…and yes, low and behold, it did…eventually. Now there’s the matter of the long, and painstaking process of creating a dragon…with scales.

It may not sound like much (oh a dragon, I could do that in my sleep), but let me tell you, this was a long task. First, I needed to create a scale, which looked metallic (trial and error), which was eventually achieved. Now, layers….and a load of them; and I’m not talking about 15-30, or 50, no, I’m talking about 800 layers! Each scale its own layer! And there are loads, and loads…see for yourself! Once that was finalised, keeping everything as consistent as possible, some tweaking needed to be done, as it didn’t look quite right. A tint of blue here and there, blurring the edges, smearing the scales from blue to grey…and BAM! we’re done!…now lets see what it looks like in plain black….

GREAT! I’ve just spent almost 7 hours on this thing, trying to make it look awesome, and it looks so much better in plain black! This isn’t fair…not one bit, and now I’m sad, but also happy. I like both pieces I’ve made, even though only one will be used in the book. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, the Fermata emblem! (it’s a dragon)

Now, you’re thinking, who on earth is/are these Fermata people…well, these “people” (great leaders), are part of the focal point in the book, and the backbone for the backstory, which is imperative to the entire series (no, seriously, refer to my last post, I had to really think about the back story). It just so happens they’re my favourite people in the book (along with quite a few others), but they’re also the first people I thought of when I decided to write. And the build-up to their being, is a lot…a lot to comprehend, a lot to take in, a lot to immerse yourself in the world of Faraday, and the lands of Pravum (I’ll let you comment to see whether you can work out what those two things are, I’m sure you can). I hope you like them, continue to follow for more updates.

Next post, most likely, the big 100k!