MANY thanks to everyone who followed along with the mayhem of my Mother’s Day adventure to Victoria’s Secret. (If you missed it, here it is.)
Today, however, I am excited to move over and allow a published author to take the stage J
Meradeth Houston has just released her new book, Colors Like Memories and here she is to share some thoughts on world-building…
While reading Mark’s blog, I love the pictures he posts of Hawaii. I’ve been there exactly two times, and it’s an awesome place.
(My sister, the lucky butt, went to college there—I regularly wonder what on earth I was thinking when I decided to go to school someplace cold and snowy when there were perfectly good schools near a sunny beach…)
Anyhow, the times I’ve been able to visit HI, I’ve loved plopping myself down on the sand, and looking at the awesome mountains that make up the islands. Random, I know, but the reason behind this is because it always made me think of the people in my book—the Sary.
Okay, every time I mention the Sary to people, I get blank looks, and occasionally an “I googled them and all I found was some kind of dress they wear in India.”
Yeah, I know, the Sary are a people I made up :)They’re kind of like a version of guardian angels, complete with wings, but also able to blend in with normal people. Their job is to keep people from committing suicide. Their homeland is a mountainous island—one that bears a striking similarity to the peaks of the Hawaiian Islands.
Anyhow, the last time I was in Hawaii, I was able to take some time and sit down to write, and I found myself making notes on the mountains—the shapes, sounds, colors, and other fun little details that presented themselves. For me, it really helped bring that part of my world-building alive. Not all of what I wrote down will make it into a novel, but it helped bring the Sary and their world into sharper focus for me, and that in turn helped with everything else.
Okay, so taking a trip to the setting of your WIP may not be possible. Maybe it’s too far away, too expensive, or maybe it doesn’t exist. For a few things I’ve written, though, I have found Google Street View to be an invaluable tool, because it allows me to “walk” in places my characters have been, but I’ve never seen in real life. Of course, getting a trip back in time to the Civil War period in the States, or in France probably isn’t going to happen anytime soon (at least until I can convince my in-residence physicist that the time-machine project is top-priority).
But, there’s always research for the out-of-the-way world building, which is a lot more fun than it may sound! I mean, sure, there’s books, and Google, and oodles of time involved, but when it comes down to creating a vivid picture in your mind (and on paper of course), it’s totally worth it.
Curious minds want to know: what you’re favorite part of world-building? What’s the strangest thing you’ve had to research to learn about?
Julia has a secret: she killed the guy she loved. It was an accident—sort of.
Julia is a Sary, the soul of a child who died before taking her first breath. Without this 'breath of life' she and others like her must help those on the verge of suicide. It's a job Julia used to enjoy, until the accident that claimed her boyfriend’s life—an accident she knows was her fault. If living with the guilt weren't enough, she's now assigned to help a girl dealing with the loss of her mother, something Julia's not exactly the best role model for. If she can't figure out a way to help her, Julia's going to lose her position in the Sary, something she swore to her boyfriend would never happen.
Release date: May 11, 2012 (MuseItUp Publishing.)
A bit about Meradeth Houston:
· I have my doctorate in molecular anthropology. Translation: I
sequence dead people's DNA and am a professional lab rat.
· I've been writing since I was 11 years old. It's my hobby, my passion, and I'm so happy to get to share my work!
· My other passion is teaching. There's nothing more fun than getting a classroom of college kids fired up about anthropology!
· If I could have a super-power, it would totally be flying. Which is a little strange, because I'm terrified of heights.
###Thanks for stopping by, Meradeth, and SUPER Congrats on the release of Colors Like Memories J
Color Like Memories is available on Amazon here and via Muse It Up Publishing here.
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