Vanna Smythe's Anniversary of the Veil blog tour stops by today! World-building is one of my personal obsessions, so my interview questions were, unsurprisingly, mostly about world-building. :)
I'm completely the opposite ;) Beyond the basics of cultural hierarchy, lay of the land, architecture,... I tend to build the world as I go along. I then make it cohesive in the revision.
Were you inspired by a particular culture or time period, when you created the world of the Veil?
I've always been fascinated by the middle ages, the role of the Catholic church in those times, and sword fighting and royalty and all else. For this reason, the entire Anniversary of the Veil series is set in a medieval-like world. This doesn't mean that the world I created is entirely historically accurate, though. I did, however, model it on the model of life in medieval times in Europe. There's many small villages and towns, each with a church and a priest to oversee the spiritual guidance of the people.
The world itself is governed by a High Panel of Priests, though there is also a King who oversees the more day-to-day affairs of state. It is, however, the priests who have the final say in most matters. The priests also have their own army of Protectors who assist the King's guards in policing the Realm.
What's your favorite little world-building detail?
That would have to be the priests' secret army of assassins, the Pure Ones. These men are totally ruthless and have no human emotion left, except for the desire to do as commanded by the High Panel. The King doesn't know of these men, nor do the majority of Protectors, except for the top commanders.
Do you have a favorite reference/research/inspiration source for world-building -- costumes, weapons, etc?
I love watching historical documentaries and movies and reading historical book, so that's where I draw most of my world-building ideas from. I'll also check some Internet resources to get a more detailed account of anything I want to use. But like I said, I don't strive for historical accuracy, nor is the world the most important aspect of my books. For me, it's all about the characters ;)
It's always tricky to keep magic from creating characters who are too powerful, too able to just wave a wand and solve all the problems. How did you keep magic in its place, in your novels? <
Well, actually, my main character, Protector Kae, is all powerful. The way I've dealt with this not making everything too easy for him, is by having him come to his full strength gradually. The magic in the world I created can only be practiced by some, while the general public is kept ignorant of its existence. Protectors can all use this magic, but are only told so once they become Protectors. It is the same with Kae, and before he can master his full potential he still has a lot to learn. Also, the most important choices he must make, the ones that could shape the outcome, can't be avoided or made easier through use of magic.
What are you working on now?
I just finished Decision Maker (Anniversary of the Veil, Book 2) which concludes the story I started in Protector. Next, I will write a shorter prequel to the series, and then Book 3 which will wrap everything up.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Vanna's also giving away two ARCs of Decision Maker -- enter to win at her blog.