I have always loved maps. Simple maps, complex maps, old maps, maps of all types. To me, they are windows into the world. They add dimension and life. They are the picture that is worth the thousand words.
I remember as a kid, I would take prices of paper, crinkle them up, and then soak the paper in tea to give it an aged look. I’d draw paths and trails, all leading to buried treasure. I was certain one day I could find a brilliant map leading to a sunken galleon and recover chests of gold. (Perhaps I watch Goonies one too many times.)
I have been working on the map for my world for years. I loved the idea of exploring the lands in my mind and discovering things (or even planting buried treasure) in different locations. But even more importantly, it helps me to understand the environment where my characters are living.
Sometimes accidental landmasses or coastlines turn into real gems, leaving a country with a defining characteristic. Knowing the land helps to define the people of a country and that gives me a better mental image of what my characters have to deal with.
As a teaser for Book 5 (Father’s Legacy), I’ve included one of the maps that will be included with the book.