Friday, December 26, 2008


Every good fantasy story must have its own fantasy map! Angela Steele is a Cartophilia fan and struggling author. She sent a map of her fantasy world, "Circa".

I wondered if you might be interested in seeing this map I drew as the basis for a series of stories based on a mythical, medieval world. I created the map to 'position' my ideas for two large warring nations – Aregus where kings and their sons rule and the opposite in Cerenth where queens are monarchs and, naturally, the crown is passed to daughters.

Their conflicts were not just male and female in opposition but also the desire to capture the disputed islands to the west and north.

My original idea for Circa was vaguely modeled on the yin/yang symbol, forming a rough circle round a central sea. This in turn has a relatively small central island that neither the king or queen rules. Laye itself gains its security as the home of this world's spirituality, and therefore the resident priests offer counsel and some degree of mediation to both sides.

The map deliberately lacks fine detail as I hoped it would convey the ruggedness of wild and mountainous lands in which life is hard, battles fierce and communications always stretched.

The cities and islands named all appeared in this series of tales and helped me focus on the geography of certain events and relationships. The book itself had the map at the beginning and contained 17 stories – all of which I have to say had a strong sexual theme as well as politics and action ranging from piracy to foot soldiers and archers – and was offered for sale via a self-publishing service but sales were disappointing and after a year and half I removed it from the sales lists.

However I am pleased with the 'world' and the basis for its conflicts, but should I return to Circa it will be as the basis for a novel perhaps expanding on one of the stories - and trying not to take sides in this continuous war which can never really be won.
Good luck with your writing. Stick with it. Successful fantasy novels usually have a well thought out back story and "universe". Perhaps when you next go back to Circa you can create something that will catch the interest of publishers and readers.



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