It started with a poem.
I used this concept as the foundation for the magic system for A Brush of Darkness, and then branched out from there. I think the key thing to making world building realistic is coming up with believable rules that make sense (and that the author follows). Asking a reader to suspend disbelief is dependent upon this, because once the author starts breaking these rules for the sake of the plot, it’s very easy for the reader to lose faith in the author and the book.
In BoD, I have three realms of magical beings (OtherFolk)– those of Heaven (the Light Path – angels and unicorns, etc.), those of Hell (the Dark Path – vampires and daemons) and those of Faerie (elves, fae and the like). There are some additional layers between that, but that’s the overall core. The OtherFolk can travel between their worlds and ours via a series of silver roads known as the CrossRoads, which are basically ley lines.
However, I didn’t want these OtherFolk to just be able to come and go as they please into our world – there had to be a price. That’s where the idea of TouchStones came in. (And the TouchStone concept came from another legend of a particular vampiric fairy who used to feed on poets. She was their muse…and they lived very short lives. LOL). In my world, the OtherFolk have to form a written Contract with a TouchStone (a human) in order to be able to hang around in the mortal realm for any extended length of time.
The length of the Contract can vary, and since it can be physically demanding, there is usually some sort of reward for the TouchStone at the end of it. A Faery Protectorate oversees these Contracts to make sure there’s at least *some* element of fairness behind it, but there is still a “buyer beware” vibe that mortals need to be aware of before agreeing to it.
There’s a bit more to it than that, but because the world building becomes so complex so quickly, I don’t infodump it onto the reader right off the bat. Which is another key point with suspension of disbelief. If the author overwhelms the reader with too much strangeness all at once, you risk the reader becoming confused and frustrated and much more likely to put the book down. On the other hand, not giving them enough info isn’t very helpful either.
I don’t believe in spoonfeeding the reader everything up front, but my heroine, Abby, is very new to this OtherFolk world. The reader learns with her and even though things may seem a bit mysterious at first, I hope that’s one of the things that will keep people interested.
Allison Pang at Simon & Schuster
Allison Pang at GoodReads
A Brush Of Darkness by Allison Pang
About A Brush Of Darkness:
I had a naked incubus in my bedroom. With a frying pan of half-cooked bacon and a hard-on. And a unicorn bite on his ass. Christ, this was turning out to be a weird morning.Source: Info in the About A Brush Of Darkness was taken from the author's website at http://www.heartofthedreaming.com/books/ on 15/08/2010.
Six months ago, Abby Sinclair was struggling to pick up the pieces of her shattered life. Now, she has an enchanted iPod, a miniature unicorn living in her underwear drawer, and a magical marketplace to manage. But despite her growing knowledge of the OtherWorld, Abby isn’t at all prepared for Brystion, the dark, mysterious, and as sexy as sin incubus who shows up searching for his sister—and is convinced Abby has the key to the succubus’s whereabouts.. Abby has enough problems without having this seductive shape-shifter literally invading her dreams to get information. But when her Faery boss and some of her friends vanish as well, Abby and Brystion must form an uneasy alliance. As Abby is sucked deeper and deeper into this perilous world of faeries, angels, and daemons, she realizes her life is in as much danger as her heart—and there’s no one she can trust to save her.
A lucky commenter will win a copy of this book :)
Leave a way to contact you in case you win. Giveaway ends on the 6th of February.
Spread some love and leave the url where we can verify it.
Amendments (30/01/2011 05:43am GMT):
- Please make comments relevant to the post.
- You do not have to be a follower to enter this giveaway but if you are, it is highly appreciated! :)
- Have questions? Clarifications? Email us at chericenter-allisonpang [at] yahoo [dot] com
- Please read the Disclaimer as it forms part of the giveaway rules.
FinePrint Literary Management for hosting this blog tour and giveaway!