Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day
And neither are our favorite fictional worlds, especially those where magic and fantasy rule. The world building aspect is one of my favorite parts of a new project. And also why I’ve left so many manuscripts unfinished when I think of a new world I want to create. What can I say? We authors tend to be megalomaniacs.
There’s nothing quite like being the ruler of your own little universe. I’ve dabbled in epic fantasy, and I enjoy reading it, but as a writer I prefer an urban fantasy setting—our familiar world, with fantastical elements thrown in to spice things up. For example, my Angel Warden series is told in a contemporary setting, but one in which the offspring of fallen angels live on the fringes of society. The average person is aware of their existence, but the details of their lives are shrouded in mystery.
Adding that bit of mystery isn’t so easy nowadays in our skeptical, information-hungry society. If you’ve read some of the old classics, you probably know what I’m talking about. For example, Mary Shelley never really explains how Dr. Frankenstein created his monster. He refuses to tell that part of his tale so no one will ever try to duplicate the experiment. Since that would never fly in a movie, Hollywood invented the machines, the lightning storm, and even his hunchbacked assistant, Igor, to fill in the blanks.
As readers, we want to feel invested in every aspect of the story. After all, you can’t immerse yourself without the “whys” and “hows” without a good, feasible explanation. When we can Google and disprove just about anything in less than a minute, we can only suspend our disbelief up to a point.
Few readers realize how much of an author’s time is spent on research, even when writing a largely fantastical story. We make sure our genetic mutation theories could actually happen—however unknown the result might be—or that our lightning-wielding magician doesn’t bend too many laws of physics. Or maybe that’s just the geeky ones, like me. Still, we all worry over that cynical reviewer snidely debunking the very foundation of our made-up universes.
Sadly, it’s not any easier being in charge of a fictional world than in the real world. And as in reality, “because I said so” just doesn’t cut it when it comes to our readers’ inquiring minds. What are your favorite fictional worlds to get lost in?
Tagline: The darkness without is nothing compared to the darkness within…
Jandra Maxwell is just beginning learned the horrifying truth about dark angels. In keeping a promise to an innocent victim, Jandra must face the shadows in her own heart, and accept another facet of her unique nature.
(Author’s Note: This short story directly follows the events of Dark Angel’s Ward and is not intended to be a standalone title.)
He raised hollow eyes to meet mine. The flames within them dimmed and guttered out. Darkened, they looked like empty sockets in his pallid face. I leaned in close, searching the depths of them for the terror I hoped he felt.
I looked, and I saw…nothing. I stared into the black mirrors of his eyes and found only emptiness, an infinite void in what should have been the windows of his soul. A hunger to grasp something he could never hold, to fill that emptiness inside by any means necessary.
“I know that hunger.” The realization struck me so hard, I couldn’t marshal my thoughts in time to keep from projecting it.
He let out a sharp breath in what might have been a scoff. I barely noticed—I was frozen in horrified fascination. The aching chasm in my own heart yawned wide, reflecting the darkness of those eyes as surely as they reflected my own face back at me. I shuddered, hating him, hating myself…
I wrenched my gaze free of his. “I know that hunger.” This time I whispered the words aloud.
“Then sate it.”
I ventured a glance at his chin, muttering, “You’re so eager to die?”
His lips curved up again in that faint, mocking smile. “You have no intention of letting me live. Why shouldn’t you enjoy the kill?”
Available June 9th at Smashwords and Amazon.com
Coming soon to B&N.com, iBooks, Sony Reader Store, Kobo, All Romance eBooks and more.
Check out http://cheznia.com.books for information.
About the author:
Nia Shay is a reclusive weirdo who lives in a tiny concrete box in the middle of the Arizona desert. (No, seriously.) In between dealing with mild OCD and an epic caffeine addiction, she finds time to mold the voices in her head into cohesive sarcastic remarks, and sometimes even a story or two. She has been penning such tales, almost all of them with a decidedly paranormal flavor, since the second grade. Now that paranormal fiction is the “in thing,” Nia has decided to overcome her extreme distaste for trends and jump on the ol’ bandwagon. Join her on her harrowing journey through the twisted corridors of her own mind—that is…if you dare.
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