World Building: The Map Is Not The Territory

My stories usually are conceived in a flowering of an image in my head in which I imagine a character in a situation that has some inherent emotion or urgency or conflict that engages my passion to explore it further. Why and how my mind generates these images I do not know.

The seven volume Crown of Stars series grew from an image of a youth walking on a path that led over a ridge as a storm rushed in from the sea and, on the wings of that storm, his meeting with a woman in armor who is a supernatural manifestation. He is dissatisfied with his dreary, ordinary life, and the grim warrior woman seems to him to personify the life of adventure which he believes he yearns for, but the bargain she offers and which he accepts is not truly a gift nor is it a good bargain for him or indeed for anyone. The setting and situation made it clear it was to take place in a European-medieval type of environment. Literally, that is the genesis point of the series. In the published novel, this scene occurs in the third chapter of the first book (King’s Dragon).

Sometimes the initial image I have doesn’t make it into the book in the exact form I first encountered. My conception of what later became Cold Magic started with two girls, cousins, seated in a classroom overlooking an entry courtyard. Through the window, they see a carriage arrive conveying a man who will change their lives in some unspecified way. I kept the academy, the cousins, the man, and them watching his carriage arrive through a window, but changed the venue of the meeting to their home. In the initial image, I knew nothing about the man except that he was arrogant and from the upper rank of their society, and the only thing I knew about the young women was that they loved each other with true loyalty. Their dress and the building and carriage revealed the setting to be in some kind of 18th/19th century milieu.

That’s where the STORY starts.

Once I open myself up to building more on that image, that emotion, that interaction, I start the world building process.

The world building process, for me, hauls in tandem with the  accumulation of plot, character, and incident that develops into the story. The two processes interact with and feed each other. One doesn’t happen alone. I don’t build a world and then stick a story in it. I don’t come up with a plot and characters and then construct a world around them. The elements are completely intertwined such that I could not pull those characters and that plot out of one story and insert them into another, because characters and culture and thus their actions and reactions exist in a specific map.

In fact, it’s true: With world building, I always start with a map.

However, by that I don’t mean a map drawn on paper or in the computer. I don’t mean a physical, graphical map.

I mean I start by figuring out how the people in this made-up world perceive the cosmos and their place in it. There will almost certainly be more than one “people” in the world, and each “people” will have a unique way of understanding the cosmos and their relationship to their gods (if they have them), the natural environment, their culture, and to other people both within and outside their own culture.

I have to understand this “internal map” before I can proceed.

One way I do that is by asking questions, as I discuss in this post.

Another favorite technique of mine is to draw a geometric configuration that represents a way of looking at, understanding, unifying, or embodying a culture’s understanding of the cosmos. Many sacred buildings can be understood as physical embodiments of a culture’s understanding of the spiritual and sacred underpinnings of their world. So, for instance, I couldn’t move forward with writing Crown of Stars until I visualized the world and story. I ended up seeing them as two interlocking triangles. The three points of one triangle represented the spiritual and magical aspects of the world while the other triangle represented physical aspects of the world and story.

Because a visual structure appeals to the way my brain organizes information, I like sketching out a geometric representation, but that is just something that works for me. There are all kinds of ways to think about and relate to these concepts, nor is it necessary to think about them at all if that is not how the writer creates story. I mention this because I don’t want to imply that this is how one must or ought to proceed. I’m simply discussing how I personally create my worlds.

At the point at which I have a basic conception of the basic cosmology of the world (however artificially defined it may be), then I will usually draw a physical map of the terrain, the major landmarks, and population centers. Over the course of developing the story and writing the first draft, I will add to this graphical map.

But to paraphrase by quoting Alfred Korzybski, the physical map is not the territory in which the story takes place.

I don’t “start with a map” by placing mountains and rivers and cities on a piece of paper because physical landmarks offer only a partial understanding of a world. A physical map is by definition incomplete and circumscribed because it gives no insight into the mental and emotional and spiritual processes of the characters and the cultures in which those characters live their lives.

I’ve written about this kind of map-making here. The main point I want to draw from that post, in relation to this post, is how careful we have to be about the concept of a graphical representation—the physical map—as being objective. To quote Russell Kirkpatrick: “Maps are not value-free representations of the world.”

This is why the map I start with is the internalized map.

Every character in the story has an internal map through which they measure, comprehend, and navigate the world they live in. Their maps won’t be the same as every other character’s, and they won’t be the same as mine.

That is possibly the most important point.

To understand how “the peoples of my world” look at the world they “live in,” I have to move outside my own narrow range of experience. To a fair degree, I never can, but with conscious effort I can attempt to widen my view and shrink my limitations bit by bit and piece by piece. If I don’t think about the unconscious ways in which my understanding of the world is limited by my upbringing and its setting, and by my own cultural expectations and experiences and perceptions, then I will bring those unexamined assumptions into my world building (and I do indeed do this all too often despite my efforts not to).

I don’t write fantasy and science fiction only to be a mirror to my own experience of the world, even if my own experience strongly influences everything I write.

To quote myself, from the article referenced above:

If a place isn’t on YOUR map, the map in your mind of what matters about the world you want to write about, then you the writer can certainly not go to places you’ve never thought about, places you think don’t matter enough to warrant notice. Matters that aren’t visible to you.
I believe that it is crucial to pause and reflect on what may be invisible in your own personal map as well as the map you are creating.

So, yes, early on in the process I will draw a cartographical representation of the physical world. Yet for me, the most important “map” is bigger than that. It’s not flat, it’s multi-dimensional: A physical map intersects with this internal map, and these conjoined maps influence and are influenced by the architecture of the narrative as it unfolds. I cannot separate these three things as I write.


Recently there’s been a great deal of discussion on the topic of whether women did actually exist in “historical times,” by which I mean to say that all too often “common knowledge” of what women’s roles were in historical periods is a mythology. If writers and readers base their expectations of women in fantasy fiction on these erroneous stereotypes, then not only is our literature and our reading the poorer for it but it is also getting it wrong.

Today I offer a guest post by Australian writer Tansy Rayner Roberts on this very (and very important) subject.



Looking for the Women (in Ancient Rome)

by Tansy Rayner Roberts


I was inspired to write this after Kate’s post about looking for women in historically-based fantasy worlds.

It’s long frustrated me that a great deal of fantasy fiction in the long tradition of the genre underestimates women.  In particular, I am tired of worlds which are supposedly ‘based on medieval history’ and yet seem to be under the impression that women in the Middle Ages only turned up when a hero needed someone to marry, or to pour him a drink.

And I’m especially, especially tired of any attempts to interrogate the gender politics in fantasy fiction being shut down with the argument: it’s based on real history, so the sexism is AUTHENTIC.

I’m not going to lie to you.  Every historical period has been unkind to women, up to and including our own.  But that doesn’t mean that there weren’t complex and interesting possibilities available to women of all eras, in between stirring the turnip soup and being oppressed.

My favourite fantasy fiction is fed by history, by the nitty gritty details of things that really happened, people who had real lives, tossed around with magic because that automatically makes things more fun.

I wanted to bring my knowledge of Ancient Rome to what Kate has already talked about, largely because I think we can all take a rest from pure Anglo medieval-inspired fantasy for a decade or two, but also because Rome is what I know best.

Ancient Rome is packed with the types of historical issues we see people running up against when trying to write non-sexist stories set in mostly-sexist societies.  In Rome, there was a very clear division between the public and private spheres.  Sadly almost every historical document that survived to document their society was kept because it related to the ‘obviously important’ public sphere in which men were dominant.  Most of the sources we have about private life are conveyed in the words of men, such as the Letters of the Younger Pliny.

But while women had no technical power in that public sphere (which mostly consisted of military issues, senatorial politics and toga parties) they had immense power behind the scenes.  They had their own religious rituals which were considered just as important to the well being of the state as the public, mostly-male rites.  For a long time, scholars assumed women’s religion was less important because they weren’t allowed to make blood sacrifice, and it’s only recently that scholars have gone, um, maybe we only assumed blood sacrifice was more important than, say, baking the sacrificial cakes, because the men were in charge of it?  Oops.

Women of all social levels ran businesses, owned property and slaves, and moved freely around their local city or, if they preferred, the Empire itself.  Even aristocratic women could do those things, though they were more likely to have male relatives who wanted to control them.  The older a woman got, the greater her status.  Divorce was easy to achieve (as long as you weren’t too emotionally attached to your children, one hell of a loophole) but there was special social status granted to a univira, the rare woman who had only had one husband in her lifetime.

We know that Augustus, the first emperor, brought in legislation to try to control women, a little under two thousand years ago, and that tells us a lot about how unruly they had become!  In particular, he brought in a law to force women of the upper classes to remarry within two years of being widowed (and one year of divorce).  This was somewhat devastating, as divorcing your husband or becoming a widow had previously been the best way for  a woman to achieve independence.

Still, we have some great examples of interesting women in Roman history, who had rich and fulfilling and complex lives, despite the patriarchal society in which they lived.  Such as:

The word ‘virago’ was supposedly coined by Octavian (later the emperor Augustus) to insult his rival Marc Antony’s wife Fulvia.  It means ‘women who acts like a man’ and referred to the fact that Fulvia joined her husband on military expeditions.  She wasn’t actually wielding a sword or wearing armour (not that I’d put it past her, she was a feisty lady), but it was apparently unusual for a woman to prefer to rough it in a tent with her husband rather than stay home in comfort with her children.

Having said that, we know of several other women who did the same thing, including Agrippina Major (the granddaughter of Augustus) who raised her children in military camps so they could be near her their father (and so they would all be far from the dangerous politics of the capital).  Later, the Empress Faustina Minor discovered that following her husband to war allowed historians to trash talk her reputation (though the accusations that she had affairs with gladiators had little to do with her own reputation and everything to do with how much the Romans hated her son, the Emperor Commodus).

While having a husband was the key to many social successes and honours in Ancient Rome, it was not always compulsory.  The Vestal Virgins were the among the highest status women in the city.  While there were some scary stories circulating about what would happen to a Vestal if she broke the chastity rule (buried alive for a start) they were nevertheless trusted to regulate that chastity themselves.  They were not shut away or guarded by eunuchs as some 1960’s movies might have you believe!

In fact they moved through the city in freedom and comfort, attended dinner parties, performed rituals, and took part in several business-related duties including the receiving, archiving and dispensing of the city’s legal wills and other documents.  They often had political influence, and had the same status in a law court as a man – which is to say their word had greater legal weight than any other woman of the time.
After thirty years of service (they sign up as children) each Vestal would be released with a generous dowry, and could either live independently or choose to marry.

One of my favourite historical characters (only partly because of the marvellous historical novel written about her, The Course of Honour by Lindsey Davis) is Caenis, the mistress to the Emperor Vespasian (he who built the Colosseum).  Caenis’ story is fascinating because it goes against everything we think we know about Roman society and their class system, and what women were allowed to do.

Caenis began as an imperial slave, serving Antonia (niece of the Emperor Augustus, mother of the Emperor Tiberius) as a personal secretary.  She appears to have had an eidetic memory, and served her mistress dutifully through a time of great political scandal.  When she was freed, she took the name ‘Antonia’ as was tradition.

But while freedwomen could run businesses and own property, one thing not allowed to Antonia Caenis was to marry above her station.  Her love affair with the ageing general Vespasian thus was unlikely to be officially sanctioned by the state, but the class divide broadened when he became the surprise Emperor of a new dynasty.  Luckily he already had two adult sons.  He and Caenis lived happily together in the imperial quarters, she providing him with great advice and wisdom, until her death.

Even in a world where the rules of marriage and social status were quite complex and technically restrictive, love and smarts could beat them all into the ground!
There are so many other specific women I could have talked about – the further they got from the city of Rome itself, and the lawmakers who thought it was okay to dictate what women should do, the more likely they were to take all kinds of freedoms for themselves that the law didn’t actually allow for.  Take mixed bathing – the public baths were supposed to have separate areas for men and women, but half the time they all jumped in together, with all the social ramifications that might imply, regardless of whether or not the current Emperor though it was a good idea.  In smaller towns we even have women running local councils, or breaking with all manner of traditions expected of ‘good’ Roman matrons.

Then there’s the time that the Emperor Augustus gave a lecture about what men should demand of their wives, with all the senators laughing up their sleeves because they all knew that the women of his family had other opinions on the matter.

If we learn nothing else from Roman history, it is that there have always been strong-willed women who get their own way, no matter what the law or the ideals of the society say about it.  Personality can rule over technicalities, and even a sexist society can produce some amazing, capable women, those who work with the system as well as those who work against it.

Too often, female characters only get celebrated in fantasy fiction if they are behaving like men, or taking on traditional male attributes – the kickass lady in armour, the sorceress who can zap you if you say the wrong thing, and so on.  But while I’m all for putting women in (sensible) armour and throwing them out on the battlefield, I also would like to see greater use of other female roles in fantasy – of women’s brains, in particular.  The further back you go in history, the smarter women had to be in order to exhibit and use the power they had.  So let’s see more of THAT in fantasy.

If a story starts with a maiden, let’s not assume that she has to get locked in a tower.  There are alternatives…



This post was written by Tansy Rayner Roberts for her Flappers with Swords Blog Tour.

Tansy’s award-winning Creature Court trilogy: Power and Majesty, The Shattered City and Reign of Beasts, featuring flappers with swords, shape changers, half-naked men and bloodthirsty court politics, have been released worldwide on the Kindle, and should be available soon across other e-book platforms.  If you prefer your books solid and papery, they can also be found in all good Australian and New Zealand bookshops.

You can also check out Tansy’s work through the Hugo-nominated crunchy feminist science fiction podcast Galactic Suburbia, Tansy’s short story collection Love and Romanpunk (Twelfth Planet Press).  You can find her on the internet at her blog, or on Twitter as @tansyrr.

Guest Post: Decolonizing as an SF Writer

I started online on GEnie many years ago. The GEnie bulletin board gave me a chance to meet with my friends and get to know new people (many of whom have since become my friends) online when otherwise I would never have been able to regularly interact with so many people in my writing/reading community.

The online world has changed considerably since that time. Now I’m on both Facebook and Twitter, as well as my live journal and wordpress blog (two platforms, same content).  Facebook and Twitter especially have allowed me to make contact with writers and readers around the world, and I feel fortunate to have this opportunity to open up my own perspective of the greater international science fiction and fantasy world, one that is easy (here in the USA) to overlook, not least because so little fiction that isn’t originally published in English gets translated and made available in this country.

So I’m so very pleased to be able to have a guest post today from Filipina writer Rochita Loenen-Ruiz. You can also read the post at The Future Fire and comment there if you wish.



Decolonizing as an SF Writer
By Rochita Loenen-Ruiz

As I write this, I am thinking of a young writer somewhere in the world who comes from a country just like mine. I write reflecting on the process of decolonization that I am going through as I consider history. This look back may be painful and I may have to face unhappy truths, but still it is important. I need to understand the source of the pain, to accept it, embrace it and find healing so I can reclaim what is mine and become the writer that I want to be.


Towards the end of the Marcos regime in 1986, Filipinos marched through the streets protesting not only against the dictator, but also against the continued presence on our shores of the American bases and the perpetuation of American influence on Filipino politics and economics.

While history tells us that we were granted independence in 1912, we know for a fact that the Americans never truly intended to surrender their foothold in our country. Their presence in the Philippines was guaranteed by the acquisition of a lease that granted them permission to establish and maintain Military bases in the Philippines.

In 1991, this lease expired and as the newly installed Philippine senate refused to grant an extension of this lease, America was forced to vacate the bases.
Ostensibly the Americans have left, but they haven’t really left us and what the American occupation has left behind is a great wound on the cultural soul of the Philippines.

Mark Twain, in his essay, To the Person Sitting in Darkness, speaks out against the Imperialism of the United States and in particular against the actions taken by the Americans in subjugating the Philippines and appropriating the victory of the Filipinos against the Spanish colonizers.

Mark Twain writes in his essay about the mindset of America in those days:   We have got the Archipelago, and we shall never give it up.

When I read this essay, I can feel the bewilderment of the patriots who had fought
and won the war against the Spanish, and I feel utter sorrow in knowing that our supposed allies painted us as being uncivilized and not fit to rule our own country. I also feel indignation on behalf of the soldiers who fought against the Spanish and who realized that they were facing another, more insidious enemy. The thing is, where Spain very clearly presented themselves as conquering overlords, America presented itself as a friend. It was an excellent strategy which confused us completely because what they did to the Filipino was a betrayal of that word “friend”.

Perhaps this explains why there is a keen edge to the anger we feel when we look at this history. We love and yet we cannot love because on the one hand, there is the face of friendship and the knowledge that the Americans were our allies. On the other hand we see the face of the trusted friend who betrayed us. We realize that we were never considered equals but in the eyes of our white allies, we were savages to be treated as children and to be condescended to as “the little brown brother”.

I quote history because as an SF writer who comes from a nation steeped in colonialism, this history is relevant as I seek to reclaim indigenous narratives and to break the impositions of colonialism on my culture.

In his book, “Oral Traditions of the Ifugao”, Manuel Dulawan writes of the colonization of the Ifugao and how the Americans employed public education as a means to neutralize and to Americanize the people. This move was so effective that subsequent governments adapted the principles set down by the American education system without realizing just how much damage this had done and was doing to the existing indigenous culture.

Dulawan writes: They have been brainwashed in the schools and in the churches and made to believe that their culture is backward and not worth keeping or learning. As a result, their sense of cultural values is disoriented.

He describes the effects of this cultural brainwashing as being traumatic, sad and painful and writes of how many of those who inherited or adopted the Christian religion assume the conditioned belief that anything of Ifugao cultural origin is either no good or inferior.

In Ifugao culture, the passing on of traditions and rites are done by native priests who are called Mumbaki. They are assisted in this by the elder tribeswomen who are also trained in the oral tradition. In the past, young girls would spend time with the elder women who taught them the traditions, the chants and the songs. Young boys were sent to spend time with the Mumbaki who passed on to the next generation the oral literature, the rituals of the tribe and the practices which were inherited from the forefathers.

During the American occupation, the passing on of the oral tradition was suppressed as the native priests and their rituals were demonized not only by the white colonizer but also by the white missionaries who followed in their wake. This meant that the true traditions and the original culture were slowly overlaid with the glaze of white culture and white belief.

Add all this up and it is no wonder that the psyche and the culture of the Filipino is so scarred and wounded to the point where we see the white and the west as being superior to us in all things.

Reading the history of conquest and colonization is a traumatic experience for the colonized. The Philippines went through not one, but two colonizers. I wonder how many colonizers other countries had to endure.

From reading these histories, it becomes clear to me that the erasure and subjugation of existing indigenous narratives were prioritized as these were viewed as being rival to the colonizing power.

Before the coming of the Americans, the Philippines had already endured four hundred years of colonization under the Spanish regime (1521-1898). It was a colonization that started with the suppresion and the eradication of many of our indigenous culturebearers. Where the American colonizers sought to erase the indigenous culture through the use of education, the Spanish brought with them Spanish friars with the intention of subjugating and exerting influence on the native Filipinos through the use of religion.

Reading this part of my country’s history, I see how the image of the strong indigenous Filipino woman was slowly and surely erased to be replaced by the idealized and hispanized version of what a Filipina should be.  The liberated women of our country were shamed and called lewd and bad and this Christianization inflicted a sense of shame and lesser worth in us.

In her essay “Silencing the Babaylan”, writer Gemma Araneta Cruz writes of the Babaylan and of the Spanish response to the presence of the Babaylan:  Fray Alzina (the Spanish priest)  and missionaries like him saw that the babaylan was a  formidable obstacle to Christianization who had to be discredited, if not destroyed and forever silenced.

Who are these Babaylan and what role do these women play in the cultural life of the Philippines?

When these Spanish friars came to the villages, they noticed the presence of strong women of influence. These strong women were the Babaylan who not only had the power to heal, they were the authority on mythological and cultural heritage, they were the harbingers of ritual and they knew astronomy.

It was during these encounters that the Friars saw how the Babaylan were a major force and a possible obstacle to their goal of hispanizing and subjugating the archipelago. It was then that the decision was formed to disempower the Babaylan.

In “Betraying the Babaylan,” Araneta Cruz describes the technique of divide and conquer which the Spanish employed to disempower the Babaylan and effectively erase them. The first thing that the Spanish did was to alienate the effeminate Babaylan from the women priestesses. They also gained the support of the tribal elite in their cause to wipe out the Babaylan through the use of bribery and promises of power. With the male Babaylan and the elite on their side, the Spanish friars went on to accuse the Babaylan of being of the devil and of practicing witchcraft.

While I narrate events that are specific to the Philippines, I find myself wondering if such events were also mirrored in countries that were colonized by foreign powers. How pervasive is that other culture? How much has it stolen from or killed of the original culture?

When I look at my country, I see how much these things have harmed our psyche and I also see the resilience of our culturebearers who employed whatever means was at their disposal to preserve our culture. Even so, the wounds have spread deep and there are certain things that demonstrate to us how deeply rooted colonialism is.

Even to this day, we see young women buying whitening creams because white is perceived as the ideal color. I long to tell my fellow Filipinos, there is nothing more beautiful than kayumanggi (brown).

At Eastercon, a good friend asked me who I wanted to read my work. It was a question that was unexpected and perhaps because I didn’t expect it, I gave the answer that came quickest to me. I want Filipinos to read my work and in particular, I want the people from Ifugao to read my work. Of course, I amended, I want everyone to read my work, but when I write, I am always thinking of the Philippines.

When I heard of the We See A Different Frontiers project, I was immediately attracted to the premise of an anthology that seeks to bring attention to stories coming from people and places who have endured colonization.

As a Filipino writer who engages Science Fiction, I see myself in conversation with the SF that comes from the West. A great part of existing SF narrative is that of the colonizer, but my narrative is one wherein I strive to reconcile my decolonization with the truth of my country’s history, the reality of where I am now and my vision of where I want to be.

I may transgress against the rules of SF because there are many things that I do not know about Science Fiction.  I did not grow up surrounded and soaked in its language as Science Fiction fans and writers from the West.  But I do know what SF looks like when seen with the eyes of the decolonized. It is a different SF, but it is still Science Fiction. As my Clarion West instructor, John Kessel said: Science Fiction is when I point to it and say that’s science fiction.

It is easy to be intimidated, and it is a struggle not to be so. And that’s why I think it is important for a writer of color to see other writers and fans of color in the field of Science Fiction.

In the course of this journey, I have been told that I need to learn English better. That I can’t possibly grasp the nuances of the English language the way a native English speaker does and that I will never be published as an SF writer.

And then, there are people who say that because I write in English, my narrative is contaminated and no longer true to the culture I come from.

The people saying those things may believe those things to be true, but I persist because I hear the voices of those who have admonished me from the moment I engaged this genre.

I hear the voice of my elder sister telling me: Don’t be stupid. Is this your dream or what? Are you going to let yourself be silenced by those words?

There is my precious grandaunt who told me: there are no limits. If this is what makes you feel passionate, then you must keep on writing it.

And there are dear friends like Aliette de Bodard who, when I was thinking of giving up, asked me: So, are you going to wait until someone else appropriates your culture?

And so I go and commit SF yet again.


*This essay was inspired by a twitter exchange between Djibril al-Ayad, Kate Elliott, Requires Hate, Aliette de Bodard and I.


Rochita was the first Filipina writer to be accepted into the Clarion West Writer’s Workshop. She attended the workshop in 2009 as the recipient of the Octavia Butler Scholarship. Her short fiction has been published in The Philippines as well as outside of The Philippines. She has a livejournal at

Cold Steel: Stage Two

On April 17 I finished a draft of COLD STEEL. I just spent the last month revising that extremely imperfect draft and sent a revised draft to my editor last night (May 10). She will read through it and beat me over the head until I revise it more (that’s her job).

If she accepts the revisions I make to her direction, then I’ll be able to announce a confirmed publication date. However, due to how long it has taken me to write the novel, I can sadly say that it will not be out in 2012.

My apologies for the delay. Partly the book was simply very hard to write, and partly we had a death in my extended family in 2011 that took a toll. Finally, I want this book to be the best it can possibly be.

This is how it goes from here:

Editor reads it and makes revision suggestions. I revise.

Editor reads it one more time and makes final revision suggestions. I revise again to her suggestions and also usually with some things of my own (and from beta readers) that I want to fix and/or change.

It goes to copy editing, in which a copy editor goes through the manuscript looking for grammatical and punctuation and continuity errors. After the copy edit, the manuscript is essentially in its final form.

It is then typeset into the printed form it will have in the book. This typeset manuscript has to be proofread for mistakes and errors.

Meanwhile, the art department will be working on a cover.

All these things take time, and once they are complete, the book will go to the printer, for paper books, and converted to ebook form for the various ebook versions.

If a book is a bestseller the time it takes for this process can be accelerated, but as (sadly!) the Spiritwalker Trilogy is not a bestseller (it could still happen, she said optimistically!), it will go through the production process at the ordinary speed.

That is my report for the week ending May 11. I’ll keep you posted on the next set of developments as soon as I have any. For now, I’m going to dig out my desk and clear out my inbox, and think about what I will be doing next.

Next week I will have two guest posts, one from Australian writer Tansy Raynor Roberts and one from Philippines writer Rochita Loenen-Ruiz.

Thanks — I have to say, my readers have been, as always, wonderful, encouraging, and perspicacious. Thank you for your patience.

Helen Lowe Guest Post Giveaway Winners

Last week, Helen Lowe wrote a lovely guest post on World Building, which included a giveaway both of her books and mine.


The winners were chosen by a random number generator from the comments both on wordpress blog and on livejournal (where it is mirrored).


The winners are:
– TeriC wins the Heir/ Crossroad 1 or Spiritwalker 1 set
– Jeff wins the Gathering / Crossroad 2 or Spiritwalker 2 set

Contact me to collect your books!

Congrats to the winners and our thanks to all of you who left comments.

Also, my thanks again to Helen for joining us.