It seems like every author has a different way to go about creating on thismassive scale. How did you go about creating your world? Were you one of thelucky ones where it just happened, or did you have to spend months and monthswith a pen and paper making sure it all fit together nicely? Did you use”real world” influences to help you when you were creating the worldfor your series?
When I graduated high school I didn’t have money for college. I had a smallscholarship to an art school which ran out in a year, so instead I went to usedbookstores and began reading the classics and would buy history text books. Itwas while reading the history of western civilization that I createdElan.
I would stumble upon surprising things that happened like Star Chambers and theInquisition and think, these would be great in a fantasy story. I sort ofcherry picked all the things I liked even if they were from different times orregions, which is why you have knights jousting, but also sailing ships andpowdered wigs.
So just for fun, not to write a book, just like I did in grade school, Icreated a map and populated it with peoples and created 8000 years of history.I never used it. Then two decades later when I was starting to write Riyria, Idug that world out of my files and it became the basis of Elan. I had to changea lot, but quite a bit remained the same.
Generally speaking however, Elan is loosely based on Europe a thousand yearsafter the fall of the great empire (Rome) and Glenmorgan was based onCharlemagne. There’s a lot of other things in there, too.
It’s funny because I wrote in the Invented World Fantasy genre in order to makethings easy on myself thinking I wouldn’t have to do any research, or factcheck. But I’m finding that now, with the Internet, writing contemporary realworld based fiction is so much easier. All the work is done for you, and youdon’t have to explain the simplest of things.
For those of you on Goodreads (link in the first paragraph), I recommend going over there and chatting Sullivan up. He’s answering a ton of different questions about his books, his adventures with publishing, his background and much more. It’s worth taking a gander at his answers, and asking a few questions of your own.