I was supposed to write this blog post a while ago...but I had too many other things to do. So it's a bit late, but it's here now!
I figured I should show off DoT's maps...
I wasn't originally going to put a map in the book because I don't look at fantasy maps when I read. That's also partly the reason I didn't originally include a glossary--I don't refer to them while reading (I only read them compulsively at the end when I run out of book). Then I realised other people like glossaries...but I still ended up not including one because the book is too long and expensive to print for a little indie like me to make it any longer, so now I have a glossary on my website instead. I also wrote and added a very bad pronunciation guide because why not. I've gone off track...
Once I realised people like maps as much or more than they like glossaries, I actually decided to include THREE of them haha.
Mostly because Derkra is so boring...
Colour map of Derkra:
I like the map of Derkra because I feel like it immediately signals to the reader that this world is different from the average fantasy world. It's big and EMPTY, and that's the point. One thing the map doesn't show is that Derkra is also infinite. It's an infinite plane of existence rather than a planet or a finite disc balanced on the backs of four elephants which in turn stand on the back of a giant turtle...hehe.
I put it sideways in the book across from a little quote to contextualise it.
Here is an actual image from one of my proof copies:
And here is a quote from the 1st chapter to further describe it:
"Both Land Side and Water Side were infinite planes. Black Valley–the old city of the kandar–was the only anomaly in the endless dunes of Land Side and their new home–the island of Calendrai–was the only break in the mirror-smooth surface of Water Side."
To make things slightly more interesting I also included maps of Black Valley and Calendrai. Early readers told me the maps helped them visualise the layouts better.
Colour map of Black Valley in Land Side:
The colour maps include some pandinzori for fun--which is the bright stuff around the trees. That is the magic of the kandar (who are the children of the trees...I wish I had emojis right now lol). I didn't include pandinzori in the greyscale versions because it just cluttered them.
Colour map of Calendrai in Water Side:
This map also quickly identifies the eponymous Tith (of DAUGHTERS OF TITH) as the big central tree from the cover. Ahron is his short brother on the left, with big Sirrhon on the right.
In the book the two greyscale maps face each other:
I like colour too much so I was drawn in by the simplicity of Derkra and ended up with this style. If I was making maps again I'd do a line style instead. Maybe like an ink drawing. It would make things clearer for the greyscale images. Maybe I'll redo them at some point but right now I'm just happy to be done :D.
I liked being able to set the two detail maps up beside each other in the print copy. Land Side is so firmly "on the left" in my mind that the dust jacket flaps on the hardcover actually bother me LOL. Water Side is on the front flap, continuing from the cover, and the back flap is the Land Side desert, continuing from the back cover of the book... If it wasn't so seamless with the cover I'd have switched them! They are also really pretty as they are.
And because I love this section, and it's already available in chapter 2 (I've released 6 sample chapters!), here is a little more about Derkra and how it compares to a human Earth from Jaydin's POV (Tith's oldest daughter):
"The kandaran world, Derkra, was a world of infinite sand and water–endless empty desert and desolate ocean. It was impressive in its scale but not in much else. Ovaeron and Tith were grander than the World Trees on the Earths, but other than those two Derkra had few great trees, and the variety in those it did have was sorely lacking. Images flashed behind Jaydin’s eyes. The World Trees. The other great trees that sometimes stood with them on the Earths. The trees that made up the forests that covered great spans of land. Derkra had only one forest. Cens was unique as far as Jaydin knew, in that it was the only forest that could be said to be truly alive, but it was small and plain. There were only trees, moss, and grass contained within it, whereas the forests of the Earths were teeming with abundant plant and animal life. She had seen them. She saw them now.
Waves. Images of violent water, of still water, of the creatures that lived beneath both came to her. The water on the Earths was breathtakingly beautiful. The humans had waterfalls, rivers, lakes, salted seas and deep oceans where Derkra had only Water Side, flat and featureless for as far as they could see. And empty. The waters of Derkra were dead.
The Earths had suns, moons, day and night, light and darkness, where Derkra had only ubiquitous light with no apparent source and floating shadows that chose their places to cling at random. Not that it bothered the kandar. Jaydin was the only one who knew any different. There was no wind to ruffle the leaves of the trees. No mountains or valleys to break up the landscape. Only Calendrai–which was flat where it rose slightly above the water–and the dunes of Land Side which were static and unchanging and had been since the beginning of time."
<3 Derkra <3
I'll end this with the obligatory DoT links:
Preorder the ebook on Amazon (it will be in KU (kindle unlimited) for the first 3 months if you have a membership!)
Sample chapters are here if you'd like to take a look.
DoT will be live on May 1st, 2023! :D