SPOTLIGHT AUTHOR POST 6 JAN HAWKE

Spotlight author logo2

Today I would like to welcome Jan Hawke. She is the newest Spotlight Author and is gracing my site with her presence. I cannot think of a more supportive person to receive this honor.  And now Jan take it away!!

jan hawke bio pic my download

Turning words into worlds

For fantasy writers, words are ultra-important as you need to use them carefully to ‘paint’ a world that may be totally different in form and function than planet Earth. World-building is the usual term for this process, but there are many aspects you need to take into account, as you put on the shades and hues of your brave new world.

For my author heroes, Tolkien and Pratchett, maps of where their action was taking place were essential in picturing how landscapes looked, and even the cultural demands of the people encountered. Pratchett’s Discworld is the most extreme example of needing a firm hand with geography and astral-physics, and even the seasons, on a ‘flat’ world that is held up by four gigantic elephants, standing atop a Star Turtle. He got the idea from Hindu mythology of course, but it illustrates the point that a good map, or at the very least, a vague visual, works wonders when it comes to describing fantasy terrains.

One of the physical consequences of having your world disc-shaped are very specific climate specifications. The central point or hub of the disc revolves much more slowly than the rim, and so Pratchett has his single pole as a very cold place where the gods reside on a spectacular, 30 mile high mountain named Cori Celesti, in a large mansion named ‘Dunmanifestin’. On Discworld the gods are numerous and testy and often appear on various parts of the disc. Broadcasting your atheism is pointless, particularly in high places prone to lightning strikes, whilst wearing metal body armour…

Tolkien on the other hand, although originally opting for a flat Middle Earth, eventually decided to go global because his tales were based on an alternative reality of good old planet Earth. This supported the ‘marring’ of Arda, with the deified Ainur whisking the chosen Elves out of Middle Earth and into the West, where the mortal races could not follow.

My new fantasy series, Tomes of the HavenLands, will take place literally at the other end of our Milky Way galaxy (in both time and position), so I’m sticking with a practical globular model, but it’s a younger, colder climate world, although it has arid areas, much like the Gobi Desert. For the opening book, the action will take place in the largest central land mass to the north and, because there are links to Old Earth, the points of the compass remain the same to avoid too much tinkering with people’s preconceptions. Culturally however, there is a strong archaic Latin and ancient Celtic connection for linguistics, that provides the hook for place names and the lifestyle of the mainly human sentient population. Having this visual (there’s also a topographical version as well) helps me out a lot with how my characters move about in different landscapes, depending on their respective clan’s territories. And I know roughly what my new world looks like, so I can mould the people and fauna that live there accordingly, with just enough logic to know when I need to introduce some magic into the equation – like dragons living only in the volcanic eastern island chain, for the time being at least…

If you’d like to know a little more about the HavenLands then please visit the book blog at havenlands.blogspot.co.uk/

Jan Hawke is the author of
Milele Safari – An Eternal Journey
Available on Amazon

jan hawke Milele Safari

Follow Jan Hawke on Social Media
Website: janhawke.me/
Twitter handle: @JanHawke
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Jan-Hawke-386239624841750/

 

As a member of Rave Reviews Book Club I get the opportunity to host guest like Jan Hawke on my blog. This give us double exposure…a Pay It Forward Affect. We learn to propel, support and promote each other and support is equally rewarded. If you want a little spotlight or want to market your work head on over to the “Join/Renew” tab and sign up. Just tell them that reading this post or viewing her entire tour was the motivating factor.

 

About Shirley Harris-Slaughter

I love old buildings and history. That's why I ended up writing about the history that surrounded me all of my life - "Our Lady of Victory, the Saga of an African-American Catholic Community." Plus our church had closed and the school is torn down, so I felt it was imperative that we preserve the history or it would be lost forever.
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33 Responses to SPOTLIGHT AUTHOR POST 6 JAN HAWKE

  1. Shirley Harris-Slaughter says:

    I wish to thank and acknowledge everyone who supported Jan on this site. I know I didn’t reply back to each of you but I read your comments and want you to know how much it is appreciated and valued. And I know Jan is appreciative as well. Have a wonderful day!

    Like

  2. Great map selections. They certainly do help when reading fantasy novels. Your new novel sounds right up my alley. 🙂

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  3. Thanks for this instructive description of world building, Jan. This new project looks like it will be fun to write and entertaining to read! Thanks for hosting, Shirley!

    Like

  4. Sue Bridgwater says:

    Reblogged this on Skorn and commented:
    More abut Jan Hawke’s writing and about world-building, Tolkien, Terry Pratchett and Ursula LeGuin. Lovely stuff!

    Like

  5. It looks like a lot of fun Jan! I look forward to hearing more about it. It really makes me want to finish editing my fantasy novel before finishing another non-fiction! I miss my fantasy world so much some days. I’m sure you miss yours too! 🙂

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  6. What a great crowd here today! Some of the all-time faves in the support department! Thank you all for stopping by supporting Jan. And Jan, I must warn you, that I’m about to challenge myself and write a Fantasy short story. (Someone has said that “I can’t do it!”) Ha! There is absolutely nothing I can’t do, right? So, get ready. I can’t promise that it will make any sense, or that it will be readable, but I promise you this…I can write it! Stay tuned!

    Oh, the horrors in store for you people! LOL

    Like

    • Shirley Harris-Slaughter says:

      Nonnie it seems that the point of fantasy is not to make any sense. It seems that you are deliberately being misled and that thought should make it easier to transition into it. I’ve thought about doing it myself. Watch out fantasy world!!

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  7. Shirley Harris-Slaughter says:

    Jan thanks for the history lesson. I do recall learning from English literature classics in high school. Actually some English pioneers arrived in America trying to escape the monarchy and brought the culture here. We do speak English after all. Britain’s influence is widespread. Even Canada was under the reign of the Queen/King. I’m not sure if it still is as I don’t follow Canada all that closely now. I used to travel there all the time to see my boyfriend because it was just across the bridge from Detroit.

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  8. Your Fantasy world sounds interesting. Good luck with it Jan. Thanks Shirley for hosting.

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  9. beemweeks says:

    Excellent points, Jan. Best wishes.

    Thanks for hosting, Shirley.

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  10. I can’t imagine trying to create an entire world, Jan. It must be a lot of fun!

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    • Jan Hawke says:

      It is Michelle – I do need to rein it back in places because it’s easy to create problems with the climate. I don’t have a greenhouse effect going on, but I have had to factor in a desert region in the south of Great Hafn (which is roughly equatorial) once I’d realised the prevailing winds would cause a rain shadow… Problems, problems, problems! Who’d be a planetologist… 😉

      Like

  11. I never considered the detail and intricacies–and additional preparation–required for writing fantasy! Great post, Jan! Thanks for hosting, Shirley!

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    • Jan Hawke says:

      It’s tough playing The Creator – so much responsibility and living with the consequences of where you plant your mountains… 😉 It is good to be able to be in charge though – I’m having a lot of fun with the fauna at the moment 😀

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  12. jinlobify says:

    I love your fantasy world Jan, especially how you can visually represent it. When I write fantasy, I see my work too, but I have never tried to represent them visually. It is a lesson worth learning. :). Beautiful post! Thank you Shirley for hosting her.

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    • Shirley Harris-Slaughter says:

      Thanks Joy for visiting and supporting Jan on her interesting tour.

      Like

    • Jan Hawke says:

      A graphics degree comes in useful for the visuals Joy! 😉 My hero Tolkien also loved maps and I caught his enthusiasm for them so when I had the idea for the HavenLands I knew I needed to map it fairly early on. It’s also great fun to dream up the names of all the islands – my favourites are Kadh (pronounced Kat’h) and Saepona (a pigeon Welsh word meaning Sea Horse) which look a bit like their names! 😀

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  13. Shirley Harris-Slaughter says:

    Welcome Jan and everyone else. Sorry I’m late responding but I was asleep when the blog posted and I know there is a big time difference between the UK and the US. Jan it was all I could do to keep this to myself. I was so excited to host you because you have become so special to me. Surprise and congratulations on winning the Spotlight.

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  14. hinsmanj says:

    Your new series sounds intriguing! Looking forward to it.

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    • Jan Hawke says:

      I’m looking forward to writing it as well! It kind of got stalled with everything that happened last year but I’m gungho to getting some more done and maybe get it out before the end of this year – watch this space! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Jan Hawke says:

    Reblogged this on Jan Hawke INKorporated and commented:
    Hi, Shirley! I’m so excited to find out that you’re one of my hosts for this tour… 😀 Thank you so much for the great introduction and your kind words – you’re the tops! 😉

    Like

  16. Great post Shirley. Tolkien was one on my favourite authors when I was at school. The books inspired my love of reading and writing and I can’t wait to read your new fantasy series too, Jan.

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    • Jan Hawke says:

      Yo Lizzie! 😀 I’m envious – I was too old for Tolkien to be on the curriculum when I was in school in the early 1970s. Maybe if he had been I’d have like the poetry modules more… 😦 As it was I thoroughly hated Mort D’Arthur (so bored with that Lady of Shallot!) so it’s ironic now that I have to get that under my belt again for researching Havenlands – I’ll be putting a terrific spin on it though and maybe get the Lady a bit more action! lol 😉

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      • Shirley Harris-Slaughter says:

        Jan & Lizzie I’m afraid we had different fantasies growing up but its fascinating learning what other cultures are learning. I was reading this post and didn’t understand some of the words but I knew it had to be fantasy because that’s what you write about. Its all very interesting.

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      • Jan Hawke says:

        English (and American Literature) are such broad subjects these days Shirley. In the UK Tolkien was a world expert on Old and Middle English (so Anglo-Saxon) and one his most famous academic essay in the 1930’s was Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics which turned the appreciation of the Saga form on its head and led to a resurgence of interest in pre-English languages. He was also a huge fan of Arthurian legend some of which he ‘borrowed’ for Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
        In the late 1970s his literary works were introduced into high school English Lit. curriculums which I alas, missed out on by a few years – I have had no problem with studying him over Tennyson! 😀

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  17. I like your future project, Jan.

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