Guides to Fictional Worlds

One of the (many) things I’ve been working on this summer is compiling all the various details about my fictional worlds into comprehensive guides. This includes lists of characters and details about those characters, family trees and family relationships, relevant dates and events for those characters, as well as known information about the world itself and a glossary of terms.

Serpent's Kiss, a paranormal romance and Dragonfire #10 by Deborah CookeThe first of these that I began to compile was for Dragonfire. In addition to the above, that world guide includes the lore of the Pyr and their history, as well as an explanation of their powers. Since I began compiling the world guide when I was writing Firestorm Forever, it’s proving to be a bit of a slog. There’s a lot of back-and-forthing in the books and my notes to be done, and so I have an assistant helping me on this project. It still won’t be done for a while. Because many readers have asked about it, there will be a published Dragonfire companion volume, which will be released as part of the publication schedule of the new editions of the first eight books.  My assistant is also writing synopses of all of the stories and I’m adding some additional notes about the creation of Dragonfire. It’s going to be a big fat book and I’m excited about it.

Wyvern's Mate, book #1 in the Dragons of Incendium series of paranormal romances by Deborah CookeIn contrast, the world guide for the Dragons of Incendium is evolving as the stories are written. My idea here was that I’d be more organized and avoid all this digging through the past by working in real-time. This world guide is on the Dragons of Incendium website under the tab “Guides” and it’s updated after the publication of every new book in the series. You’ll find a cast of characters and a glossary there, as well as some additional references like a Brief History of Incendium. The inclusion of these references is one of the reasons that these dragons have their own website.

On the historical side, I haven’t been nearly as organized. I have family trees compiled and available for free download in my online store—and I update those as various members of each family marry. There’s also a cast of characters for Kinfairlie that was compiled around the time I wrote The Renegade’s Heart, but beyond that, we’re talking file folders and piles of notes. I’m realizing how inefficient this is as I retrace everything I’ve said about Ross.

The Princess, book #1 of the Bride Quest series of medieval romances by Claire DelacroixIn preparing the new editions of the Bride Quest books, I had a question and unearthed my old notes—I found a map of Tullymullagh that I’d drawn! That got me to thinking about connecting my historical worlds and I wrote a blog post about that in June. The thing is that to make the worlds intersect plausibly, I need to compile world guides for my own reference.

Which explains where I am right now. I have a Dragonfire companion volume in the works. I have a Dragons of Incendium world guide on the website. I am currently creating a Bride Quest world guide and a Ravensmuir/Kinfairlie/Inverfyre world guide for my own reference. And that brings me to the question of the day—what should I do with all these world guides when they’re done?

There’s a poll below about world guides and companion volumes. I’d love if you took a moment to share your thoughts. I’ll leave it open for quite a while, since these references will take some time yet to be completed.

Don’t worry – The Dragonfire companion volume will definitely be published. The cover is done! It’s the others that I’m wondering about.

Here’s a poll about whether or not you use these volumes – and whether or not you buy them:

 

Here’s a poll about which series of mine for which you’d like to have a world guide:

 

And finally, here’s a poll about what you expect to find inside a world guide, just to make sure I don’t miss anything! There’s room for you to add suggestions.

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