The Violet Hour: January 29, 2012

Monday, January 30, 2012

SHIFT BLOG TOUR – Guest post by author M.R. Merrick, and GIVEAWAY

SUPER STOKED to have author M.R. Merrick at The Violet Hour! This guy is fantastic, and one of my favorite people to talk to on Twitter. 
He’s here today to talk about Building the Protector Series
Every story starts in a different place. For some, it’s all about one character. For others, it’s all about the storyline. For me, it’s a little bit of everything, but mostly, it’s all about the world.

World building is different for me. It doesn’t start at the purple water, the rocky canyons, or the tri-colored suns. It starts with characters. Some might say that’s not world building at all, that’s character development, but for me, they go hand in hand.

Before I could build the world(s) for Exiled, first I needed to know who lived there. Vampires were the first thing that came to mind. I’ve always been enthralled with the mythology behind the vampire. There’s a different history for them depending on the culture and I love reading all of the different legends. But I didn’t want the vampires we know today; I wanted something different. I wanted them to be people, but more so I wanted there to be a monster beneath the surface – a beast, waiting to be unleashed. The entire Protector series was created based on one scene, and that’s the first fight Chase has with a vampire in the street. Everything was built around that. That main character and that demon created everything.

When I started The Protector series, I already had Chase and Rayna in my head. They were alive and breathing before I wrote the first page, but I needed more. I needed Willy and Tiki. Willy was a lot like Chase and Rayna, in that he was already alive in my mind before he hit the page. Tiki on the other hand, was not. I wanted him to be both strange and familiar, so I developed his appearance first, then I built the other world in Exiled, Drakar, around that. He was a half demon, a rarity in the pureblood world, and as such, he was a minority. I used the same idea as Tiki to build the other world. I wanted everything to be strange, yet familiar. Open desert, a portal to a world inside a world in a lake of purple water that wouldn’t reveal reflections. I wanted the sky to light up in hues of greens and blue, and I wanted a swarm of demons to fill the walkways. I wanted them to be surreal: black, green and orange skin, tusks jutting from their jaws, and spiky bones that littered their faces. I thought of some of the strangest things my mind would allow and put them into the characters. This was their world and once I knew who they were, I could build it around them. There were some creatures I stuck to more traditional roots with, but for most, I wanted to have my own spin on them.

In writing SHIFT, the world building came easier. I had already created Drakar, a beautiful world that resembled a lot of what we already know, but with my own twist. This time around, I needed something different; something darker. I knew the creatures that would inhabit it, which I won’t go into details about because I don’t want to give anything away, but once I knew those creatures, I closed my eyes and their natural surroundings just came to me. They were evil creatures; they deserved a dark and evil world to live in. Something vast and cold, covered in shadows. Knowing that was the base of this world, made everything else fall into place.

For me, the world building comes naturally. I have an imagination that will go to great lengths to satisfy itself. I can close my eyes, put myself in a foreign place, and build the world from there. I don’t start with a blank white page and write a bunch of words, just trying to be extreme and develop something original. I close my eyes, and like a scene out of Inception, the world just forms. Once I have one idea, it spreads like a virus. One idea is all it takes. That idea can build an entire character, create a monster, construct an entire world, and in my case, be the foundation for an epic storyline.

For the giveaway, M.R. Merrick is supplying one eBook copy of SHIFT! No Rafflecopter, no fancy shmancy hoops to jump through. Just leave your email address in the comments section. Contest will run for seven (7) days, ending on February 7, 2012. Good luck!! =)

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