The Saturday Sizzler

5 Minutes with P.J. Reed

Could you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?
I write speculative fiction based on fantasy worlds filled with magic, intrigue and adventure. My writing spills into dark fantasy worlds of sword and sorcery, magic and mayhem. I also write very slowly, this five-minute interview actually took me over an hour! I live in Devon, England with a handful of teenagers, one feral cat and a dog called Fizz.
What do you like to do when you're not writing? 
When I’m not writing I like to read. I particularly enjoy books on abnormal psychology, fantasy, physic…

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Spinning Daleks

Last Sunday I was at Somerset ComicCon, crossing the border into unknown fantasy territory. It was a huge event but surprisingly spacious and everyone had room to roam which was great. I am not one to stay chained to my author table for long so my day was broken with frequent sorties to other stands. For this event, I decided to go a little outside the author box and try to make my table less about the books and more about the Torcian experience. So I had candles, a goblet of sweets, and my dogeared map of the two lands., which is looking more authentically battle-worn each time I have it on d…

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The Saturday Sizzer

High Fantasy Map Art

Not all fantasy books need maps but when you start creating a massive epic high fantasy world it helps... a lot. 

If you are creating your own world as opposed to basing your story on this planet, you cannot just cruise Google Earth or go retro, get your local maps out and check that one village is indeed south west of another or that there is no unexpected mountain range between your two warring villages.

Epic high fantasy is fantasy on an epic level - you are creating a whole new world for your readers to explore. This is fine when you begin your story but half-way through ynless you have a least stretched out a map you will not remember whether to go east to Mivir or west to Hwaerte Castle. You may not think it matters, but if your warlock is travelling in the wrong direction at least one reader will work it out and it will completely spoil the world building for that poor person. 

So map creation from the very beginning of your story will save you a lot of time. Additionally, world building maps are works of art. They are beautiful. I cannot imagine many people who not recognise a map of Middle Earth. 

This leads to one of the major map building issue of high fantasy. It cannot look like Middle Earth! Everyone has to create a map in their own style. My map style is pictorial I like to portray how the citidals and mountains actually looked, which was a big undertaking... 

My daughter created mine from my scribbles on scribbles of how each great citadel looked in Torcia and exactly where it was positioned. The result an was an instant overview of the two lands of Mivir and Torcia for the reader to track the travels and battles on and perhaps even use to create their own adventures...

Visit The Torcian Chronicles.

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