Inspiration for the Otherworld
Part of the fun in writing a fantasy novel is that you get to decide the rules that the world needs to live by. So when it came time for me to think about what sort of world I wanted to be my supernatural faerie world in the Otherworld novels, I spent a little bit of time thinking about what would be fun. I was creating a world from scratch, of course I wanted to have some fun! If I wanted to have a talking rat show up, I could! And if I wanted that rat to be one of my characters’ father, well, I could do that, too!
Ben is a traveler, making it easy for him to jump between worlds and also between places within a world, which gave me some opportunity to fool around a little bit more with how vast the Otherworld really is. Ben’s home isn’t near the Seelie Court, so they could be very different places. Likewise, when the Seelies find Ben and Selkie in Boston and Ben is trying to run away from them, he jumps them through a variety of places very quickly, all with different types of weather. It would be fun to try to imagine larger stories about all of those places! It’s something I didn’t get a chance to do just because of the direction of the plot of the story I was telling.
When it came time to imagine what the Seelie Court would be like, I was inspired a lot by faerie lore that I read up on, which I then spun out one step farther. Part of faerie lore was that faeries don’t like broken mirrors. I took that and turned it into the fact that the Seelie Court lacked glass. The island of Avalon, which plays a role in THE BOY WITH THE HIDDEN NAME, is associated with the name “Isle of Glass” in Welsh culture, so I liked the lack of glass even better then, since I enjoyed playing around with the fact that faeries name things the opposite of what they actually mean. This is why I made Mag Mell, traditionally translated to mean “plain of joy,” a canyon instead. And a canyon leading to an evil, terrifying prison, to boot!
It seemed natural to me that the Seelie Court should be a labyrinthine maze, populated by lots of strange guard animals. I liked the idea that the Seelies themselves would be these really lazy, decadent creatures, because I found something more terrifying about the fact that they were so blasé about killing other creatues. And I decided early on to give them an affinity for really bright sunlight, partly because I wanted the frequent cloudy days in Boston to feel ogre-like in comparison, and partly because I knew I was going to journey to the Unseelie Court in THE BOY WITH THE HIDDEN NAME, and I wanted to set up a contrast.
So I’ve already teased two places you get to see in THE BOY WITH THE HIDDEN NAME: the Unseelie Court and Avalon. The other major place I introduce in THE BOY WITH THE HIDDEN NAME is Goblinopolis, which is the underground city where the goblins live. But that’s not in the Otherworld at all. That’s right in the middle of Boston’s subway system!
About The Author : Skylar’s first story was a tale of romantic intrigue involving two feuding factions of squirrels. Think “Romeo & Juliet” but with bushy tails and added espionage. She was seven.
Since that time, Skylar’s head has been filled with lots of characters and lots of drama. She is delighted to be able to share some of it with all of you now, because, honestly, it was getting pretty loud and crowded in there.
Skylar is a born-and-bred New Englander, which is why Boston was a natural setting for her debut novel, THE GIRL WHO NEVER WAS. Skylar shares her home with a cardboard cutout of the Tenth Doctor, lots of Mardi Gras beads from the time she spent living in New Orleans, and a harp she’s supposed to be teaching herself to play. She’d like to get a dog.
You can also stalk her on twitter SkylarDorset
SOURCEBOOKS was kind to offer a copy of The Boy with the Hidden Name the second installment of The Otherworld Series The giveaway is opened to US and Canada only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway