How climate can impact the way your story evolves.

Climate is a hot topic on everyone lips at the moment, from the horrendous floods in Germany to the raging fires in Canada, the climate is not behaving as we expect. Even here in the UK the weather is more changeable than usual, (and you know how much we love talking about the weather!) veering from a scorching hot mini heatwaves to torrential rain from one day to the next. It feels like we have our own monsoon!

We all react differently to the weather and the changing seasons. We even had favourite seasons – when they used to be distinct and reliable.

When world building, the expectation is that the world will behave predictably dependent on how you set it up, how many suns or moons do you have? How does the planet rotate? How much water covers the surface? The pull and push on your world should follow scientific expectations, and if not then you need to have a good reason for it that you can explain to the reader.

My world evolved as I travelled through the story. Trees were my starting point. Trees are very important in my story and my world. They stand for hundreds of years, persistent guardians of history and lore, seeing everything around them and holding it close. I wanted that longevity and sense of continuation to reflect in the Sentinals as Guardians of Remargaren.

Because I had these long lived coniferous trees, I needed a cool temperate environment with plentiful water and rich soil. The forests and timber plantations of the Watches evolved, plentiful in the west of Vespiri and petering out as they reached the hotter borders of Terolia in the east, and the parched and arid deserts.

The deserts, and the lack of resources, especially water, drove the evolution of the Familes, and the need to travel where the resources could be found. Although as knowledge of how to find and hoard water grew over time and towns and cities took root, the inherent need to move around remains, and the nomadic Families of Terolia were born.

In Sentinals Justice, we travel north, to the icy wastes of Elothia. A harsh and cold environment where it never rains, it snows. Most of the time! Here people hunker down and hibernate for the winter, only poking their noses out in the spring. Well, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but they have to live in the cold, and tend to group together in the cities, the land is too harsh to live off of.

As you can see below, even my covers are influenced by the environment the book is set in. Book Two – Sentinals Rising is currently in the AllAuthor cover competion, you can vote for it here. (Note if you can’t log in using facebook, it is quite easy to create a reader account, and then you can vote.)

The Sentinal Series

I’m hoping to finish book four in the Spring of 2022, where will be introduced to the mysterious Island Empire of Birtoli. The Sentinals don’t remember Birtoli being islands, it used to be joined to the mainland so what happened? Expect turquoise seas and white sands and plenty of adventure.

Just for a bit of fun I created a quiz to see where you would live in Remargaren. Complete the quiz and see which country you hail from. Let me know on twitter or Instagram, or on my facebook page using the hashtag #Sentinals.

Novella o.5: Sentinals Stirring (Free if you sign up to my newsletter.)

Book One: Sentinals Awaken

Book Two: Sentinals Rising

Book Three: Sentinals Justice (Preorder-Available September 7th)

Book Four: Name to be announced. (Spring 2022)

Summer Solstice-What does it mean to you?

The summer solstice marks the middle of the year. Midsummer or ‘Lithia’ is the longest day on our calendar, and to many, not only heralds the start of true summer but also a period of renewal.

The long sunny days (for some!) help us recharge. I think the idea of taking time to re-energise ourselves after a tough year is an important one. Longer days not only make us feel lighter and more engaged with everyone and everything around us, it gives us a chance to reconnect with whatever is important to you.

Personally, I like the idea of spending the symmer solstice with your loved ones. A day to celebrate each other and the life we lead. We may not be dancing around a bonfire to herald in the new summer, but there is no reason we can’t celebrate each other anyway. And for those of us who may be alone this summer solstice, lighting a candle and appreciating the light can be your own personal celebration.

Musing about the Summer Solstice made me think about some of the celebrations I created for the world of Remaragen, most of which revolve around the Goddess Leyandrii. The key celebration is the Confirmation of a Lord of the Watch.

Under the gaze of the Lady, the new Lord swears his life to the protection of his people, the Land and the Lady. By becoming a guardian, the Lady imbues them with enough magic to connect them to their Watch, joining the guardian with Her and the Land, each sworn to protect the other.

Guardians protect the people, the people nurture the Land, the Land provides for all and the Lady watches.

There are many guardians from different walks of life, guardians of lore and history, of the Lady’s sacred places, to the Watch guardians, and those that revere the tall sentinal trees found in the Lady’s groves. Then of course there are the Sentinals themselves; the men and women who swore thier lives to the Lady Leyandrii to help protect the world of Remargaren.

Who are the Sentinals and what happened to them? How did they end up encased in the tall sentinal trees for over three thousand years? As Jerrol travels though Remargaren trying to understand what the Lady expects of him, he wakes some of the Sentinals. Through his interaction with the Sentinals we get a glimpse into their previous lives, and a sense of continuation through the Watches and their adherence to the Lady’s Lore.

Passing down the guardianship though their familes, celebrating life through bornings (birth), joinings (marriage) and leavings (funerals) follows the cycle of life and the progression of the year from Janu through to Decu and the turning of the year, a year end celebration. The waxing and waning of the moon guides the Lady’s attention and has a much stronger presence in Remargaren than the sun.

The Sentinal Series

The Sentinals Series will have at least five books and two novellas, as I wrote book four I needed to understand the details about how the Sentinals ended up in the trees, and so was born the prequel.

Protection and protecting those who can’t protect themseves is a key theme of my epic fantasy series. Building a world, complete with beliefs and a history, adds more depth and context for the adventures that occur. I hope you have joined the journey.

Novella o.5: Sentinals Stirring (Free if you sign up to my newsletter.)

Book One: Sentinals Awaken

Book Two: Sentinals Rising

Book Three: Sentinals Justice (Preorder-Available September 7th)