As part of our Sizzling Women of Summer Tour we bring you Elizabeth Isaacs, creator of the Kailmeyra series of books. Elizabeth is here today to share with us how she did her worldbuilding for a place as different from Earth as Kailmeyra is. Her advice is sound, start with what you know and make changes from there so that people will still be able to identify with your world and picture the things you are trying to show them. Make it easy for them to identify with what you offer and describe your setting just well enough to give readers the opportunity to form a clear mental image of what you are conveying. Here is how Elizabeth created Kailmeyra.
Creating a World of Your Own
There’s a fine line when writing fantasy. Too much detail and the descriptions become tedious. Too little detail and the readers become confused. Writers of this genre must hook fantasy to a believable reality, give the reader an image that is familiar, and yet create it in such a way that it becomes unique. It is a craft, really. That balance between what we’ve seen and what we’ve yet to imagine. Still, with all its difficulties, creating the land of Kailmeyra is truly one of the most gratifying pieces I’ve ever written.
If you haven’t read the series, Kailmeyra is a land without evil. The Alfar are a people who collectively understand that love and experience is what makes life abundant. Respect is given to everyone, and to covet what someone else has weakens them physically. Because of this, I knew Kailmeyra had to be a place that was still as it was originally created, a place without pollution, a place where convenience didn’t drive destructive behavior. And so when I started to research, I found images that would free up descriptors in my mind. I wanted the reader to see my imagined world as I see it, crystal clear and beautiful.
I’ve collected several hundred pictures along the way, but here are a few of my favorites. I hope you see a little of Kailmeyra in each of them.
This was one of my first and favorite pictures. I love the wildness of the trees, but more importantly, I love the way the green moss reaches around the base of the trees, as if it is holding them in place. Kailmeyra is vibrant in color and textures, and I love that this picture represents that.
While color is vital to the land in Kailmeyra, notice the intricate trunk in the foreground. I love the fact this tree seems to be hundreds of years old, and yet it still thrives.
One of the ways Kailmeyra is different from our world is the amethyst colored moon. I did this for two reasons: symbolically purple is a sign of deity, but also I wanted to slightly alter a relatable, real-world experience. Everyone’s experienced the wash of moonlight over the trees, and so they could visualize it in a different color. This is what the forest would look like in Kailmeyra at night.
This is actually an underwater ice cave, but it is a perfect depiction of the energy field in the Kailmeyran Mountain. Gorgeous, isn’t it?
Not only is it important to give your world descriptors of the land, it must also hold unique creatures. Unicorn myths and legends have been around for thousands of years. Most of these tell that they are intelligent, powerful beings. It only seemed natural that Kailmeyra would be their home .
Elizabeth has graciously consented to donate an eBook set of the Kailmeyra series thus far, The Light of Asteria and The Secret of the Keepers to one lucky winner to be determined by drawing from randomizer one commentor on this week’s post. To learn more about the books click here for the review of Light of Asteria and click here for the review of The Secret of the Keepers. These are two books that should definitely be on your “must read” list and I can not recommend them highly enough. Comment for your chance to win the series so far and remember Elizabeth is busy working on the third novel in this epic series.