Creating a fantasy world is no small task but having a team of really talented people with wild and crazy imaginations has made it somewhat less daunting. You’ll see credits for these fine folks throughout the site and here’s the nitty gritty on who they are and how they’ve helped make Oliquin a fantastic ‘reality’.
Jacob and Family
The original story (The Coup and the Muse), and the world building began as a collaborative project with my nephew, Jake, before any of the people pictured with him here were part of his life (or even IN this life!). Needless to say life created other challenges and priorities for Jake but the project moved on anyway. The final story bears some resemblance to the fledgling draft recently found buried in a folder on my laptop, but I’ve gathered more inspiration from this motley crew along the way: Wife, Arpi, and their kids Quinn and Oliver (are you catching on?).
Pictured here with daughter, Carina and adorable grandbaby William, is my good friend (long time) and editor (more recent) and sometime travel companion (even more recent). She’s a horse trainer by profession, published author on the side*, and my editor (just my luck!). There wouldn’t be a finished book without her put-up-ed-ness of my bull-headed-ness. Besides brutally pounding her editing wisdom into my thick skull, TaM also contributed on the creative side (for one thing, she gets credit for the ear maggot – it was originally just a worm).
To all you wanna-be writers out there, if I had only one recommendation to pass along it would be this… Get a good editor, swallow your pride, and take heed. If you do, the final result will be better than you can imagine.
*Check out Bittersweet Sanctuary
I’m going to need a book cover, of course, so I spent hours and hours perusing sites with sample photos and graphic artists available for hire. Nothing is good enough. But wait… Arpi’s uncle Jim is a photographer, and as it turns out, he’s an excellent graphic artist as well. Hallelujah! If you are a fan of the book cover for The Coup and the Muse, all the credit goes to Jim. (Okay, okay. Some of the credit goes to Arpi for being the model and costume designer!)
Pictured here with husband, Chris, my sister, Diane, has a truly wild imagination and is the creator of many of the indigenous life forms on the Planet Oliquin. I asked her one day to come up with a few creatures for my world and in less than a day she’d invented several dozen creatures, from enormous beasts to the tiniest of insects. And not just descriptions, but their habitat, ecosystems, domestication, and even a few common sayings that evolved from their co-existence with the colonists. I’ll reveal these creatures to my readers as they appear in the stories of Oliquin.
A friend and a local celebrity in Old Town (where I own a small business), Ron is also an accomplished artist. He illustrated a few of the creatures encountered by the characters in the Oath of the Cortek series.