Click here to read her guest post on this site!
My name is Karen de Lange, and I’ve made up stories for as long as I can remember. I started putting them down on paper using my parents’ computer when I was about eight. I really hope that all of those stories have been erased out of existence, and none of them ever come back to haunt me. When I was seventeen (and bear with me while I sound a little crazy here) a man called Liam Colley walked into my head and said hello. He started telling me about the world he lives in, and I started writing it down for him. This came coupled with the realisation that I would likely produce much better work if I wrote the sort of thing I actually enjoy reading – in my case, character-oriented fantasy with a bit of science fiction thrown in for good measure.
Four of my short stories are available to download from Smashwords. They’re completely free so what have you got to lose? Alternatively you can read all three of them (plus the first half of the fourth) on my Stories page. I’m in the process of compiling a short story collection in tandem with finishing and polishing my first novel, simply known as The Novel for the time being because I can’t title for toffee.
If you want a bit more detail, well… I live in the north-east of England with my husband (hereafter referred to as Himself), and I work in an academic bookshop where I also spend a good percentage of my pay packet every month. To relax, I play the piano; and I knit (no, really) to help my subconscious find its way through tricky plot holes. Seriously, if you want to write, I can’t recommend knitting highly enough.
I hope that you enjoy what you find here, and if you have any comments (good or bad!) then I’d love to hear from you, at karen<at>therearedragons.co.uk, via my Facebook page, or on Twitter.
Free Ebooks by Karen de Lange
On World Building
From Karen's Blog:
Time for an admission of über-geekery. I love world-building. It’s great. Keeps me occupied on boring bus journeys; while I’m doing the ironing; any time at all, really. The world I spend most of this time creating is very similar to our own on many levels. People fight and scheme and misbehave, and they also love and laugh and indulge in random acts of kindness from time to time. They invent gadgets to make their lives easier, and play at politics to make their lives more interesting. However (there had to be a ‘however’), there are differences. There is magic, for a start, and there are dragons in the mountains.
Reading fantasy novels, I always wondered why the presence of magic in a world seemed to bring everything to a technological and scientific halt. Just because maybe one in ten people can light a fire with a snap of their fingers, doesn’t mean everybody else is going to be content using flint and tinder. Someone’s going to come up with the safety match at some point. This is the basis that I build my world on – that, and Celtic mythology. I do have a soft spot for Celtic mythology. Over the next unspecified but probably fairly extended period of time, I’ll share some of my world-building techniques here, and the results of it.
There’s also this map here, and some full-immersion for you on my stories page.
World building 101 – why world build?
Mapping – Estimating the scale of the problem
Map drawing – the practicalities
Maps and what to do with them next
Gender balance – the start of sociology
Drawing inspiration from world cultures