Guest Author - J.D. Brown

Author: Anastasia V. Pergakis // Category: ,


Today, we have my very dear friend, J.D. Brown as a guest! So happy. I gave her a specific topic for today regarding world building. In her novel, Dark heirloom, she has her vampires living among humans in a "world within a world." So I asked her to talk about how she went about doing that and making it believable.

Thanks for having me, Anastasia.

A classic example of a world within a world is the Harry Potter series. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry exists on modern-day Earth, but is hidden from “muggles” by magic. The professors and students who attend Hogwarts follow a very different set of rules and customs than the rest of the modern world, yet, when the students leave Hogwarts and return to their homes, they are expected to continue following regular human laws – no magic allowed. That is because Hogwarts is a world within a world.

Words within worlds are most commonly used in the different Fantasy genres, especially High Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and Urban Fantasy. The fictional words don’t always have to exist on contemporary Earth. They can be on a parallel universe, in a different realm, or in a different point in time. But usually there is some co-existence between two or more worlds in which the character travel to and fro.

In my novel, Dark Heirloom, my vampires live on contemporary Earth, right alongside humans, without them ever knowing. However, my vampires have their own history, their organizations, their own territory boarders, their own laws, their own customs, etc. Yet, they share the planet with humans, making their world very interwoven with ours.

Anastasia asked me how I came up with my fictional vampire world and how I was able to weave it into our own real world. The truth is, it was a long and grueling process. I made matters more difficult for myself as I stubbornly clung to the idea that my vampires would not be undead immortals. My vampires are a living, breathing, species fully capable of being destroyed.
Since I wanted my vampires to be as old as humans, I started building their world around the same time our human world came into light. The year was 6,000 B.C. and the Mediterranean was growing with intelligent human life. Home of the first written language, the first irrigation systems, the first human civilization, made it the perfect starting point for my vampires as well.

I know what you’re thinking and the answer is yes, I really did go back that far. I have a timeline I keep in a black binder on my desk that highlights every major event that ever happened in vampire history, spanning black 3,990 years. Yes, I am insane. No, I didn’t have anything better to do – at the time. How did I come up with enough crap to cover that many years? Easy; I opened up a history book and did my homework. I studied our own timeline of major events until I started to find loopholes. For every loophole I found, I filled with something my vampires did until a very complicated, deeply entwined history grew, one in which vampires were to blame for much of our losses AND successes! This was exactly want I wanted; a history that would fall apart if not for our vampire neighbors.

Laws, territories, secret organizations, customs, etc, all came very easily afterwards since these things are often the result of events that took place in the past. With a solid history, my modern-day vampire world fell perfectly into place. It’s gotten to the point that anyone can ask me a question about my vampires and I’ll have a snap answer ready for them. It’s very cool. Totally makes all the sweat that went into the timeline worth it.

6 Responses to "Guest Author - J.D. Brown"

James Garcia Jr Says :
December 27, 2010 at 1:01 PM

Hello, J.D. Hello, Anastasia.
Wow, that sounds like a ton of work and not for the weak-hearted. I typically don't even want to outline, let alone build this huge world within a world; however, doesn't it make the fiction so much better? Doesn't is make everything richer?
Thanks for guest posting. I will remember all of this when I sit down to write my third novel in the "Dance on Fire" series.
-Jimmy
P.S.: how was that vacation?

Tamara Hart Heiner Says :
December 27, 2010 at 4:58 PM

wow. that is intense. no wonder so few people undertake it well. makes me curious!

Wendy aka Quillfeather Says :
December 27, 2010 at 6:38 PM

Have just come from Kurt Chambers blog. That was a very nice thing you and Annie did.

Great blog you've got here!

Alex J. Cavanaugh Says :
December 27, 2010 at 8:27 PM

I know this writer!
And I think mortal vampires would be much more interesting.

Anastasia V. Pergakis Says :
December 27, 2010 at 8:47 PM

Jimmy: Yes it does sound like a lot of work. More work than even I do world building for my fantasy series! At least for those I don't have to make it fit into another world! And you're right, it does make it richer for sure!

Tamara: It is intense isn't it? I commend her for doing such indepth history and building. Not even my fantasy novels have that much history put into it!

Wendy: Thanks! Annie and I had fun planning it for Kurt. Thank you for commenting and becoming a follower. I'm glad you like my blog!

Alex: Mortal vamps would be interesting and I wonder how one would pull it off. My brain is already brimming with possibilities. I might have to see if I can run with it! hehehe

J. D. Brown Says :
December 29, 2010 at 2:37 PM

Thanks for the comments everyone!

James - The vacation was wonderful! Read about on my blog. :) The amount of work I put into the time-line did make we want to rip out my hair at times, but in the end it made writing about my vampires very easy ans smooth. So it was worth it.

Tamara - Try it! I recommend it for stories with multilayer plots or very old characters.

Wendy - Thank you.

Alex - I'm glad you think so! I love that my vampires die. It makes them slightly more real in my opinion.

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