If you’re a movie fan, what’s the one thing that draws you into the movie? The plot? Setting? Characters? For me, it’s all of the above. I love to see the overall picture of a story. If it’s a movie I really like, I want to know all the behind-the-scene details I can. I watch the commentary, behind the scenes, find all the Easter eggs, and even watch the deleted scenes. I want to know everything from why the costumes were chosen to how the director films it. It all fascinates me.
It’s the same way when I’m writing. Before I start a new book, I usually have a few key pieces in mind. I may have a location or the plot, but I have to piece it together like a puzzle to get the overall idea. I don’t know every piece of the puzzle before I begin writing. Some of them fall into place as I go, but each one has an essential role in the story.
Sometimes in fantasy novels, it’s hard to imagine yourself in the midst of the story worlds, and that’s why I love urban fantasy. It takes fantasy elements but unites them with the real world. My debut novel, The Seer, has many locations that are home to portals. These portals are accessed by angels and demons for traveling purposes. I knew the book was going to be set in my area and the others would be within an easy driving distance. Other than that though, I wanted them to have a special meaning to me, one that those who know me well would instantly pick up on. I wanted to incorporate my own Easter eggs for readers to find.
One of the locations in The Seer is in Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis plays a massive role in my family, as my son goes to St. Jude for treatment. He has Leukemia, and we go there weekly for chemo. Another location is in St. Louis, where my husband and I spent part of our honeymoon.
As these locations play a crucial part in my series, The Kalila Chronicles, they’ve also had a role to play in my life. I want my readers to be able to connect with my stories and feel as though they are right there with the characters. I want readers to be able to identify with the issues that my characters go through and know that they aren’t alone.
With my second book releasing next month, I’ve created an in-depth behind the scenes booklet called, Behind the Story. This scrapbook has pictures and more details about these locations. Some of these pictures were sent in by readers. The booklet is free for anyone who subscribes for my newsletter, The Hive.
What about you? Have you ever read a book and visited the location in the story? If so, please let me know in the comment section.
Erin R. Howard is a developmental editor, fantasy author of The Kalila Chronicles, and has earned a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing/English from Southern New Hampshire University. When she’s not writing, Erin enjoys spending time with her family, fueling her craft addictions, and teaching writing workshops. Erin is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the KenTen Writers Group. She resides in Western Kentucky with her husband and three children.
The Soul Searcher (The Kalila Chronicles, #2), Available Feb. 19, 2019
Elnora’s parents gave her one rule: Stay hidden away at all costs.
Elnora Scott is used to her survival depending on the decisions of others. Locked away in her safe house, it is easy to follow her parents’ dying wishes until an angel, demon, and seer show up on her doorstep. Now, waking up in a dirty cell, she wishes she would have gone with them when she had the chance, because the very ones who unknowingly ushered the kidnapper to her location may be the only ones who can save her.
When Thea learns that Elnora may be in danger, she doesn’t hesitate to go find her. Thea thought stepping through the portal would be her greatest obstacle, but it only reveals a more sinister threat.