Sometimes writers don’t realize it, but they’ve been building worlds all along. Mostly thought of as a skill for authors of sci-fi, fantasy and paranormal stories; we all do it. Every time you describe a room or what your heroine is wearing, you’re creating a reality in your reader’s head, subject to their interpretation.
When writing my Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mysteries I frequently have to construct other times and places. In Lemurian Medium, Rachel astral-traveled back to the doomed continent of Lemuria. I read the works of James Churchward and Frank Joseph to get the history. But when it came to clothing, I researched early Roman times.
With Atomic Medium, it was the 1940s Manhattan Project. I was lucky with it because I found photos of the Atomic City houses and buildings at the Science Photo Library at Atomic Heritage Foundation in Los Alamos, New Mexico. These insights into time and place are invaluable to the writer needing background on historical events.
As I tackled Anasazi Medium, I researched the Fourth World of the Hopi. Both Frank Waters, who probably wrote the book (Book of the Hopi) on this American Southwest tribe, and Harold Courlanders book The Fourth World of the Hopis were a great help in establishing what might happen to my protagonist when she traveled to the Land of the Dead. I used the story of the young man from Oraibi that the Hopi have verbally gifted to each generation. It’s a beautiful account of a boy who risked death to see beyond the veils. Rachel experiences much the same journey as she visits that realm. There, Másaw, the Guardian of the Underworld, speaks with her regarding the end of the Fourth World.
Next time you’re up to your ears in stacks of research and earmarked books, remember how much more interesting and fun your story will be to read because you took the time to hammer together a world beyond our own.
G G Collins (Copyright 2020)
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Anasazi Medium is the fourth
Rachel Blackstone Paranormal Mystery series
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Eight of the nine signs signaling the end of the Fourth World of the Hopi have come to pass. The ninth is hurtling toward Earth!
Rachel is recruited by the spirit world to prevent a cataclysmic occurrence: the end of the Fourth World of the Hopi. The ancient spirit tells her: “Everyone you know and everyone you do not know will die. You will die. Your feline will die.”
In this fourth Rachel Blackstone paranormal adventure, ancient peoples enlighten contemporary humankind in a mystery as old as time. As earthquakes occur in Santa Fe and a New Mexico supervolcano threatens to blow, it becomes imperative she discover the root of all evil. But can she stop the greedy men intent on having their way and willing to kill to achieve it?
In this her most dangerous challenge yet, Rachel calls on her friends, both the quick and the dead. The survival of an unaware civilization depends on Rachel getting it right.