Preparing for a book – even a supernatural book – I do a little research. When I was planning The Day of First Sun, I needed to find a type of fairy that would be a nanny to a magical child. I came across the Aloja Fairy, protector of pregnant women and children. Perfect.
I used the small bit of info that I found in one book, and ran with that small snipet, since I didn’t reference the fairy much. Not until I decided to expand on the story. I needed more. So I searched for Aloja Fairy online. As it turned out at the time, both my blog and my book listed on Amazon.com popped up in the search results. Apparently, I was the Aloja Fairy expert.
When creating a new world it’s easy to make it up as you go along. You start with an idea – do a little research – and make the ideas work for your story. But I needed to expand on what I had already learned. So I clicked to every link that appeared until I could get a full picture of what my Aloja Fairy would be like. I changed her hair color, added deep pools of black eyes when she got angry, I made her vain, and she grew up in the Catalan region of Spain; a clearer picture, a life and somewhere in there a fuller story.
It’s all make believe, but if you base it in some kind of tradition, you can make fantasy seem a little like reality. Maybe a little. That’s where the prologue to an untitled Annie Loves Cham novel was born. How Zola Got Her Charge.