I am so excited to have Rae Carson on the blog today! I absolutely adored The Girl of Fire and Thorns. It was one of the best books I have read all year. (You can see my review here) One of my favorite things about the book was the worldbuilding and Rae is talking about her worldbuilding process today:
The worldbuilding for The Girl of Fire and Thorns began in the Middle East. I knew I wanted to write a desert fantasy (I have a THING for deserts), and since ancient texts and secret scriptures play such an important part in Elisa’s story, it made sense to draw inspiration from desert countries with rich manuscript traditions like Israel and Turkey and Egypt. The language of the book is a pseudo-Spanish, morphed to show some Italian and Arabic influences. I took a lot of inspiration from Spanish Morocco for this.
For the scenes having to do with desert survival and the rebel encampment, I blame a very strange uncle. He wears a totem around his neck, braids his beard hair, and insists that “Jericho” is his true name, even though his parents named him something else. My very strange Uncle Jericho is one of my favorite people in the world, and I spent a lot of time hanging out with him when I was a little girl. He taught me how to catch brook trout with my bare hands, start a fire with flint and steel, shoot a gun, and even skin roadkill. (*wince*) So I grew up knowing some survivalist lore, which I geektastically put to use in the book whenever possible.
I studied history in college, particularly the colonial era, and I was fascinated by war strategy during the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. Guerilla tactics seem obvious to us now, but at the time, they were revolutionary. (haha, get it?) I also read Sun Tzu’s The Art of War, which is fabulous and totally stands up to modern reading.
All that to say: For me, worldbuilding is about indulging my inner nerd. I glommed onto anything that fascinated me, from deserts to survivalism to war strategy, and learned everything I could about it.
For more info on The Girl of Fire and Thorns and Rae Carson you can:
Watch Rae talking about the book:
And if you live in the Columbus, OH area be sure to check out the launch event:
Tuesday September 20th
Cover to Cover Bookstore3560
North High StreetColumbus, OH 43214