#MondayBlog – Mapping Out Your Novel’s #Fantasy #World

When reading fantasy novels, the world created needs to make sense.  The reader needs to be able to picture where the action takes place.  Here are examples from my favorite books.

Hogwarts – J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series


Camp Half-Blood – Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series


A Game of Thrones – George R.R. Martin’s series


Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien’s series


Vita Post Mortem Academy – my (after)life lessons series

Map of Vita Post Mortem Academy

To vote for Vita Post Mortem Academy to be published by Amazon, click on The Light of Supremazia Kindle Scout page book #1 in the (after)life lessons series.

How do you map out your novel’s #fantasy world? See what author @alanasiegel thinks (Click to tweet)

Maps from your favorite #fantasy #books – check out @alanasiegel ‘s post (Click to tweet)


Made Up Words, the #Language of a #Fiction #Novel

Creative Terms for Fiction

How great are the inventive words used to describe a new thing, event, or action in fiction? There are tons of examples.  Here are a few of my favorites:

  • An animagus is a person who can morph into an animal – from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.
  • Similarly, a warg is a person who can enter the minds of animals – from George R.R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones series.
  • The reaping is an event when a boy and a girl are chosen from each district to participate in the Hunger Games – from Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games series.
  • Buggers are insect-like aliens – from Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game series
  • A mudblood is a magical person born to non-magical parents – from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.
  • A half-blood is a person born from one parent who is a mythological god and one who is not – from Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series.
  • Quidditch is a professional sport in the wizarding world – from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.

How do you invent a new term?

For my new series, (after)life lessons, I tried to be thoughtful about new terms. You can’t rename everything or your reader will get lost.  However, it is fun to imagine your new term catching on and being used in casual conversation!

My series is based on the premise that spirits exist in our world and certain people have the ability to see them.  Simply put, some people are spirit-seers and called visumaries, while others who can not see spirits are ableptic.

Visumary and Ableptic Definitions

Why do you choose the terms?

Sometimes authors choose the word because of the phonetic appeal – it sounds similar to another word that conveys a certain meaning. Other authors perform deep research on Latin roots or Greek mythology.

I felt the word visumary sounded similar to visionary, like they have the ability to see things others can’t.

Ableptic has a harsher sound – “bleh.” It is less musical, similar to J.K. Rowling’s choice of squib for a person born into a magical family, but has no magical abilities. Also, in English, “ablepsia” means lack of sight or blindness.

Kindle Scout Campaign Update

The Light of Supremazia Kindle Scout campaign has been trending *HOT* for 41 hours and has 692 page views!

Vote Here: The Light of Supremazia Kindle Scout Page

Twitter-Sized Bites

How do you invent new terms for a #fiction #novel ? Author @alanasiegel has some thoughts (Click to tweet)

What are your favorite #fictional terms – #quidditch #halfblood #warg ? Writer @alanasiegel has a few (Click to tweet)

Like the #NightsWatch and the #Kingsguard on the Eve of a Great #Battle …

… we must DRILL, DRILL, DRILL!

This isn’t the battle in Blackwater Bay, or at the Whispering Willows, or at the Fist of the First Men.

This is DANCE!  Big show at San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts on Saturday night.


And then we watch Game of Thrones on Sunday night. 🙂



the Mother of Dragons


Say Yes, Raise My Hand, and Floss My Teeth

Today’s quote on Goodreads reminded me of my goals for the season. In case you were confused, this is birthday season, aka post-wedding season. It lasts until the holiday season 😉
“Do one thing everyday that scares you.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
With more time to think about myself, where I am in life, and where I want to be, I put together a list of things I want to work on.
1. Say yes more often. When a friend asks me to grab coffee or join a Zumba class, say yes.
2. Raise my hand. When someone suggests an idea at work, let them know why I agree or disagree.
3. Floss my teeth. Yup, you read that right.
Ok, so these are tame goals, and definitely not that scary, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. We can’t all be Eowyn from Lord of the Rings and launch into the battle of Pelennor Fields and fight the evil Witch-King of Anmar.
Or Katniss Everdeen from Hunger Games and face 23 death-hungry kids in a man-made hell for the pleasure of the viewing public.
Or Daenerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones, the mother of dragons, and marry Khal Drogo, the Dothraki khalasar, in order to take back the iron throne for her people.
But I can start here. And besides, I already consider myself a mother of 1 dragon…my ragamuffin cat named, Zeus.
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Mom, My Personal Superhero

I’ve been thinking about Moms as superheroes for awhile now, but I took it as a sign when one of my best friends from NYU gave birth to a baby boy last night.  Pregnancy, labor, and birth…now that takes superpowers. Congrats, Lovecakes!

I find most motherly superpowers (other than giving birth) to be behind the scenes.  Rather than being the person, sword in hand, fighting the dragon, mothers are the unsung heroes in the background. Without their support, the protagonist would never have the courage to stand up to the dragon at all.

That is of course, unless your protagonist IS a mother. [I’m picturing Claire Dunphy from Modern Family who doesn’t take crap from anyone and still finds time to take her kids to mathlete competitions. Or perhaps Cersei Lannister from Game of Thrones?] But in most of the fantasy books I read, the mother is there to support the lead. This blog is a tribute to all the Supermoms.

Molly Weasley from the Harry Potter series is, hands down, a supermom. From cooking dinner for a family of eight, to joining the Order of Pheonix, to killing Bellatrix Lestrange, she is heroic.


Another superb example is Sally Jackson from the Percy Jackson series.  She lived (and died and came back to life) in terrible circumstances with an abusive husband, just to protect her son from the wrath of the gods.


Even grandmas can be superheroes.  Remember Gran from the True Blood series?  Fighting and loving vampires and fairies.  That’s hardcore.


However, no superhero compares to my own mom. Brave, smart, thoughtful…as my Aunt Iris would say, she is the whole package! Her love and support makes me the women I am today.  And trust me, I can take on any dragon!

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And just because Olivia Hart tends to think like me, I leave you with a quote from the Olivia Hart and the Gifted Program Series:

She said exactly what I needed to hear. “Thanks, Mom. I love you. I’ll call you,” I said and hung up the phone. Something about a mother’s guarantee did wonders for self-confidence. I felt hopeful because Mom said I could do it. I was going to save my friends. –OLIVIA HART, THE RESCUE

Introducing the Tween Queen

Let the count downs begin!

12 days until the release of Rick Riordan’s The House of Hades


25 days until the premiere of Pretty Little Liar’s Halloween Special


57 days until the follow up to Hunger Games, Catching Fire


6 months until the season premiere of HBO’s Game of Thrones