Thursday, July 19, 2007

WIndwalker by Donna Sundblad

Donna will be the first author to be featured on It's All in the Setting. Her novel is a fantasy, let's learn more about her setting...

Why did you pick the setting you used in your story?
The setting takes place in a pre-industrial setting in a fantasy world one culture calls The Land, because their belief system teaches that they are sojourners in The Land. When people name a land they tend to think it belongs to them. On the other side of the plot is a second culture who arrives at the shores of the land which they name Ranaan. And guess what—within a few hundred years they think they own it.

Why you chose that particular setting?
This fantasy story line deals with issues of discrimination and differences in belief systems. I set it in a fictional place to avoid anyone thinking of am talking about a certain place that would allow discrimination and prejudice to lead to genocide.

What does the setting add to the story?
The setting plays an important part in the story. One place in particular is the Fortress of Stone. This place is foretold to hold the answers needed to bring peace to the Land. Laws are enforced to make sure no such place exists, but within this setting we learn that it is a natural rock formation within the Valley of Rocks.

Could you write the same story in a different setting?
I could write a similar story, but not the same story. The setting provides the pieces that make the plot work. Things like the Sacred Stairway, the Cage of Ice, and Yolk of Inspiration are all part of the setting within the Land. Without them, the story could not take place.

Why or why couldn't you use a different setting?
I explained this above, but let me say here that the setting provides the elements necessary for the magical powers of the antagonist to make the plot thicken with tension. The setting also includes elements that allow the protagonists to find the solutions to the problem if they just have the faith to do so. If they don't the entire civilization (both cultures) face destruction.

Did you use a real place as a basis for your setting?
I did research on various places to understand things like volcanoes and flooding, but the setting itself is a mixture of places and experiences in my life. The Land has mountains, valleys and a coastline.

Or, did you create the setting from scratch?
Yes, I created it from scratch and developed a map as I went along to make sure things came together in a realistic way.Tell us some specific details about your setting.

What would we see? What sort of people are there? If we were traveling to your setting, what should we bring with us? For visitors, what do they need to know to visit your setting?
As I said, it's a pre-industrial society. At the start of the story you'll see dark-eyed indigenous people living in the Land awaiting the ships their prophets had predicted would come—along with a lingering menace.You'll see kind people among the indigenous Stygian people and the fair-eyed Jonnick who come to shore with a disease fatal to many of both cultures. But among them is a white stone tied to a different spirit and with it a curse that follows the Jonnick. Both cultures learn to work together to survive, but eventually part ways. Beyond that you'll see villages, secret caves, the Valley of Rocks and the Valley of Blades. It's a one-of-a-kind world and one worth visiting.Thank you for sharing details about your book setting.

Now, what's the title of your book and where can we buy it?

WindwalkerAvailable at epress-online

Thank you to Donna for telling us about her setting. Will your's be posted next?

Nikki Leigh

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