Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Daemonhold Curse

The Daemonhold Curse

Why you chose that particular setting?
The story is a fantasy variation on a gothic tale, so it takes place in the Academy Kova and the manor house in the country called Tolan that correspond to an Earth university and Jane Eyre style gloomy castle.

What does the setting add to the story?
The contrast of the institution of learning and healing and the gloomy country manor set up the basic shape of the tale—will rationality triumph over superstition, or will the dark things that go ‘bump in the night’ win?

Could you write the same story in a different setting?
I actually, as an experiment, took the same outline (roughly) and set it in an earth setting in the 1930s in another series. It was so changed by the transition that it was no longer recognizable by the time I was done.

Why or why couldn't you use a different setting?
The biggest thing that made this story work was the religious faith of my hero Erique Shoutte and that and the world of Altiva became vital to telling the story.

Did you use a real place as a basis for your setting?
I drew on the Shaolin temple and an Episcopal Seminary that I did a film at as models for the Academy Kova. As for Daemonhold, I have been in some pretty creepy mansions and castles and drew on all of them for it.

Tell us some specific details about your setting. What would we see? What sort of people are there?
The training yard of the Academy Kova was open to any of the free companions who frequented the Kovar quarter of Tolan, the capital city of Cozen. The School of Justice—the combat academy--occupied a central courtyard of reasonable size fitted out as both a sword school and an Iskarian Monk style Martial Arts School. Weapons racks lined the area and bright pennants bordered the space.
On any day, rain or shine, and many nights as well, the yard choked with the Kovar faithful; in the viewing section, students from the schools of 'brand' studies and the odd free companion who wished to study the secrets of the Iskarian or old 'kingdom style' of martial arts.
As for Daemonhold:
Daemonhold, the ancestral home of the clan Daemon was not strictly speaking, a castle. It was a dark, foreboding manor house, laid out with a floor plan that was a ‘T” with a shortened ‘vertical’ wing. The ground floor mostly composed of dark stone, quarried from the nearby hills with timber and daub comprising the second story of the building. At the juncture of the body of the ‘T’ and the main wing a single rounded stone turret rose an additional story above the rest whose small windows gave a clear and unobstructed view all around the building.
Its warrior past evident in the thickness of the walls, crystal storm shutters that had built in arrow slits, the battlements on the roof and remnants of a wide ditch around the structure that could have easily converted into a moat in time of conflict.
The building stood on an outcrop of granite that formed a slight rise on an otherwise flat plain between two small rivers. Thin new-growth woods that had encroached in the last seventy-five years on to land that had formerly been denuded for security.

If we were traveling to your setting, what should we bring with us?
The upcountry of Tolan, where Daemonhold is located, is a cold mountainous area so I’d bring a wool sweater and a stout stick to fight off bandits…

For visitors, what do they need to know to visit your setting?
Altiva is a world of contrasts and adventure and each story in the series Death at Dragonthroat, Tales of a Warrior Priest, The Daemonhold Curse and Sister Warrior is unique. All you have to bring is a sense of wonder; I hope I do the rest….

Thank you for sharing details about your book setting.

Now, where can we buy it? in September.

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