Oh, quick side note from chapter 7 that I forgot to mention. The moment between Old Woman Naimh causing Cormac a heart attack. This is based off of the historic Pendle Witches and the Lancashire Trials of 1612. Alizon Device, granddaughter of Demdike, was accused of witchcraft by John Law who had suffered a heart attack or stroke while interacting with her. This whole fiasco spiraled into 12 people tried and 10 people murdered by the courts.
For the most part, the interaction with the children in chapter 8 was my own observation of children I’ve minded over the last decade. The amount of fussing they can put up, and the weird things that will completely flummox them. Beards tend to be one thing that will confuse them to absolutely no end if they haven’t been raised around people with beards. The utter horror they go through when you shave a beard off that they grew up with is just about as funny to watch. The wheelwright came about from watching a British farm documentary. I don’t remember if it was for the Victorian or Edwardian period, but they covered wheelwrights, and I had never seen one mentioned in historical fiction before, so thought I’d toss it in.
I have typos in my book – I’m sorry, I suck at grammar and I can’t afford an editor, so it is what it is, however: Casabranca is not a typo. That was an old way of spelling it.
Another aspect that is not spoken of very often in much of any fiction: taking a bath as a peasant in the 17th century. That or methods of teeth brushing. Or hair washing. I can go on. People tend to think the 17th century was disgusting and people didn’t understand how to keep clean. They did. They changed out their linen undergarments frequently. Washing down with a crock of soap and a rag were completely viable options. Also, Eoin, having spent time in Persia, took to the cleanliness adhered to by the people of the area.
Yoga as a method to stretch out. Gahveh or coffee. Simple morning rituals he could finally have back.
Now. Trying to remember that rug also means blanket within certain historical contexts was interesting and frustrating all at once.
I love Amina and Tau. To me, they are the older friends, not quite parent figures, but more like big sibling figures when you get into adult life. Amina has vitiligo, and Tau has a heavy melanin pigmintation based on Khoudia Diop, a Senegalese Model. I had read a series of news articles stating that individuals with vitiligo and having extremely dark skin are underrepresented in fashion and media. I am white, and am not in a position to delve too far into the topic. Honestly, I was scared for the better part of two years to bring the book out because of the entire section I spent on Egret Nest and Cairo.
Finding much of any historical material specifically for the occupents of the Congo area during the 17th century was not easy other than for a series of slave trade maps and some vague notations of tribe locations. I built Egret’s Nest on the base that there a known communities of people with vitiligo, albinism, and extreme melanin pigmentation, and area where Eoin and his sons would just be another addition. Most of Europe was completely packed with witch trials and I didn’t want to try navigating getting him through more witch hunter countries with a pair of children and logically he would not have ended up in the Americas because he didn’t have that kind of money.
I had a friend in college who had albinism. Rachel. She was part of the anime club with me. This was right about the time us Americans could get our hands on steampunk and lolita dresses and did she ever dress to the nines. Tiny with bright white hair down to her butt and phenomenal lashes. She had a pair of opera glasses with prescription lenses because her eyesight was terrible and she needed to be able to see the screen. I might have had a crush on her…anyways…
A bit more back story. A bit more progression in the logic of the storyline. A lot of questioning how I was going to get Eoin to move out of paradise. There needed to be a develpmental catalyst that would make him have to go back for his kids’ birthright. If Egret’s Nest had not been raided, he would have stayed there and that would have been the end of the story and he never would have returned Skye.
I was trying to figure out how to approach this section. The chapter was way to short, but it felt pretty stark and raw to go straight into Cairo. This was when I wrote in Vanora and back tracked and put her in the rest of the book. I wanted a bit more depth to Eoin’s character and a bit more dialogue development. Some breathing room from the raid so the tension could dissipate for the reader a bit.
Vanora: White Wave
I twisted this chapter around and around for the better part of a month with enough research to make my head spin before I felt comfortable representing it the way I did. I was mad at how I had written the story up to that point. I was mad at the conclusions I was drawing. Honestly, I pointed out that people wouldn’t like the story in the story itself. I made both Fearchar and Seonaid angry and Eoin for it purely because I didn’t like this section in the plot, but it made sense in the long run.
Intro the Zagros, the royal lineage, and Mirza – also known as Marduk. I based the ruler as a half brother in the Safavid dynasty who was not documented because he and some of his children have gigantism. Initially I was going to expound on Mirza’s propensity to collect people with a wide variety of differences because he was lonely and liked the interest. However, I couldn’t find an acceptable way to incorporate it in a way that was not exploitative and ended up deleting the section entirely.
We get into the meet of Eoin’s relationship with Mirza and navigation of memories. I needed built in spacing for the reader to breath so the entire story would float between past and present.However, memories are not always linear in their recollection. I wanted to hint at some of what Eoin experienced without being explicit. I did fade to black in a way if only to not have to say what was going on, while allowing the reader to gain that sinking pit sensation in their stomach about his experiences with Marduk. The guy. I don’t know. He’s not meant to be a villain. He’s also not meant to be a knight in shining armor. I want people to realize that both he and Eoin use each other for mutual benefit and that even that direction of though can still leave behind trauma.
Okay. So that’s it for this symbolism study on Fyskar. I’ll get into chapters 15-25 a bit later. If you like what you’re seeing, pick up the book or check out my Buy Me Sushi button. Support is always greatly appreciated.
I am a writer and artist working through the Kavordian Library series. I write sci-fi, fantasy, lgbt romance.