Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Mapping New Worlds

I love maps! Globe, street directory, nautical chart, atlas. I'm the official map reader in our family (although my husband has to refold them).

And I love maps in novels, from Winnie the Pooh and Thomas the Tank Engine maps to those found in Lord of the Rings and Chronicles of Narnia. It's world building and treasure maps, imaginary geographies. In fact, maps are so important in fantasy and science fiction that there's even profantasy map making software.

Because I love maps so much, I wanted to include one in Buzz Off, my first beekeeping story coming out later next year. It's set in a fictional town in southern Wisconsin with some real landmarks and I wanted readers to be able to picture the small town of Moraine.

First I had to ask my editor. Yes, she said, it's possible but you have to supply the map. She sent over specifics for hand drawings, since I didn't want it to look computer-generated. The map had to be drawn in black ink and scaled to the size of a paperback printed page. Since I can't draw a straight line, let alone a curved one, I enlisted the help of my talented son Adam. And I love what he did with my little world. You can't see much in this tiny picture, but it gives you the general idea.

Who else loves maps? What other fictional works have maps? Authors, do you include them in your own works?