The Duality of Nature by C.E. Clayton (The Monster of Selkirk, #1) ***Guest Post: Hear about how C.E. Clayton builds her worlds -- Spotlight -- Giveaway***
The Duality of Nature
(The Monster of Selkirk, #1)
Publication date: April 18th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Monsters come in many forms, and not everyone knows a monster when they see one. After three hundred years of monstrous, feral elves plaguing the island nation of Selkirk, everyone believes they know what a monster is. Humans have learned to live with their savage neighbors, enacting a Clearing every four years to push the elves back from their borders. The system has worked for centuries, until after one such purge, a babe was found in the forest.
As Tallis grows, she discovers she isn’t like everyone else. There is something a little different that makes people leery in her presence, and she only ever makes a handful of friends.
But when the elves gather their forces and emerge from the forests literally hissing Tallis’s name like a battle mantra, making friends is the least of her troubles. Tallis and her companions find themselves on an unwilling journey to not only clear her name, but to stop the elves from ravaging her homeland.
The Heart of the Forest
(The Monster of Selkirk, #2)
(The Monster of Selkirk, #2)
Publication date: October 17th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Tallis is learning how to deal with loss and violence as she and her friends traverse the forests of Selkirk trying to find the reason behind the elven uprising. Not to mention why they keep hissing her name. But the further into the forests they go, Tallis is finding that the elves’ depravity can still surprise her, and thoroughly test the bonds of friendship, family, and love.
Tallis’s journey eventually leads to answers they’re not prepared for. Now Tallis begins to wonder just who she really is, and if she’s the evil that will end up destroying Selkirk. But she cannot stop to process these revelations, as an unforeseen betrayal lands those she loves at the feet of the very monster responsible for all the hurt, and heartbreak.
Coming face to face with her foe, Tallis discovers all too late she has no idea how to deal with this level of pain, and death. One way or another, the monster’s path ends here, and all Tallis can hope to do is bring those she loves safely out of the heart of the forest.
The Important Elements of Worldbuilding and How it Works
by C.E. ClaytonHi everyone, I’m Chelscey (aka C.E. Clayton) and I’m excited to do a guest post for you! One of my favorite things about being a fantasy writer is the freedom I get in creating worlds, cultures, and magic that dwell within my stories. But that doesn’t mean I create places or magic systems that are devoid of rules. In fact, outside of deciding what kind of world you want, I think establishing the limits your world functions under are some of the most important elements to world building and how it all works together in a storyline.
The first thing I do before I even write the first word of the story, is decide what kind of world my characters will eventually inhabit. Is it going to be modern, futuristic, or medieval? Does my world have mythical creatures and races, or just humans? Will my new land have magic? All these questions are important to answer, as it will shape how my characters behave and go about solving their problems.
For me, I decided that Selkirk was going to be medieval, have mythical races but not creatures, and no magic. This meant that I didn’t have to worry about the kind of advanced technology my characters might use, but I did have to figure out how someone would fight with swords and daggers. It also meant that my characters couldn’t just snap their fingers and solve their problems with magic. They also had to navigate in a world that didn’t just have humans, but elves—especially monstrous feral ones! I won’t get into the finer details because I want to avoid anything that could be a potential spoiler, but by answering those kinds of questions, I was able to build the foundation of the world my characters lived in.
Which leads to rule creation. One of my biggest pet peeves in fantasy is when a book has this wonderful magic system, but there are no limits to what the magic or the wizard can do. When magic can do literally anything, there’s really no obstacle big enough that the characters can’t solve, and I don’t find that nearly as fun to read. But if you give your magic limitations or rules, now the characters have to be very specific about how they use their gifts, and maybe magic makes certain situations worse, which is a lot more interesting to read about! Selkirk may not have magic, but the elves have supernatural elements to them that I had to give rules to so it would stay consistent book to book, and also keep the elves from becoming too powerful. They can speak to their tree deities and ask for aid, but only for things that are connected to the forest. Having that rule meant that the elves couldn’t just mind control humans whenever they felt like it, and it gave the humans a fighting chance when their two races came into conflict. Again, I don’t want to give specifics about that because it might be a bit of a spoiler for the first two books in my series!
So that’s a little bit about how I personally go about world building, and how it fits into my Monster of Selkirk series. Start broad and whittle down by setting rules and limitations to what inhabits my world and what certain creatures can and can’t do. By doing that, my characters feel like they belong nowhere else but their unique world.
C. E. Clayton was born and raised in the greater Los Angeles area, where she attended the University of Southern California (Fight On!) for both her Bachelors and Masters, and then worked in the advertising industry for several years on accounts ranging from fast food, to cars, and video games (her personal favorite). After going the traditional career route and becoming restless, she went back to her first love–writing–and hasn’t stopped. She is now the author of “The Monster of Selkirk” series and her horror short stories have appeared in anthologies across the country. When she’s not writing you can find her treating her fur-babies like humans, constantly drinking tea, and trying to convince her husband to go to more concerts. And reading. She does read quite a bit. More about C.E. Clayton, including her blog, book reviews, social media presence, and newsletter, can be found on her website: https://www.ceclayton.com/
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