the Little Red Reviewer

The Gossamer Mage Blog Tour! Guest post and giveaway!

Posted on: July 26, 2019

Happy Friday!   My friends, I regret to tell you that I do not have a Five for Friday post today.  Allow me to make it up with not one but TWO blog posts AND a give away!

 

I am so excited for Julie Czerneda’s forthcoming fantasy novel The Gossamer Mage to come into the world. This booooooook!!!!!!!!!!   the characters! the magic!   the everything!!!   More on all that later today, stop by the blog after 2pm Eastern Time to read the review.  In the mean, I have an amazing guest post from Julie Czerneda, where she talks about how, when it comes to storytelling, the map is the territory.

 

You like maps? me too!  you’re gonna love this post!

 

This is an image heavy post, so please be patient if the images take a moment to load.  While you’re waiting,  head over to the giveaway page (outside the US? Click here for the International giveaway!)and get yourself entered for, are you ready for this?   A set of the Julie Czerneda Library: more than a dozen of her books, all signed.  I’ve been blogging nearly ten years and I have never seen a giveaway that comes close to this!

 

About Julie Czerneda:

What is magic? As imagined by Julie E. Czerneda, it’s wild and free, a force of nature and source of wonder. She first explored this theme in her Night’s Edge series, starting with the award-winning Turn of Light. In The Gossamer Mage, Julie goes further, envisioning magic not only as integral to landscape and history, but well aware what we’re doing with it. That tie between us and other, the profound changes we make by connecting, have always informed her work, be it fantasy or science fiction.

Mage is Julie’s twentieth novel published by DAW Books, and she couldn’t be more proud to belong to this esteemed publishing family. For more about Julie and her work, please visit czerneda.com.

photography credit: Roger Czerneda Photography

 

(Andrea’s note: Since she neglected to mention it, I will:  Both Turn of Light and A Play of Shadow won the  Aurora Award, and that’s only half of the Aurora Awards she has won! Also, I LOVE those glasses frames!)

 

About The Gossamer Mage (Available Aug 6th 2019 from DAW books)

 

From an Aurora Award-winning author comes a new fantasy epic in which one mage must stand against a Deathless Goddess who controls all magic.

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Only in Tananen do people worship a single deity: the Deathless Goddess. Only in this small, forbidden realm are there those haunted by words of no language known to woman or man. The words are Her Gift, and they summon magic.

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Mage scribes learn to write Her words as intentions: spells to make beasts or plants, designed to any purpose. If an intention is flawed, what the mage creates is a gossamer: a magical creature as wild and free as it is costly for the mage.

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For Her Gift comes at a steep price. Each successful intention ages a mage until they dare no more. But her magic demands to be used; the Deathless Goddess will take her fee, and mages will die.

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To end this terrible toll, the greatest mage in Tananen vows to find and destroy Her. He has yet to learn She is all that protects Tananen from what waits outside. And all that keeps magic alive.

Is that not the most gorgeous cover art you’ve ever seen?

 

Y’all ready for some discussion about maps, worldbuilding, storytelling, and discovery?  ME TOO. Everything from here on is all Julie!

 

 

The Fantasy Maps of Tananen

by Julie E. Czerneda

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I’m going to start with a confession. I don’t look at the maps in fantasy novels, being too interested in the words and the inner pictures they give me. After I’ve read the story, if I’ve loved it, I’ll take a peek because then the maps are an extra bit of happy. Oh, and midway through I’ll take a peek if I can’t get my inner picture of the geography, but in all honesty? In books like that, I’ve found the maps rarely help.
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I do, however, make maps for myself.


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Why? Because I need to know where things are in order to write words that, for someone like me, make maps redundant—or an extra bit of happy. Maps give me scale, which gives me travel times. Maps show me proximity: what’s reasonably close, what’s not. Some of my maps are as simple as quick scrawls of who is sitting where around a table.

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Some are like the one here, that encompass the entirety of the story and then some.

My early notion of Tananen, from The Gossamer Mage

When I wrote my first fantasy novel, A Turn of Light, I wanted the landscape of Marrowdell to define the borders of the story. I didn’t make myself a map; I made a scale model. I loved doing it and found it immensely helpful. Since, however, I haven’t found a free month to make another.
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After the fact, it occurred to me that readers of fantasy, for the most part, do like maps. Very much. It was quite a struggle to draw one from the model, believe me, but I managed. I was happier with the map of the various domains. Rivers and mountains. Trees and cities.
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Of course, having put maps in Turn meant the expectation of maps in the sequel, A Play of Shadow, but I’ve another confession. By this point I’d discovered I quite enjoyed drawing maps, from pencil sketch, to inking, to tidying the scanned result via Photoshop (which Roger taught me to use so I could put in my own labels.). It reminded me of drawing the results of biology dissections.
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We are who we are.
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I grew rather pleased with myself, actually. I’d enjoyed geography and relish reading topographical maps—to the extent where I considered putting in contour lines, but no, that seemed excessive. Besides, I’d done that for my model of Marrowdell.
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I approached the fantasy maps of Tananen, the realm in which everything takes place in The Gossamer Mage, with unjustified but exciting ambition. I planned architectural detail drawings to go throughout the book. Pens and artifacts. Maybe I’d draw creatures (undissected).
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Then I broke my right wrist and couldn’t draw more than a wavery line for months.
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Oops?
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No worries. If I’d stayed whole I’m pretty sure I’d have pulled back from the Art Extravaganza approach anyway. Mage is a story in which I hope words matter more.

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Except, yes, there are maps.

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Map making materials!

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The second map I drew, post-wrist, is of Tananen’s Mage School. It’s in the book—midway through the book—to give readers the overall structure before I race them through the actions and weirdness about to transpire. Since I’d used the Cotswold Cottages in the UK as inspiration for the buildings, I couldn’t resist making a map reminiscent of the one used by tourists. Yay for small architectural details after all!
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This shows you the sketch, then final. We scanned at various physical stages, in case I mucked up or spilled coffee etc. Yay technology!

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Ah, but the first map. Of Tananen itself. Herself. I was beyond grateful I’d sketched it before breaking my wrist. Because, you see, I’d tried to capture the essential shape of this place. I not only knew scale and distance.
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I knew something deeper.
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I’d discovered Marrowdell’s quirks through building the model. In doing Tananen’s map, I wanted you to discover Her. The Deathless Goddess. The Lady.
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Do you see her?

 

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With the finishing touches, do you see Her now? Hint: if not, view the map upside down

A conceit, it’s called, when an artist puts a clever trick in their work. For me, this is far more, because the presence of Her face within the map speaks to the deepest themes of Mage. What is the world? What is magic? How we see the truth—and will we survive it?
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Maps. There you go. Sometimes they give you a scale you didn’t see coming.

5 Responses to "The Gossamer Mage Blog Tour! Guest post and giveaway!"

Love this post! I love maps so much, and it’s so interesting to see Julie’s writing process and how creating maps helps her. I’m starting this book next😁

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As soon as I saw the map sketch, not yet reading the blog, I said to myself, I see a face! and lo and behold, I really did. Looking forward to the read.

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the map ads so much more dimension to the book, i think you’re gonna love it!

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Squeeeee!! Great post, and can’t wait to read The Gossamer Mage.
And I lovelovelove that Julie has made an Easter egg of her map of Tananen – that is so fricking cool!! 😀

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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