Thursday, 12 February 2015

Writing Fact into Your Fantasy by Tammy Farrell

This is a guest post written by Tammy Farrell, author of The Embers of Light

As a writer of historical fantasy and historical paranormal romance, I create fictional worlds within real historical settings. In addition to writing, my passion in life is history. I’ve always had the to urge to write, but I also need to be a student, so being able to bring my love for writing and history together is perfect.

Start With The Facts
For me, creating a world as authentic as possible is important, and that’s where I usually start. Once I’ve chosen the place and time for my story I begin to research. I study the rulers, laws, clothing, architecture, and anything else that will help form the factual details of my story. I’ve also found historical maps helpful in understanding the landscape of the time, and I use Google Earth to compare those maps to the landscape now.

Once I’ve decided on the facts I’ll use in my story, I move on to the fiction.

There’s A Lot Of Fiction Involved In Writing History
It doesn’t matter how in depth my research is, I’m always going to have to invent or change things to make my story work. For example, in The Dia Chronicles I altered the timeline of the Dumonian kings by a few years because I didn’t want the third novel to happen during the rule of Custennin, who is believed to be Saint Constantine. So by having King Gerren rule an extra three years, I’m able to avoid such a prominent Christian ruler confronting my characters.

While I try to use accurate place names when I can, a lot of the time I create places. In my historical paranormal series The Highborn Chronicles, which is set in Tudor England, I chose to create places amidst the real places for my fictional Earls and Dukes. Marcus Brandon is the earl of fictional Dorenby, and Lord William Emeric is the Duke of fictional Indington.

Add Your Fantasy Elements
This is the fun part, and along with researching, it’s my favorite step in the writing process. Once I’ve figured out how much fact I’m going to include in my story, I start adding all the elements that will make my story a fantasy. I find that my readers prefer the low fantasy elements, so I try to have my creations blend in with the facts. In The Dia Chronicles the majority of my characters are descendants of the mythical Tuatha Dé Danann. These characters and their challenges are fantasy, but they’re living within the framework of the real world. In The Highborn Chronicles Lycans and werewolves live within King Henry VIII’s court. These characters have their own laws, their own communities, and their own objectives, while still existing by the laws of the kingdom.

You Determine the Details
Some fantasy, particularly high fantasy novels, rely heavily on fictional elements and settings. I prefer the low fantasy approach, which creates fictional elements within the real world. But even with high fantasy, facts such as sword making, horsemanship, the laws of physics, and medical care can be worked into the fictional plot. It’s all up to the author. But when a reader can identify with or learn something from the details in your story, it makes it that much more engaging.

About Tammy Farrell
Tammy Farrell grew up in Orangeville, Ontario Canada where she discovered her love of writing, and all things related to Edgar Allan Poe. She now lives with her husband and six fur babies in Greenville, South Carolina, where she attempts to learn French when she isn’t busy writing.

Learn more about The Dia Chronicles and Tammy Farrell’s other works at:


About The Embers of Light

The Embers of Light
The Dia Chronicles
Volume 2
Tammy Farrell

Genre: Historical Fantasy

Publisher: Tammy Farrell

Date of Publication: Jan 28th, 2015

ISBN: -13:  978-1505434989
ISBN-10: 150543498X

Number of pages: 388
Word Count: 96,000

Cover Artist: Nathalia Suellen

The descendants of the ancient gods think they’ve found peace, but the time has come when new magic and ancient powers will collide…

Stripped of his Dia powers and left to rot, Malcolm is a prisoner of Valenia—a sentence he finds worse than death. His thoughts of revenge are the only thing keeping him sane, but when he finally manages to escape, Malcolm discovers that living as a mortal is more dangerous than he ever imagined. After stealing from the wrong man, Malcolm becomes a captive once more, only this time his punishment is one that he won’t soon forget. His only hope of survival is Seren, an enigmatic young girl with golden eyes and a malevolence to match his own.

When he’s led to Mara and Corbin, the two responsible for his fall from grace, their new faction of Dia is in chaos, infiltrated by an ancient power thought to have been banished forever. This only fuels Malcolm’s ruthless ambitions, but he soon realizes that he too is under attack, a pawn in a centuries old game of power and greed. As new battle lines are drawn, Malcolm finds himself in uncharted waters, forced to choose between helping those he’s vowed to destroy or give in to his lingering desire to settle the score.

Debts will be paid, lives will be lost, and no Dia will ever be the same.

Available at Amazon

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