Writing with maps

Pb_sunset_may_20_2006_541 Unlike the other better-mannered Wenches, I blundered in without introducing myself.  As Loretta Chase I’ve been writing in the Regency era for, um, some time now.  My semi-official blog day is Saturday.

Currently I’m working on the fourth book of my Carsington brothers series.  The third, Lord Perfect, came out in March.  This month, Berkley reissued Captives of the Night, part of an earlier series.

Enough about the books.  Let’s talk about writing, which is easy when it isn’t fiendishly hard and is infinitely preferable to most other occupations except reading other writers’ books, absorbing the magic of the refuge in Maine, and some other things, including…oh, be still my heart…looking at maps.

As my husband will attest, while he is filling the gas tank or going into a sporting equipment shop or doing some other manly thing, I, waiting in the car, will take out one of his maps–of anywhere–and read it.  I love maps, especially old ones, but new ones will do in a pinch.  My husband will also attest that I am one of the world’s worst navigators, but that’s a story for another time.

Maps help me create a structure or a reasonable facsimile thereof.  As other Wenches have demonstrated, we all have our methods or something we laughingly call a method.  I usually start with an extremely vague idea about the hero or heroine–imagine a small, distant figure in a fog–and an equally dim notion of what his or her counterpart needs to be.  Once in a great while, a powerful, vivid image and understanding of hero or heroine leaps to the front of my imagination, and from that point, everything else falls quickly into place.  But that almost never happens.

What usually happens is distant figures in the fog.  Either way, though, what I must have, before I can truly make a story come to life, is a place.

So it starts like this:  “I think I’ll set a story in…hmmm…Egypt.”

Then the adventure begins.  The trips to the libraries and their secret places in the basement where there are books no one reads anymore.  No one except me.  I read the early 1800s volumes of the Philosophical Magazine the way normal people read People.  But the basements also hold crumbly travel books, with their detailed descriptions and illustrations of places…and maps.  All in all, I must have ended up with about 50 maps for Mr. Impossible (note author’s unsubtle plug of book), from various time periods, because one never finds in one book or map all the information one needs.

It could be argued that I don’t really need all that information.  Only about 1/100th of it ends up in the book.  But I need it for me, because I need to be there in order to write about it.  Once I’m there, the hero and heroine can be there.  And once they’re there, they can interact with their environment, which gives them things to do (i.e., plot).  In the case of Mr. I, interactions with the environment mainly involved trying not to get killed by it.  And what they do and how they do it  tells them–and us–who they are (i.e., character development).

But mainly I do it because it’s fun.

Loretta

84 thoughts on “Writing with maps”

  1. Loretta, I love maps, too. As you say, they give a physical reality to the story. I like to see my people moving through real space.
    Jo

    Reply
  2. Loretta, I love maps, too. As you say, they give a physical reality to the story. I like to see my people moving through real space.
    Jo

    Reply
  3. Loretta, I love maps, too. As you say, they give a physical reality to the story. I like to see my people moving through real space.
    Jo

    Reply
  4. Loretta, I love maps, too. As you say, they give a physical reality to the story. I like to see my people moving through real space.
    Jo

    Reply
  5. Loretta, I love maps, too. As you say, they give a physical reality to the story. I like to see my people moving through real space.
    Jo

    Reply
  6. Loretta, I love maps, too. As you say, they give a physical reality to the story. I like to see my people moving through real space.
    Jo

    Reply
  7. I’m so glad they’re reissuing your older books, Loretta (even if those guys on the new covers don’t look even remotely like the heros you described and I imagined.) I’ve been recommending these books for years, and finally your newer readers will be able to find them, too.
    Now, if only they have maps inside to mark all the fantastic places your characters get to visit….
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  8. I’m so glad they’re reissuing your older books, Loretta (even if those guys on the new covers don’t look even remotely like the heros you described and I imagined.) I’ve been recommending these books for years, and finally your newer readers will be able to find them, too.
    Now, if only they have maps inside to mark all the fantastic places your characters get to visit….
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  9. I’m so glad they’re reissuing your older books, Loretta (even if those guys on the new covers don’t look even remotely like the heros you described and I imagined.) I’ve been recommending these books for years, and finally your newer readers will be able to find them, too.
    Now, if only they have maps inside to mark all the fantastic places your characters get to visit….
    Susan/Miranda

    Reply
  10. Jo, I believe you were the one who told me about the Regency A to Z of London. Whenever I do a London setting, I make enlarged copies of the relevant sections, tack this on my all-purpose foamcore board (I have no walls in my work area free for big maps, alas, on account of the bookshelves). You also provided the invaluable Black’s Guide to Derbyshire when I was working on Miss Wonderful. This spared me many hours in the aforesaid library basements with the crumbly books. I palpitate whenever I discover an old travel guide has been reprinted.

    Reply
  11. Jo, I believe you were the one who told me about the Regency A to Z of London. Whenever I do a London setting, I make enlarged copies of the relevant sections, tack this on my all-purpose foamcore board (I have no walls in my work area free for big maps, alas, on account of the bookshelves). You also provided the invaluable Black’s Guide to Derbyshire when I was working on Miss Wonderful. This spared me many hours in the aforesaid library basements with the crumbly books. I palpitate whenever I discover an old travel guide has been reprinted.

    Reply
  12. Jo, I believe you were the one who told me about the Regency A to Z of London. Whenever I do a London setting, I make enlarged copies of the relevant sections, tack this on my all-purpose foamcore board (I have no walls in my work area free for big maps, alas, on account of the bookshelves). You also provided the invaluable Black’s Guide to Derbyshire when I was working on Miss Wonderful. This spared me many hours in the aforesaid library basements with the crumbly books. I palpitate whenever I discover an old travel guide has been reprinted.

    Reply
  13. Susan, I did ask about maps in the books, but I guess they’re too expensive. In my copious free time I am looking for some out-of-copyright maps to put on my website at some point.
    As to covers: now isn’t that something we could blog about endlessly? Or do you think it would get too violent?

    Reply
  14. Susan, I did ask about maps in the books, but I guess they’re too expensive. In my copious free time I am looking for some out-of-copyright maps to put on my website at some point.
    As to covers: now isn’t that something we could blog about endlessly? Or do you think it would get too violent?

    Reply
  15. Susan, I did ask about maps in the books, but I guess they’re too expensive. In my copious free time I am looking for some out-of-copyright maps to put on my website at some point.
    As to covers: now isn’t that something we could blog about endlessly? Or do you think it would get too violent?

    Reply
  16. Maps! I love maps too, especially old ones. I always spend a little time with maps to find my characters’ homes, locales, routes. Like Jo said, it puts the characters into real space, and that can help the whole writing process.

    Reply
  17. Maps! I love maps too, especially old ones. I always spend a little time with maps to find my characters’ homes, locales, routes. Like Jo said, it puts the characters into real space, and that can help the whole writing process.

    Reply
  18. Maps! I love maps too, especially old ones. I always spend a little time with maps to find my characters’ homes, locales, routes. Like Jo said, it puts the characters into real space, and that can help the whole writing process.

    Reply
  19. Loretta, did you happen to catch a wonderful PBS series a couple of years ago called THE SHAPE OF THE WORLD? It was a history of mapmaking. I loved it. It doesn’t seem to be available on video, or I’d have bought it by now; but you can possibly turn up a copy of the companion book on alibris.com or abebooks.com.
    The most fascinating chapter to me was on The Great Trig, the Survey of India, and the shifts they were put to in mapping places forbidden to foreigners.
    My favorite anecdote: Although they tried to use the local names for geographical features whenever possible, they were rather at a loss when pretending to be natives. One cannot ask the nearest Nepalese, “Hey, what’s the name of that mountain there?” when you are supposed to be Nepalese yourself.
    So they named it after the head of the Survey, one George Everest.

    Reply
  20. Loretta, did you happen to catch a wonderful PBS series a couple of years ago called THE SHAPE OF THE WORLD? It was a history of mapmaking. I loved it. It doesn’t seem to be available on video, or I’d have bought it by now; but you can possibly turn up a copy of the companion book on alibris.com or abebooks.com.
    The most fascinating chapter to me was on The Great Trig, the Survey of India, and the shifts they were put to in mapping places forbidden to foreigners.
    My favorite anecdote: Although they tried to use the local names for geographical features whenever possible, they were rather at a loss when pretending to be natives. One cannot ask the nearest Nepalese, “Hey, what’s the name of that mountain there?” when you are supposed to be Nepalese yourself.
    So they named it after the head of the Survey, one George Everest.

    Reply
  21. Loretta, did you happen to catch a wonderful PBS series a couple of years ago called THE SHAPE OF THE WORLD? It was a history of mapmaking. I loved it. It doesn’t seem to be available on video, or I’d have bought it by now; but you can possibly turn up a copy of the companion book on alibris.com or abebooks.com.
    The most fascinating chapter to me was on The Great Trig, the Survey of India, and the shifts they were put to in mapping places forbidden to foreigners.
    My favorite anecdote: Although they tried to use the local names for geographical features whenever possible, they were rather at a loss when pretending to be natives. One cannot ask the nearest Nepalese, “Hey, what’s the name of that mountain there?” when you are supposed to be Nepalese yourself.
    So they named it after the head of the Survey, one George Everest.

    Reply
  22. Loretta,
    A quick note to say that I just adore your books and one of my most exciting UBS finds was an original copy of Viscount Vagabond.
    I too pull out maps to read while my husband is pumping gas. I love just looking at maps of US states to which I’ve never been. I took a class in college about the age of Columbus and we had a guest speaker from the Univ. of Chicago library who brought in examples of all these maps that were available at the time of Columbus. They were absolutely fascinating and there is no better way to place you in the story than by understanding the world as it was known at that time.
    I love the blog, ladies, and I cannot wait to read more!

    Reply
  23. Loretta,
    A quick note to say that I just adore your books and one of my most exciting UBS finds was an original copy of Viscount Vagabond.
    I too pull out maps to read while my husband is pumping gas. I love just looking at maps of US states to which I’ve never been. I took a class in college about the age of Columbus and we had a guest speaker from the Univ. of Chicago library who brought in examples of all these maps that were available at the time of Columbus. They were absolutely fascinating and there is no better way to place you in the story than by understanding the world as it was known at that time.
    I love the blog, ladies, and I cannot wait to read more!

    Reply
  24. Loretta,
    A quick note to say that I just adore your books and one of my most exciting UBS finds was an original copy of Viscount Vagabond.
    I too pull out maps to read while my husband is pumping gas. I love just looking at maps of US states to which I’ve never been. I took a class in college about the age of Columbus and we had a guest speaker from the Univ. of Chicago library who brought in examples of all these maps that were available at the time of Columbus. They were absolutely fascinating and there is no better way to place you in the story than by understanding the world as it was known at that time.
    I love the blog, ladies, and I cannot wait to read more!

    Reply
  25. Oh, I’m sorry I didn’t see the PBS series. And I’m thrilled to learn that so many other people share my love of maps. When I wrote The Lion’s Daughter, one of the maps I used was made during WWII. Until that time, there were very few reliable maps–and the situation was similar to that in India, probably. I did find copies of Regency era maps (also military surveys), but they were very, very hard to read. Beautiful but bewildering. One of the problems with areas like Albania and Egypt is the multiple names and spellings of names. You end up having to consult three maps simultaneously. Not that this isn’t fun.

    Reply
  26. Oh, I’m sorry I didn’t see the PBS series. And I’m thrilled to learn that so many other people share my love of maps. When I wrote The Lion’s Daughter, one of the maps I used was made during WWII. Until that time, there were very few reliable maps–and the situation was similar to that in India, probably. I did find copies of Regency era maps (also military surveys), but they were very, very hard to read. Beautiful but bewildering. One of the problems with areas like Albania and Egypt is the multiple names and spellings of names. You end up having to consult three maps simultaneously. Not that this isn’t fun.

    Reply
  27. Oh, I’m sorry I didn’t see the PBS series. And I’m thrilled to learn that so many other people share my love of maps. When I wrote The Lion’s Daughter, one of the maps I used was made during WWII. Until that time, there were very few reliable maps–and the situation was similar to that in India, probably. I did find copies of Regency era maps (also military surveys), but they were very, very hard to read. Beautiful but bewildering. One of the problems with areas like Albania and Egypt is the multiple names and spellings of names. You end up having to consult three maps simultaneously. Not that this isn’t fun.

    Reply
  28. Loretta, your enthusiasm for maps reminds me of lines from a wonderful poem “The Mapparium” from Susan Rich’s collection called–appropriately for her work and for this discussion–THE CARTOGRAPHER’S TONGUE: “We visit the Mapparium on a field trip. / A made-up word we learn / for the place where the world resides.”
    I think the best writers are always cartographers of a sort, giving the reader a new world to explore.

    Reply
  29. Loretta, your enthusiasm for maps reminds me of lines from a wonderful poem “The Mapparium” from Susan Rich’s collection called–appropriately for her work and for this discussion–THE CARTOGRAPHER’S TONGUE: “We visit the Mapparium on a field trip. / A made-up word we learn / for the place where the world resides.”
    I think the best writers are always cartographers of a sort, giving the reader a new world to explore.

    Reply
  30. Loretta, your enthusiasm for maps reminds me of lines from a wonderful poem “The Mapparium” from Susan Rich’s collection called–appropriately for her work and for this discussion–THE CARTOGRAPHER’S TONGUE: “We visit the Mapparium on a field trip. / A made-up word we learn / for the place where the world resides.”
    I think the best writers are always cartographers of a sort, giving the reader a new world to explore.

    Reply
  31. Given your love of research, I’d love to know your greatest discovery in the basement of the library – be it a fact, book, etc.?
    I’m very glad your publisher reissued Lion’s Daughter and Captains of the Night because I missed them the first time around and just got to read them. I love all your characters, but I’ve got one word for Ismal – Wow. Those were two of the most unique historical romances I ever read and Ismal was a big part of that.
    Also totally love the Carsington “quartet” so far. 🙂
    -Michelle

    Reply
  32. Given your love of research, I’d love to know your greatest discovery in the basement of the library – be it a fact, book, etc.?
    I’m very glad your publisher reissued Lion’s Daughter and Captains of the Night because I missed them the first time around and just got to read them. I love all your characters, but I’ve got one word for Ismal – Wow. Those were two of the most unique historical romances I ever read and Ismal was a big part of that.
    Also totally love the Carsington “quartet” so far. 🙂
    -Michelle

    Reply
  33. Given your love of research, I’d love to know your greatest discovery in the basement of the library – be it a fact, book, etc.?
    I’m very glad your publisher reissued Lion’s Daughter and Captains of the Night because I missed them the first time around and just got to read them. I love all your characters, but I’ve got one word for Ismal – Wow. Those were two of the most unique historical romances I ever read and Ismal was a big part of that.
    Also totally love the Carsington “quartet” so far. 🙂
    -Michelle

    Reply
  34. Count me as another map person. I *love* maps. I just returned from several weeks of travel, including ten days of driving through the English countryside. Greg drove (bless his heart … driving on the wrong side of the road makes me skittish) and I played navigator, with maps piled on my lap and littering the dash board. We only got lost once. 🙂
    I also love my A to Z of Regency London. I use it religiously when writing about London. A couple of years ago while walking through Mayfair, I saw one of those blue plaques for a house where Simon Bolivar had lived in 1810. Now, isn’t that fascinating, I thought. I wonder what other interesting people lived in London during the Regency? So I bought one of those books that lists all the blue plaques in London, and added notes to my A to Z about who lived where.
    Oh, and do you guys know, I hope, that the map is also online? Sort of, anyway. It’s the 1799 Horwood version, but close enough. Some of the areas in the printed A to Z are so teeny that my poor old aging eyes have trouble making out the street names or inn yard names. But with the online version, you just keep zooming in and zooming in, and everything is clear as can be. Love it! Here’s the link I use, in case you don’t have it: http://www.motco.com/map/81005/
    Candice
    (who is thoroughly enjoying this blog!)

    Reply
  35. Count me as another map person. I *love* maps. I just returned from several weeks of travel, including ten days of driving through the English countryside. Greg drove (bless his heart … driving on the wrong side of the road makes me skittish) and I played navigator, with maps piled on my lap and littering the dash board. We only got lost once. 🙂
    I also love my A to Z of Regency London. I use it religiously when writing about London. A couple of years ago while walking through Mayfair, I saw one of those blue plaques for a house where Simon Bolivar had lived in 1810. Now, isn’t that fascinating, I thought. I wonder what other interesting people lived in London during the Regency? So I bought one of those books that lists all the blue plaques in London, and added notes to my A to Z about who lived where.
    Oh, and do you guys know, I hope, that the map is also online? Sort of, anyway. It’s the 1799 Horwood version, but close enough. Some of the areas in the printed A to Z are so teeny that my poor old aging eyes have trouble making out the street names or inn yard names. But with the online version, you just keep zooming in and zooming in, and everything is clear as can be. Love it! Here’s the link I use, in case you don’t have it: http://www.motco.com/map/81005/
    Candice
    (who is thoroughly enjoying this blog!)

    Reply
  36. Count me as another map person. I *love* maps. I just returned from several weeks of travel, including ten days of driving through the English countryside. Greg drove (bless his heart … driving on the wrong side of the road makes me skittish) and I played navigator, with maps piled on my lap and littering the dash board. We only got lost once. 🙂
    I also love my A to Z of Regency London. I use it religiously when writing about London. A couple of years ago while walking through Mayfair, I saw one of those blue plaques for a house where Simon Bolivar had lived in 1810. Now, isn’t that fascinating, I thought. I wonder what other interesting people lived in London during the Regency? So I bought one of those books that lists all the blue plaques in London, and added notes to my A to Z about who lived where.
    Oh, and do you guys know, I hope, that the map is also online? Sort of, anyway. It’s the 1799 Horwood version, but close enough. Some of the areas in the printed A to Z are so teeny that my poor old aging eyes have trouble making out the street names or inn yard names. But with the online version, you just keep zooming in and zooming in, and everything is clear as can be. Love it! Here’s the link I use, in case you don’t have it: http://www.motco.com/map/81005/
    Candice
    (who is thoroughly enjoying this blog!)

    Reply
  37. Hey! It IS available on video:
    http://www.ambrosevideo.com/displayitem.cfm?vid=152
    I’ve bought from them before. How about a blog on one of my favorite subjects: reference TV? Some of the best informative video series? My favorites include COSMOS, the various CONNECTIONS series and THE DAY THE UNIVERSE CHANGED by James Burke, and Jacob Bronowski’s THE ASCENT OF MAN.
    And can anyone tell me why I don’t STAY logged in here, after I registered and all and click all the “Save My Information” links? I not only have to re-register after every visit, I have to do so even if I’ve just posted on another thread!

    Reply
  38. Hey! It IS available on video:
    http://www.ambrosevideo.com/displayitem.cfm?vid=152
    I’ve bought from them before. How about a blog on one of my favorite subjects: reference TV? Some of the best informative video series? My favorites include COSMOS, the various CONNECTIONS series and THE DAY THE UNIVERSE CHANGED by James Burke, and Jacob Bronowski’s THE ASCENT OF MAN.
    And can anyone tell me why I don’t STAY logged in here, after I registered and all and click all the “Save My Information” links? I not only have to re-register after every visit, I have to do so even if I’ve just posted on another thread!

    Reply
  39. Hey! It IS available on video:
    http://www.ambrosevideo.com/displayitem.cfm?vid=152
    I’ve bought from them before. How about a blog on one of my favorite subjects: reference TV? Some of the best informative video series? My favorites include COSMOS, the various CONNECTIONS series and THE DAY THE UNIVERSE CHANGED by James Burke, and Jacob Bronowski’s THE ASCENT OF MAN.
    And can anyone tell me why I don’t STAY logged in here, after I registered and all and click all the “Save My Information” links? I not only have to re-register after every visit, I have to do so even if I’ve just posted on another thread!

    Reply
  40. Loretta, I also embody the mystifying correlation between map afficionado and lousy navigatrix.
    My husband can’t figure it out. Me, I don’t even try.

    Reply
  41. Loretta, I also embody the mystifying correlation between map afficionado and lousy navigatrix.
    My husband can’t figure it out. Me, I don’t even try.

    Reply
  42. Loretta, I also embody the mystifying correlation between map afficionado and lousy navigatrix.
    My husband can’t figure it out. Me, I don’t even try.

    Reply
  43. Talpianna, thank you for telling us about the problems you’re having with “Save my information.” I have contacted TypePad regarding this, and let’s hope they can resolve the issue.
    Sherrie Holmes, blogatrix and whipmeister

    Reply
  44. Talpianna, thank you for telling us about the problems you’re having with “Save my information.” I have contacted TypePad regarding this, and let’s hope they can resolve the issue.
    Sherrie Holmes, blogatrix and whipmeister

    Reply
  45. Talpianna, thank you for telling us about the problems you’re having with “Save my information.” I have contacted TypePad regarding this, and let’s hope they can resolve the issue.
    Sherrie Holmes, blogatrix and whipmeister

    Reply
  46. Elena, I’ve drawn maps, too, when creating a fictional village in a non-fiction part of England. I also draw floor plans when necessary and seating plans for dining scenes. There’s no way I can keep all that stuff in my head.
    Loretta

    Reply
  47. Elena, I’ve drawn maps, too, when creating a fictional village in a non-fiction part of England. I also draw floor plans when necessary and seating plans for dining scenes. There’s no way I can keep all that stuff in my head.
    Loretta

    Reply
  48. Elena, I’ve drawn maps, too, when creating a fictional village in a non-fiction part of England. I also draw floor plans when necessary and seating plans for dining scenes. There’s no way I can keep all that stuff in my head.
    Loretta

    Reply
  49. Margaret, it makes perfect sense to me. The 3D world doesn’t look like map world. Plus, I have to turn the map around, depending on which direction we’re driving. And then, in England, we get to a roundabout and my mind goes blank. We used to panic and go off wherever, but eventually figured out to go round and round until we were sure which way to go. This is one of the reasons we bring a third party with us when we travel abroad.
    Loretta

    Reply
  50. Margaret, it makes perfect sense to me. The 3D world doesn’t look like map world. Plus, I have to turn the map around, depending on which direction we’re driving. And then, in England, we get to a roundabout and my mind goes blank. We used to panic and go off wherever, but eventually figured out to go round and round until we were sure which way to go. This is one of the reasons we bring a third party with us when we travel abroad.
    Loretta

    Reply
  51. Margaret, it makes perfect sense to me. The 3D world doesn’t look like map world. Plus, I have to turn the map around, depending on which direction we’re driving. And then, in England, we get to a roundabout and my mind goes blank. We used to panic and go off wherever, but eventually figured out to go round and round until we were sure which way to go. This is one of the reasons we bring a third party with us when we travel abroad.
    Loretta

    Reply
  52. Michelle, the greatest library basement discovery that first comes to mind is the Philosophical Magazine. It isn’t philosophy as we understand the term. The people we call “scientists” used to be called “natural philosophers”– because they studied nature and natural phenomena. So these periodicals include all kinds of articles on all kinds of subjects: medical experiments, botanical discoveries, electrical phenomena, earthquakes, astronomical events, and so on and so on. Gentlemen in various parts of England kept track of temperatures, rainful, barometric pressure, etc. There is no rhyme or reason to the volumes, so if one is looking for a particular piece of information, it’s a matter of browsing. But browsing is a great writing tool: Sooner or later you come across a piece of information that sparks an idea for the story.
    Loretta

    Reply
  53. Michelle, the greatest library basement discovery that first comes to mind is the Philosophical Magazine. It isn’t philosophy as we understand the term. The people we call “scientists” used to be called “natural philosophers”– because they studied nature and natural phenomena. So these periodicals include all kinds of articles on all kinds of subjects: medical experiments, botanical discoveries, electrical phenomena, earthquakes, astronomical events, and so on and so on. Gentlemen in various parts of England kept track of temperatures, rainful, barometric pressure, etc. There is no rhyme or reason to the volumes, so if one is looking for a particular piece of information, it’s a matter of browsing. But browsing is a great writing tool: Sooner or later you come across a piece of information that sparks an idea for the story.
    Loretta

    Reply
  54. Michelle, the greatest library basement discovery that first comes to mind is the Philosophical Magazine. It isn’t philosophy as we understand the term. The people we call “scientists” used to be called “natural philosophers”– because they studied nature and natural phenomena. So these periodicals include all kinds of articles on all kinds of subjects: medical experiments, botanical discoveries, electrical phenomena, earthquakes, astronomical events, and so on and so on. Gentlemen in various parts of England kept track of temperatures, rainful, barometric pressure, etc. There is no rhyme or reason to the volumes, so if one is looking for a particular piece of information, it’s a matter of browsing. But browsing is a great writing tool: Sooner or later you come across a piece of information that sparks an idea for the story.
    Loretta

    Reply
  55. Candice, you’re absolutely right about the Motco map. Though it’s a couple of decades before my usual story time period, it is easier to read. I’ve been doing more online mapping as the teeny print tires my eyes.
    I’d also like to say that your website is one of my favorite online indulgences. I love looking at your collections!
    Loretta

    Reply
  56. Candice, you’re absolutely right about the Motco map. Though it’s a couple of decades before my usual story time period, it is easier to read. I’ve been doing more online mapping as the teeny print tires my eyes.
    I’d also like to say that your website is one of my favorite online indulgences. I love looking at your collections!
    Loretta

    Reply
  57. Candice, you’re absolutely right about the Motco map. Though it’s a couple of decades before my usual story time period, it is easier to read. I’ve been doing more online mapping as the teeny print tires my eyes.
    I’d also like to say that your website is one of my favorite online indulgences. I love looking at your collections!
    Loretta

    Reply
  58. Thanks, Sherrie. I must add that I’ve been having problems with sites I’m supposedly logged in to ever since I cleared my cache following AOL’s instructions; but with the others, like blogger, once I’m logged in for the session, I stay logged in.
    As for navigation and maps, my father and his West Point roommate served together for a while in the Canal Zone.
    One of them couldn’t read maps.
    The other couldn’t see in the dark.
    So the Army used to send them out together on night map marches…

    Reply
  59. Thanks, Sherrie. I must add that I’ve been having problems with sites I’m supposedly logged in to ever since I cleared my cache following AOL’s instructions; but with the others, like blogger, once I’m logged in for the session, I stay logged in.
    As for navigation and maps, my father and his West Point roommate served together for a while in the Canal Zone.
    One of them couldn’t read maps.
    The other couldn’t see in the dark.
    So the Army used to send them out together on night map marches…

    Reply
  60. Thanks, Sherrie. I must add that I’ve been having problems with sites I’m supposedly logged in to ever since I cleared my cache following AOL’s instructions; but with the others, like blogger, once I’m logged in for the session, I stay logged in.
    As for navigation and maps, my father and his West Point roommate served together for a while in the Canal Zone.
    One of them couldn’t read maps.
    The other couldn’t see in the dark.
    So the Army used to send them out together on night map marches…

    Reply
  61. Loretta, I’m not map-mad. I leave that to my husband. We’ve lived in a few different countries now and in Budapest managed to find an antiquarian bookshop with antique maps. Maps of the countries we’ve lived are now mounted, framed and hanging on our walls.
    Thanks to you and to Berkley for reissuing your former works. I am currently reading Captives of the Night: Ismal has just been put on Leila’s case.
    Now I have only to find The Last Hellion and my collection will be complete!

    Reply
  62. Loretta, I’m not map-mad. I leave that to my husband. We’ve lived in a few different countries now and in Budapest managed to find an antiquarian bookshop with antique maps. Maps of the countries we’ve lived are now mounted, framed and hanging on our walls.
    Thanks to you and to Berkley for reissuing your former works. I am currently reading Captives of the Night: Ismal has just been put on Leila’s case.
    Now I have only to find The Last Hellion and my collection will be complete!

    Reply
  63. Loretta, I’m not map-mad. I leave that to my husband. We’ve lived in a few different countries now and in Budapest managed to find an antiquarian bookshop with antique maps. Maps of the countries we’ve lived are now mounted, framed and hanging on our walls.
    Thanks to you and to Berkley for reissuing your former works. I am currently reading Captives of the Night: Ismal has just been put on Leila’s case.
    Now I have only to find The Last Hellion and my collection will be complete!

    Reply
  64. Eva, Michelle, Selina–
    Thank you for the nice things you said about my books. It was a great day when Berkley said they wanted to reissue my backlist. The bonus was getting a chance to fix some little things in TLD & COTN that had been bugging me for years.
    Loretta

    Reply
  65. Eva, Michelle, Selina–
    Thank you for the nice things you said about my books. It was a great day when Berkley said they wanted to reissue my backlist. The bonus was getting a chance to fix some little things in TLD & COTN that had been bugging me for years.
    Loretta

    Reply
  66. Eva, Michelle, Selina–
    Thank you for the nice things you said about my books. It was a great day when Berkley said they wanted to reissue my backlist. The bonus was getting a chance to fix some little things in TLD & COTN that had been bugging me for years.
    Loretta

    Reply
  67. Okay, I just signed in at typepad and then hit the “sign in” link at post a comment and it automatically signed me in, even though I have aol and it does appalling things to me sometimes. So it may be working now.
    Loretta, hasn’t anyone told you one of the basic rules of writing is to do the research after the first draft? I’m the navigator in the family and apparently keep maps in my head, but I love drawing the house plans for the houses my characters inhabit…
    Pat

    Reply
  68. Okay, I just signed in at typepad and then hit the “sign in” link at post a comment and it automatically signed me in, even though I have aol and it does appalling things to me sometimes. So it may be working now.
    Loretta, hasn’t anyone told you one of the basic rules of writing is to do the research after the first draft? I’m the navigator in the family and apparently keep maps in my head, but I love drawing the house plans for the houses my characters inhabit…
    Pat

    Reply
  69. Okay, I just signed in at typepad and then hit the “sign in” link at post a comment and it automatically signed me in, even though I have aol and it does appalling things to me sometimes. So it may be working now.
    Loretta, hasn’t anyone told you one of the basic rules of writing is to do the research after the first draft? I’m the navigator in the family and apparently keep maps in my head, but I love drawing the house plans for the houses my characters inhabit…
    Pat

    Reply
  70. Pat says, “Loretta, hasn’t anyone told you one of the basic rules of writing is to do the research after the first draft?”
    Yes, of course. Someone has at one time or another told me each and every rule of writing. And at one time or another I have broken each and every one of them.
    Loretta

    Reply
  71. Pat says, “Loretta, hasn’t anyone told you one of the basic rules of writing is to do the research after the first draft?”
    Yes, of course. Someone has at one time or another told me each and every rule of writing. And at one time or another I have broken each and every one of them.
    Loretta

    Reply
  72. Pat says, “Loretta, hasn’t anyone told you one of the basic rules of writing is to do the research after the first draft?”
    Yes, of course. Someone has at one time or another told me each and every rule of writing. And at one time or another I have broken each and every one of them.
    Loretta

    Reply
  73. A question for Loretta: you wrote that there’s the first glimpse of a main character coming out of the fog .
    I wonder who you glimpsed first: Jess or Dain?

    Reply
  74. A question for Loretta: you wrote that there’s the first glimpse of a main character coming out of the fog .
    I wonder who you glimpsed first: Jess or Dain?

    Reply
  75. A question for Loretta: you wrote that there’s the first glimpse of a main character coming out of the fog .
    I wonder who you glimpsed first: Jess or Dain?

    Reply
  76. Bibiana, this was one of those extremely rare cases I talked about: Dain appeared, bigger than life, in my mind’s eye, and as soon as he was there, Jess appeared. Both were completely clear. Even working out the plot–which can take me weeks and weeks, maybe months–happened very quickly. I think every author has at least one of these books, a gift from the story gods. But the gods don’t give them out often, alas–at least to me they don’t.
    Loretta

    Reply
  77. Bibiana, this was one of those extremely rare cases I talked about: Dain appeared, bigger than life, in my mind’s eye, and as soon as he was there, Jess appeared. Both were completely clear. Even working out the plot–which can take me weeks and weeks, maybe months–happened very quickly. I think every author has at least one of these books, a gift from the story gods. But the gods don’t give them out often, alas–at least to me they don’t.
    Loretta

    Reply
  78. Bibiana, this was one of those extremely rare cases I talked about: Dain appeared, bigger than life, in my mind’s eye, and as soon as he was there, Jess appeared. Both were completely clear. Even working out the plot–which can take me weeks and weeks, maybe months–happened very quickly. I think every author has at least one of these books, a gift from the story gods. But the gods don’t give them out often, alas–at least to me they don’t.
    Loretta

    Reply

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