Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Mapping Imaginary Worlds

by Jeffe Kennedy

This is a map that I drew for my upcoming Twelve Kingdoms trilogy. It's on my mind because I just returned from a conference that my editor for this trilogy (Peter Senftleben, Kensington Press) also attended. Not only dig he take me and the hubs out for an amazing seafood dinner, but he also told me they want to include the map in the books.

So very, very cool!

It's funny because, whenever I mention that I had to draw this map - at Peter's request, because it was in my head, but apparently no one can see inside there - people get all excited. And then they tell me the first book they ever read with a map in it. Most of the time it's either Tolkien or Anne McCaffrey. But they all - readers, writers, agents, editors alike - get this gleeful look in their eyes, talking about their first "map books."

What is it about those maps? Because, oh yes, I absolutely spent my time poring over the maps of Pern, Middle Earth, and Terre d'Ange. Clearly I still do, as you'll note the Jacqueline Carey's world was not part of my youthful reading. There was something magical about studying a map of an imaginary world that made it more real. It seemed somehow, that if I could follow a Rand McNally road map from Colorado to New Mexico, then surely I could travel from my world to theirs. It's as if the map provides a gateway, portal to entering that world the book offers.

What do you all think - what was your first "map book"? What makes those maps so magical?
Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author with a writing career that spans decades. Her fantasy BDSM romance, Petals and Thorns, originally published under the pen name Jennifer Paris, has won several reader awards. Sapphire, the first book in Facets of Passion has placed first in multiple romance contests and the follow-up books, Platinum and Ruby, are climbing the charts, with Five Golden Rings coming out in November. Her most recent works include three fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns, the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion, and the post-apocalyptic vampire erotica of the Blood Currency. The first book in Covenant of Thorns, Rogue’s Pawn, has won numerous awards and the highly anticipated sequel, Rogue’s Possession, just released. She is currently working on Master of the Opera and The Twelve Kingdoms, a fantasy trilogy.

Jeffe lives in Santa Fe, with two Maine coon cats, a border collie, plentiful free-range lizards and a Doctor of Oriental Medicine. Jeffe can be found online at her website: or every Sunday at the popular Word Whores blog.

She is represented by Pam van Hylckama Vlieg of Foreword Literary.


Beth Caudill said...

I love maps of towns in fantasy books. I can't draw to save my life, everyone has to have flaws. I bought the software program ProFantasy ( to help me make my maps and draw castle blueprints.

Jeffe Kennedy said...

ooh, fun! I used to draw a lot more, back in high school and before. It was fun to dredge up those skills again.