5 things that inspired The Mapmaker Chronicles

mapmakerchroniclesWhile I’m busy behind the scenes (with my fabulous behind-the-scenes team) preparing for the launch of  The Mapmaker Chronicles website very soon, I thought I would share some of the things that inspired me to write the series. I’ll save the full story of that lightning bolt moment where I thought ‘that’s it! that’s the book’ for a day closer to the launch date (14 October), but these are some of my strange little passions that all came together in this book.

Antique maps. I love them. The older the better. I love them as much for what is not there as for what is. I love the little drawings of sea monsters and mermaids and multi-masted ships with billowing sails. I went to Canberra earlier this year to visit the Mapping Our World exhibition and, while it didn’t help with books one to three (which had already been written and/or imagined and vaguely outlined), it gave me much food for thought for potential books four to six.

The stars. We are fortunate to live under a big sky here in Fibrotown. At night, it’s a big, dark sky strewn with stars and possibilities.

Ancient books. I love those old, illuminated manuscripts. The Builder and I went to Dublin a few years ago to see the Book of Kells. Shuffling along in a huge queue to look at the two richly decorated pages of vellum that were open on that particular day. I would have liked to have buried myself in that Old Library and dived in. They are mind-blowing in their colour and detail. So very, very beautiful.

Gardening. I have written a lot on this blog about my garden. My Facebook friends may well have become sick of my rose pictures. But, for me, the link between time spent in the garden and productive writing time is clear. I do my best thinking while I weed (fortunately for me…). Also, plants. Plants are fascinating when you get right down to it.

My boys and their books. We read a lot of books in this house. Together, separately. Common threads in the books we love are adventure, humour and quests. We love a good quest round these parts. And an occasional battle.

Have you got a strange little passion (or two)? Do share!