As a university student (many, many, many moons go), I copied his designs onto my notebooks and folders, so while some of my lecturers droned on, I could gaze down at these beautiful pictures and imagine myself in Lothlorien or Rivendell.
I discovered then, that a fantasy world can be made truly believable by providing readers with tangible evidence of its existence.
So, taking my inspiration from Tolkien, I created an ancient chronicle as described in my second Dantonville Legacy book, Bloodpledge. My character, Laura, is introduced to her ancestor's journal that documents the origins of her family's frightening legacy.
This is how I describe it in the book: "Resting on an eagle-shaped lectern, like some massive, old church Bible, was a large red leather book. The figure of a golden coiled serpent with blood-red eyes was emblazoned on the front …"
It's amazing what an old journal, a photocopied pic of the serpent ring, some beads and glitter glue can achieve. Open the pages and inside are my own fantasy drawings based on Celtic illuminated manuscripts of the early medieval period. (Apologies to my history professors in whose classes these colourful doodles came to life. But I knew they'd be of use one day.)
Now I'll be adding to these pages with the recollections of Marcus Antonius Pulcher - Roman military commander, Dominus of the Antonii clan, vampire.
Should be fun.
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