Please welcome guest Lori L. MacLaughlin, author of Lady Thy Name Is Trouble
What Bilbo Baggins and I Have In Common
One of my favorite scenes in the beginning of Tolkien's The Hobbit, is when Gandalf spreads out on Bilbo's table the map of the Lonely Mountain, given to him by Thorin's father, Thrain. Gandalf speaks of the secret passage into the mountain, and Bilbo's curiosity gets the better of him. Though he wants no part of an adventure involving dragons, he loves maps and can't resist having a look.
I, too, love maps — particularly those drawn from imagination. They speak to me of paths unknown, adventures that await if only I'd take that first step. When I draw maps to go with my stories, I can create vast forests or soaring mountains, walled cities with mighty castles or frightening places in the deepest dark. New worlds flow from pencil to paper, ready to be populated by the denizens of my mind.
The story fragments swirling in my head give birth to landforms and waterways that expand into worlds that, in turn, help me visualize the emerging plot. I find that having a map solidifies my story and makes it more real to me, though both map and story are fluid until the final word is written.
In a previous post on my blog, I shared the map I drew for Lady, Thy Name Is Trouble. Now, I'd like to share the map that goes with it for Book 2, Trouble By Any Other Name. I actually drew this map first, but realized the story started way before my characters reached this part of the world.
My kids and I watched an animated movie a while back, where the characters found a topographical map that covered the floor of a room in a lost pyramid they'd discovered. They stepped on the map and fell through into the mysterious world the map represented. I always wished I could do something like that. Imagine the adventures one could have...
Does anyone else out there draw maps to go with the stories you write?
Trouble is Tara Triannon’s middle name. As swords for hire, Tara and her sister Laraina thrive on the danger. But a surprise invasion throws them into chaos... and trouble on a whole new level. Pursued by the Butcher, a terrifying assassin more wolf than man, Tara and Laraina must get a prince marked for death and a young, inept sorceress to safety. There’s only one problem – eluding the Butcher has never been done. Aided by a secretive soldier of fortune, they flee the relentless hunter.
Gifted with magic and cursed by nightmares that are all too real, Tara must stop an army led by a madman and fend off an evil Being caught in a centuries-old trap who seeks to control her magic and escape through her dreams – all while keeping one step ahead of the Butcher.
LoriL. MacLaughlin traces her love of fantasy adventure to Tolkien and Terry Brooks, finding The Lord of the Rings and The Sword of Shannara particularly inspirational. She's been writing stories in her head since she was old enough to run wild through the forests on the farm on which she grew up.
She has been many things over the years – tree climber, dairy farmer, clothing salesperson, kids' shoe fitter, retail manager, medical transcriptionist, journalist, private pilot, traveler, wife and mother, Red Sox and New York Giants fan, muscle car enthusiast and NASCAR fan, and a lover of all things Scottish and Irish.
When she's not writing (or working), she can be found curled up somewhere dreaming up more story ideas, taking long walks in the countryside, or spending time with her kids. She lives with her family in northern Vermont.
Mini-Celebrations for Celebrate the Small Things:
1. It's Friday.
2. My daughter's dance performance last weekend was fun!
3. Both of my daughters are racing this weekend - flat-water sprint canoe (oldest) and kayak (youngest).
4. Guests: Shelley Sly and Lori L. MacLaughlin
5. Maps. :)
5. Maps. :)