To answer this, I must talk a little how the book came into being at all. I originally had an idea for a book where the heroes traveled to the four kingdoms of four corners of a land to collect parts of a powerful, magical song called the Aria. The book would be called The Quest for Aria. Later on, when I decided to incorporate other ideas, namely those in the opening chapters of Bloodmaiden, the book took on a darker, more serious feel and thus needed a darker, more serious title.
The four kingdoms in the four corners of the land needed to be unique, because I had done quest-related stories before and don’t want to ever make any two books too similar. I had never done a fantasy with dragons before, namely because I’d never really read any dragon fiction I really liked. So, I decided to write a book with dragons that I myself would enjoy reading.
It’s always hard to remember which concepts came first for each aspect of the story. In this case, I’m uncertain whether using dragons, having four Aria, having a dynasty where dark rituals were followed, came first. Eventually though, as things came together, I conjured the idea of there being four dynasties where humans and dragons lived in harmony. For each dynasty, the dragons protected the humans. In turn, the humans offered a yearly tribute, such as the best of their crops. For each dynasty, the tribute would be different. And for one dynasty, Tynan, the tribute would have turned corrupted and horrible over the years.
Next came naming the dynasties and creating them. The entire world in which the dynasties are set became “Sulaimon”, a name I made up because it was close to “Solomon”. In the Old Testament of the Bible, Solomon is the richest king to ever live. I wanted “Sulaimon” to reflect the land as a very rich, prosperous land.
The four dynasties were each meant to have their own type of dragon race, human race, and culture. I did a bit of online research for types of dragons and, as ever, added details to make the dragons and their dynasties my own. Here is a glimpse into the process that crafted these dynasties.
Zale is my favorite dynasty. It’s very oriental, from its structures to its dragons, with their long snaky bodies and wise, meditative character. Although, interestingly enough, the human race there is more Jamaican as far as looks and speech. The name Zale is actually a Greek name meaning “sea strength”, which is perfect considering the dynasty of Zale is set off the coast of Sulaimon. The dragons of Zale are a kind, patient breed, and it is here that Crisilin learns that not all dragons are vicious creatures to be feared.
Gauthier is a German name meaning “people of power” or “army of power.” This dynasty is meant to reflect a medieval European feel. These dragons are all about brute strength and bravery, as opposed to the quieter wisdom of Zale. Here Crisilin will learn that all dragons have weaknesses just like humans; they are not alway as all-powerful as meets the eye.
Varden has a more tropical feel. I was thinking South American when I created the dynasty, though others may imagine otherwise. They are a dynasty rich in art and culture and focus on the intellectual side of life, their great love being riddles of all kinds. Varden means “from the green hill”, reflecting Varden’s rich agriculture. It is set in a deep valley which is literally a tropical rain forest. In Varden, Crisilin and the others actually partake in the dragons’ riddling and, more than learning about their dragons, learn about their own, deepest desires and fears.
Finally, our heroes must return to Tynan. Tynan is a cold place. The dragons are icy white, reflecting the condition of their hearts. Their white can also represent a blankness, an ignorance though, which will come into play towards the end of the story. One could even think of their white as an ironic purity representing what they consider a purifying yearly ritual. Tynan comes from the Gaelic for “dark, dusky”. An appropriate name for a dynasty living in perpetual darkness, upon which dusk has fallen until it can be saved.
Crisilin does not necessarily expect to, but in returning to Tynan, she learns something about those dragons as well. However, I’ll not spoil that. I’ll leave my readers to join Crisilin on her adventure and discover the truth for themselves.
Christine E. Schulze has been creating books since she was too young to even write them in words. Her collection of YA fantasy books, The Amielian Legacy, is comprised of series and stand-alone books which can all be read separately but which weave together to create an amazing fantasy. She hopes to inspire readers throughout the world with these books by publishing in both traditional and electronic formats to make them available to all readers.
Christine has published several stories with Calliope and Kalkion magazines and is an active member of the WE book online writing community. She has also published several Christian/fantasy books which are available at various online retailers, as well as publishing several eBooks via Writers-Exchange.
Her latest and most exciting venture includes her publications with Old Line Publishing: Bloodmaiden and Tears of a Vampire Prince: the First Krystine. She also anticipates her upcoming publication with Old Line, Lily in the Snow, as well as releasing The Chronicles of the Mira with Writers-Exchange in both paperback and electronic forms.
Christine currently lives in Belleville, Illinois in her first and most thrilling apartment.
You can visit Schulze at Goodreads at http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3242087.Christine_E_Schulze or her blog at www.goldenhealeratwork.blogspot.com. Connect with her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/Chasmira or Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/Chasmira. Like her Fan Page at http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/Christine-E-Schulze/158265555890.