Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Creating a world.

I am super excited to be part of the Cowboy Kisses team! I live in the Pacific Northwest where I spend my summers camping and kayaking. In December, I celebrated twenty-two years with my wonderful husband who has been super supportive of my writing.

Last year, I published one novel and a novella–Finding Liv and Managing Ryan. This year the plan is four novels, a novella, and a piece for an anthology. Of these pieces, four are already written and are in the editing process. I couldn’t even attempt to do all of this without my loved ones.

Science-fiction and fantasy writers are expected to build intricate worlds for their stories, but over the last two years I have discovered that every fiction writer has this opportunity. My town of Emerson, Minnesota doesn’t exist in the “real” world, but if you pick up a book in the Ridge Ranch Series, the community comes alive and draws you in.

After the first book, I not only fell in love with the Ridge family, but with the town as well. This led me to create sketches of the town. I have a map of the town including the hardware store, their favorite cafe, restaurant, and, of course, the bar Ranger’s—each with their own cast. Each book allows a different aspect to shine through.

How it all starts -

I start the process with full character sketches which allows them to come alive in my head. I also scan photos on Pinterest for inspiration. Once I have the two stars, I build a supporting cast, taking time to outline each with their own personality and motivations. Next comes the setting. Unless you are basing your writing on a real-life town that you know well, the great part of writing fiction is that it gives you a chance to make stuff up.

For example—Emerson is based on a small town in Oregon where I once lived. Everyone knew everything about everyone and was happy to share. It had its pros and cons, but I loved the small-town life. Everyone looked out for each other and there was no need to lock your doors at night or worry about leaving the keys hanging in the ignition of your car.

The bittersweet part is completing the series and saying good-bye to friends you’ve made along the way, while knowing that the next series will soon come along with more characters to fall in love with. I’m excited for the next two series that are planned for four books each. One small town- not named yet and the other not small town but a spin off of the Ridge Ranch Series- The Lancaster-Grant series. I can’t wait for you to meet the casts.

Hope your 2023 is productive and a happy one.

Check out my bio page for my published works.

1 comment:

Julie Lence said...

Welcome aboard, Katina! We're so excited to have you as part of the Cowboy Kisses team. And yes, world building is both fun in the creating process and sad when we have to say goodbye. Hugs!