Thursday, 17 April 2014

M is for Maps

M is for Maps

Tribes mentioned in Book 2 After Whorl: Bran Reborn
 A comment made by a reviewer of The Beltane Choice, Book 1 of my Celtic Fervour Series, was to the effect that she would have found a map of the area very useful for reference as she read the novel. It was a valid point to make and one which I was very happy to accommodate since it hadn’t occurred to me to create one as I wrote the book. 

Thinking it too late for Book 1 of the series, I set to and made maps for Books 2 and 3 since there were more tribes involved, and much more geographical area covered. 

The person who commented about The Beltane Choice made the point that there were a great many characters in the novel (Book 1) who move around northern Britannia. Some are moving north in retribution for deadly raids by Celtic enemies, and others are moving in all directions as they seek to make alliances with each other, to strengthen their chances when the inevitable battles with the Roman Empire occur. 

When compared with Books 2 and 3 of the series, the geography involved in Book 1 is actually quite centralised around the border area between modern day Scotland and England.

Places named in Book 2 After Whorl: Bran Reborn
For those familiar with Roman Britain, it may have been less of a task to follow and imagine the geography involved. For those new to the era of AD 71 and unfamiliar with the geography of Britain today, the task was clearly a bit daunting for the reader. I could see I had unintentionally created some confusion. When I thought about her comments it made me realise that in addition to a map of place names, it might also be useful to see where the Celtic tribal boundaries might be.

Another commenter, who thoroughly enjoyed Book 1 The Beltane Choice, and who wrote a fantastic 5* review, believed the action in the territory of the Selgovae to be in modern day northern Scotland of the very far north (Caithness) - though it is quite the opposite, in that the action takes place on the Scottish southern and not on the northern border.

Tribes mentioned in Book 3 After Whorl: Donning Double Cloaks
Too late to add a map to the first edition, I thought about adding one in the future, in a second edition since the point was a valid one. That hasn't yet happened, but I don't rule it out.

However, what did happen was that I got engrossed in writing books 2 and 3 of the series and made maps for those books.

It was quite a challenge, with no specialised software to use, but I managed to produce a map for the tribes mentioned in each of Books 2 and 3. I also made a map of places mentioned - some of which are historical places, and some invented by me for the Celtic Fervour Series. 

Fitting in such a lot of detail on the places names for Book 3 was a wonderful task of patience and endurance, but I felt much happier having produced something as a reference for my future readers. 

Places mentioned in Book 3 After Whorl: Donning Double Cloaks
There are a lot of places mentioned in Book 3, but it is a tale of a long and winding journey made by Brennus of Garrigill to find the one Celtic leader who will take on the mantle of leadership for the great battle against the Roman Empire's armies at Beinn Na Ciche. If you look closely at the map on the right, you can see just how far my characters travel. In AD 73-84, it was a slow process by horse or on foot and over many seasons.

I haven’t yet had feedback about the usefulness of the maps but I do hope they have helped. It’s difficult to produce anything large for the ebook version but I, again, hope that they can be interpreted well enough to see the detail.

If you’ve read the books, please let me know your thoughts.



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