Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The World of Luminance Hour


This week on the Lucky 13s we’re talking about the settings of our novels. Because my novel is a story about a Faery who guards the Prince of England, I didn’t have a very difficult time choosing where to set my story (understatement!). Ever since I first crossed the Atlantic twelve years ago and explored the streets of London, the halls of Buckingham and the sweeping fields around Stonehenge, I’ve been captured by the grandeur and the significance of the place. Since many of you are familiar with these places via social media and television, I thought I might show them to you today in a slightly different light--through the perspective of the Fae. Take a seat and I’ll give you a glimpse of Britain through the eyes of Prince Richard and Emrys.

London

A city of ghosts and kings, London sets the stage for Emrys's story. It is a place bustling with life: black cabs, the snaking trains of the Underground, tourists cramming the tops of double-decker buses. But there is a shadowy side to England's capital not seen by its mortal inhabitants. Soul feeders (spirits who need human death to sustain them) roam pubs and alleyways looking for victims. Emrys and the other Fae are sworn to protect the royal family from these predators, but in London's bustling nightlife, it proves quite a challenge.

c Nora Leitz
c Nora Leitz
Parliament's clock tower and the London Eye are two places where you can get a bird's-eye view (or a Fae's-eye view) of the city. There may or may not be some scenes that take place here.


Buckingham Palace

c Nora Leitz
Prince Richard spent his childhood here, among so many art-strewn halls, floor-length mirrors and gilded moldings. His father, King Edward, still lives and works from the palace's grand apartments. The surrounding gardens are a good resting place for their invisible Fae guardians, who use the presence of trees and earth to recharge their magic against the city's grating technology.


Windsor Castle

c Kate Barry
Windsor is the second royal residence featured in Luminance Hour. The royals use it as a getaway whenever they grow weary of inner London. Although their Faery guardians appreciate the relief from so much concrete, electricity and steel, they are also on edge every time they must reside in Windsor's walls. The reason is Herne the Hunter, a powerful free spirit who lurks in the woods of the adjoining Great Park. His dark, unpredictable nature makes all uneasy.

c Kate Barry

Stonehenge

c Kate Barry
This iconic structure is one of the last bastions of strong, wilderness-fed magic in the south of the British Isles. Queen Mab, the ruler of the Faery court, sometimes comes here with her courtiers to soak up all of the energy the stones have to offer her. At one time spirits were born here, springing up like pure energy out of the ground, but ever since the Industrial Revolution the site's magic has tapered off.


The Highlands

Because of this decline of magic, most of the older Fae stay in the Highlands, far from technology. Queen Mab's court is tucked away in the beauty of this wilderness, between snow-capped peaks, tea-stained lochs and crumbling fortresses. 

c David Strauss
c David Strauss
  
 Emrys spent many happy years here before she lost one of Queen Mab's Kelpies to the brown waters of a loch. Her punishment? Go to London and join the Guard as Prince Richard's personal Faery guardian. It's here our story begins...

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When she’s not writing and drifting around the globe, Ryan Graudin enjoys hunting through thrift stores and taking pictures of her native Charleston, SC. Her novel LUMINANCE HOUR, the story of a Faery who falls in love with the prince she’s forced to guard, is due out with HarperTeen in 2013. You can learn about all of these things and more at http://ryangraudin.blogspot.com. You can also follow her on Twitter at @ryangraudin

14 comments:

  1. Your world is so vivid! I'm jealous :P

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    1. Thanks! It helped a lot to have "real world" settings to base it around.

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  2. I love London, and I'm looking forward to reading more about the Fae's perspective of the magical city. Great post, Ryan!

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    1. London is really great. I've been nagging the husband to take me back there for a while. Research purposes, you know!

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  3. I love these photos! Calgon, take me away! I'm looking forward to your debut. :)

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    1. Thanks! I'm looking forward to having people read it!

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  4. They're all beautiful settings for a scene in a novel. I've been to England so many times, but not to the majority of these places. I should try and change that. Thanks you for some insight into your novel :-)

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    1. Yes! You should go to all of these places. Even though a lot of them are touristy. The London Eye is really fantastic (you can get such a great view of the city). The Tower of London is really awesome too (which also has a scene in my book!)

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  5. Love your setting. You're seriously torturing us (in a good way) since we can't read it till next year.

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    1. Bwahaha! *laughs maniacally* Thanks! I'm glad you're looking forward to it so much!

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  6. Ryan, this sounds incredible! And love how the photos played into your world building. I'm the same way when I write. Very visual, and I ususally end up with my story building document chock full of pictures--settings, people, something weird that sparks an idea. It's all there. I can't wait to read this book. :)

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    1. I agree, Anita! That's why I love Pinterest so much, it's such an easy place to put all of my inspirational world building photos. :)

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  7. LUMINANCE HOUR sounds so. Good. I can't wait to read it! Thanks for such a great post, Ryan.

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    1. Thanks, Emma! I'm a bit nervous for native UKers to read it, but I'm sure it will turn out fine!

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