Good Morning Everyone!
Today I'd like to welcome Kenya Wright, author of what looks to be fantastic, Fire Baptized. I confess, I took one look at the cover of this book, read the blurb and though to myself, "I have to have her on the blog!" So I'm really, really excited to be saying, "Check out this smokin' hot book!"
I asked Kenya if she'd talk about her setting -- what made her choose the 1970s, and so forth. I'm going to give the floor over to her now, and let her entertain us.
Historical Possibilities: The importance of creating an urban fantasy world’s history.
Before an urban fantasy story can be formed the world’s history should be known. In this genre, supernaturals tend to either secretly or knowingly exist among humans. If the magical species secretly lives around humans, then you must know why the supernaturals have chosen to hide? If this species is powerful, why haven’t they just taken control of the world?
Additionally, if the supernaturals knowingly exist among humans, when did the humans discover this? What happened to bring this about? Regardless of either direction, you should have a clear history formed in order to make the world believable for the reader. Asking yourself what happened, before you create this history is a great method.
Supernaturals Secretly Exist Among Humans
The urban fantasy genre has increased and expanded in the last years. Story explanations for why supernaturals hide their identities from humans have been recycled in hundreds of novels. Therefore, new authors should seek to create a richer history for their world that isn’t cliché. Perhaps some supernaturals publicly announced their existence and were killed. Now the other magical species fear they will be killed too and so they conceal their powers. Anything is possible when developing a fantasy world’s history.
Additionally, it is always a good idea to read other writers that have successfully explained why there supes hide. In Patricia Brigg’s Mercedes series, her fairies publicly revealed themselves, but the other supernaturals remained hidden, waiting to see the humans’ reactions. In Regan Hastings’s Awakening series, the witches have historically been hunted, there are government probes for people who have powers, and some women don’t even know they are witches.
Supernaturals Knowingly Exist Among Humans
If your humans know about supernaturals then you definitely need to develop a history that explains the humans’ awareness. Perhaps, the supernaturals were revealed by accident or through an epidemic. In Kim Harrison’s Hollows series, there was a major disease that spread in the world. All of her magical creatures were immune to the disease. Most of the humans died, leaving a large supernatural population.
Perhaps, humans and supernaturals have always existed together. You should still develop a history for your world. Were their wars among the supernaturals and humans? Do they coexist together or are they segregated in their own countries? Was there oppression or slavery by or in either group? Answering these questions will set your mind on its way to developing an amazing history that will make your world more believable.
How I Created My World’s History
I believe that if supernaturals were revealed the government would shift into fear mode and then kill, imprison, and test the magical species. When I decided to write Fire Baptized, I toyed with that belief. I considered various possibilities for containing supernaturals, but a caged city continued to pop in my mind. I was pretty nervous about executing a believable story. I mean how could powerful beings allow humans to force them to live in such restricted surroundings? Therefore, although my story begins within the caged city, I spent several months creating the history of my world.
I asked myself several questions: When were the supernaturals exposed? What happened once they were revealed? Who decided to put them in cages? Why did the supernaturals allow themselves to be caged?
When were the supernaturals exposed?
I am currently in law school and have a degree in sociology. Civil injustice is a fun topic for me. I believe the 70s was full of brave people organizing and fighting inequality. African Americans, women, and homosexual groups all organized against discrimination. Additionally college students held anti- Vietnam War demonstrations all over the country. So for me, the 70s was a perfect period to begin my world’s history.
In Fire Baptized, supernaturals existed within all those social groups. They marched, protested, and rioted while keeping their species identity a secret. The magical species are revealed from the government’s video monitoring of the Black Panther Party, which happened to be a large group of black fur-coated shapeshifters. Tapes are exposed displaying many of the party members shifting into animal form.
What happened once they were revealed?
I created a timeline from the revelation of shapeshifters to the present day status of caged supernatural cities. I imagined several Supernatural-Human wars, magical refugee camps sprouting all across the world, concentration camps where humans tested on magical creatures, and groups like PETA protesting the government’s treatment of these beings.
Who decided to put them in cages?
Why did the supernaturals allow themselves to be caged? In the end, the humans won. Governments had conducted massive illegal testing on supernaturals to discover their weaknesses. With this knowledge they designed weapons that eventually caused many deaths. The supernaturals that weren’t already restricted to concentration camps gave up their fighting or hid. A World Summit was held where the most powerful countries decided to build supernatural caged cities all over the world. A large part of the countries’ reasoning was to ease pressure from PETA, United Species (a group I made up), and many citizens who believed that the war was inhumane.
At the end of creating my history, my story actually reshaped and expanded into a new plot line. My characters became more developed. Cool additions like Supe-Human Memorial Day and making some of my characters veterans from the wars were just some of the interesting results from spending time on my world’s history. Due to this, I definitely believe that forming a world’s history is a significant step in the novel writing process.
Kenya Wright always knew she would be famous since the ripe old age of six when she sung the Michael Jackson thriller song in her bathroom mirror. She has tried her hand at many things from enlisting in the Navy for six years as a Persian-Farsi linguist to being a nude model at an art university.
However, writing has been the only constant love in her life.
Now Kenya is publishing her first book, Fire Baptized, the urban fantasy novel she always wanted to read. This novel is the first book in a series.
Will she succeed? Of course.
For she has been coined The Urban Fantasy Queen, the Super Iconic Writer of this Age, The Lyrical Genius of Our Generation. Granted, these are all terms coined by her, within the private walls of her bathroom as she still sings the Michael Jackson thriller song.
Kenya Wright currently resides in Miami with her three amazing, overactive children, a supportive, gorgeous husband, and three cool black cats that refuse to stop sleeping on Kenya’s head at night.
Book Video: http://youtu.be/a28T5HzpGJ4
Kenya will be giving away a $10 Amazon.com gift certificate to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Follow the tour. The more you comment the better your chances of winning! Click here for complete tour dates.