Sunday, August 07, 2011

Where do they live ? by Kate Walker

I'm starting work on my new book. Well,  I've been working on it for a while, in my head,  even if I haven't got many words down on the screen.   I know who the hero is, who his heroine is going to be I have to put them in that order for this particular  book, because that's thye way  they came to me - it's the hero's position and situation that gave me the story. Thinking about that told me who my heroine needed to be.So I have  a  hero, a heroine - and a plot. I have an opening, a stiuation that  starts off the story as a whole, and I have conflicts. A big problematical conflict that starts off the  story and puts it into motion, and deeper, more personal ones for both my central characters.  The ones that will come between them and stop them falling into each others' arms.

I even have names - I think.  These are liable to change if they end up not fitting as I tell their story. But right now, Alexander  (Alex)  and Ria are the hero and heroine, and they're names I can work with. I even have a villain - though I'm not sure of his name yet.

But  I have a problem with one thing. I don't know where my book is set. And that's important because the setting is part of the story, part of the plot, part of the problem.

Usually when I write a book, I set it wherever the hero or the heroine live - if the hero is Greek, then a Greek island,  or perhaps a Spanish city. The book I just finished - the one my lovely editor let me keep my favourite title  for - The Devil and Miss Jones - is set partly in Argentina  and the UK - one is where my hero (The Devil) and one is where Miss Jones (my heroine) live.  My hero in my next book out - The Return of The Stranger - is Brazilian, but the book takes place in the UK for a very special reason, as well as the fact that it's where his heroine lives. (More on that next time).

But with this new story I need to invent a country for myself. I'm writing a Royal' book - one where one of my characters (not telling you which yet because it would spoil it) is heir to a small kingdom. It's not a real country of course - I'm creating my own conuntry, with its royal family, its history, its customs. Its a European country - just - because it's almost in Russia it's that far along the coast of the Black Sea (at least this is how I'm imagining it at the moment.) 
It's a tiny country, not much  more than the size of Monaco, but it has  some real importance - its major port for one - and an invaluable mineral that is mined in its northern mountains.

I already know a lot about it, but as of now I don't have a name. I think  a name is important because it will also tell me more about it.  Ruritania, for example, the country where The Prisoner of Zenda is set,  was a Germanic country, Shangila was in the Himalayas. Nora Roberts has Cordina. The Sheikhdoms I've had in the past have been  Kuimar   (Desert Affair) and Barakhara (At The Sheikh's Command.)   But as I said, I wanted a more European - possibly east European  - name for this kingdom.

So I thought I'd run a contest. And I'd ask you all to join in.  Have you got any suggestions for the name of my ficitonal kingdom?  Any ideas what it looks like? If so to enter please tell me about it in the comments section,  give me the name of the country I'm crfeating - and perhaps a few details about your imagining of it to inspire me. 

I won't promise to use any name from here, but itf there is a really great one then I'll not only use it, I'll acknowledge it - and you - on the dedication page of my book.  And I'm offering prizes too. If someone  gives me a name I' really want to use, then I'll send you two signed books from my backlist as a thank you for the help. If I don't pick the actual name of my fictional kingdom from here, then I'll get Sid the cat on the job of picking a couple of winners anyway, and  they'll get a signed book as a prize.

So  - what would you name an imaginary country and what would it be like? I'd love to know.

Kate's newest title - The Return of The Stranger -  is officially released in the UK in Mills & Boon Modern on Septermber 2nd. It will be published in Australia and America (in Presents EXTRA) in October.   She'll be back next month to tell you more about this book and why it's very special to her.

You can find out more about The Return of The Stranger and all Kate's books on her web site, together with her most up to date news on her blog.

Sorry to be late in replying but I only just managed to post before I was hit by a migraine and have only just been able to look at the screen again. I'm tempted by four of these suggestions  - can't make my mind up yet!

So if Laney, Caroline, Sonali and Michelle L would email me  -
kate AT I'll let you know which of my backlist I have copies of and you can choose a prize for helping me get this far

And if I do decide on one of these for definite then I'll let you know!


Laney4 said...

Here we go again, Kate! (LOL!)

Angonia . Baltonia . Bartshire . Bastonia . Bestonia . Blastonia . Brightonia . Burdon . Burdania . Calistonia . Capion . Centuria . Corton . Cyland . Cylonia . Dorset . Dostholf . Esperonia . Exedom . Jaronia . Magdaland . Mastonia . Melinia . Meridon . Montolia . Murton . Nelimia . Nimblot . Portalia . Prindom . Randolum . San Can / Sancan . Sandonia . Techlos . Victol . Villam . Zwania . Zylick.

As you can see, I'm leaning toward the country ending in "onia", as the reader might think, "Oh! It's one of THOSE countries I've never heard of", whereas if it's too easy to remember, readers might wonder why they haven't heard of it before. Hope that makes sense.

Good luck!

Liz Fielding said...

Wow, Kate, that sounds an amazing story. Having invented a few countries of my own in the past I'm aware of the need to get it exactly right - you may, after all want to use it again! I rather like Laney's Esperonia - or maybe Esperona, but whatever you choose I know it will be terrific.

Caroline said...

I'm thinking a very lush, hilly kingdom situated just off the African coastline - but not too far from the Med either (let's cover all angles here!) Names umm...that's harder. How about Sanspa, Mecjoria, Habidal, Tuzinia, Cantalonia, Centilonia, Zephelonia - Caroline x

scarlet wilson said...

I love Laney's list! I'm going to go for something rich and opulent sounding - Rubalesk!
Good luck naming your country!

Melanie Milburne said...

Good luck with finding a setting, Kate. What a fun contest!

marybelle said...

My mind has gone blank as to a name, but I would like a warm, temperate climate. Not too hot or too cold, (inhabited by bears & a blond woman by the sounds of that).

Sonali said...

Hi Kate,

Your new book sounds great. Well some names that i could think of were Shestovnia and Eudoxnia. These names were inspired from the late 15th Century Russian Empire. These country's could be situated along the Black Sea and have a subtropical climate with the actual kingdom being situated further inland.

Good Luck with naming your Kingdom.

Michele L. said... contest Kate! How about Josenandoah, Souskidana, Trilensa, Surlane, Putnamalia, Pianco, Yochonos, Brimondy or Myersord. I was thinking of a country that is home to mountains, misty clouds, tropical temperatures, with beautiful inlets of water that could boast a beautiful castle atop a giant mountain or hillside with villages below.

Kate Walker said...

Thank you all for your ideas! Some of them are so appealing that I can't quite make up my mind yet . . . I'm going to have to think about this . . .

But I promise prizes so I have decided that the names I'm thinking about are:
Trilensa - suggested by Michelle L
Shestovnia which Sonali suggested (this fits with some of my own ideas about this kingdom)

Caroline's Mecjoria - again seems to fit with what I have in mind

And trust Laney to come up with a list! Like Liz I like Esperonia

So if Laney, Caroline, Sonali and Michelle L would email me
kate A|T I'll let you know which of my backlist I have copies of and you can choose a prize for helping me get this far

And if I do decide on one of these for definite then I'll let you know!

Sorry to be late in replying but I only just managed to post before I was hit by a migraine and have only just been able to look at the screen again.

Laney4 said...

I hope you are getting better and better, Kate.
Email has been sent.
Many thanks, plus congrats to all those who offered such neat suggestions.

Sonali said...

Hi Kate,

Thank you for selecting me as one of your winners. I have already sent you an email. Congrats to the other winners also.

Michele L. said...

Hi Kate,

Oh gosh, migraines are awful! Do hope you are much better! I sent you an e-mail. Many congrats to the other ladies who won.