Sunday, March 8, 2015

Guest Post with Author Jessie Donovan ~ Giveaway

The Keys to Great World-building by Jessie Donovan

I write three series and one of the things people often remark about them is how the worlds seem so real they could easily believe them to exist. While it’d be nice to say it just happens, I strive to add a little unknown to the known. It’s deliberate, and I owe my world-building skills in large part to my degree in social anthropology.

Anthropology is the study of culture. (I’m going to avoid theory and jargon and just give it to you straight!) What defines a culture varies, but there are a few things they all have. A fictional world should easily come alive if the author has added the following:

1) History. The present day is a result of many events before it. Fictional worlds should also have major and minor events that shaped their current circumstances. For paranormal romance, find a way to include pieces of real history and give it a twist. I do this all the time!

2) Stories. We all have legends, myths, and folk tales in our respective cultures, and so should fictional worlds. (Make a few up and reference them to really wow the reader!)

3) Diversity of People and Locations. Not everything takes place in the United States, nor are all heroes of heart and deed perfect in every way. Stories set in other countries give a story (and series) an international feel.

4) Ceremonies and Rituals. Think about births, marriages, and deaths. How do people celebrate or acknowledge the life event?

The next time you read a story, see if the author has included the above in their world-building, even if it’s just a passing reference. My favorite authors tend to use the above, and more, to create unforgettable stories.

What brings a fictional world alive for you?

About the author:

Jessie Donovan wrote her first story at age five, and after discovering the Dragonriders of Pernseries by Anne McCaffrey in junior high, realized that people actually wanted to read stories like those floating around inside her head. From there on out, she was determined to tap into her over-active imagination and write a book someday.

After living abroad for five years and earning degrees in Japanese, Anthropology, and Secondary Education, she buckled down and finally wrote her first full-length book. While that story will never see the light of day, it laid the world-building groundwork of what would become her debut paranormal romance, Blaze of Secrets. In late 2014, she officially became a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author.

Jessie loves to interact with readers. When not reading or traipsing around some foreign country on a shoestring, she can often be found on Facebook. Check out her page here.

And now, enter to win in this fantastic giveaway with Jessie Donovan!
2 lucky winners will both receive a signed copy of either the Seducing the Dragon paperback or Sacrificed to the Dragon AND their choice of one ebook from: Blaze of Secrets or Reclaiming the Wolf.

Contest is open internationally, where applicable by law.
Entries close at 11:59pm March 16/15.
Winners will be drawn March 17/15.
Winners will be notified via email to the email provided to the giveaway and will have 72h to claim their prize or another winner will be drawn.

52 comments:

  1. BEST OF LUCK on all of your writing endeavors. Have a GREAT WEEK with whatever you do !!! :-) :-) :-)

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  2. Thanks for the giveaway, and best of luck with your writing!

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  3. Hi! Thanks so much for the giveaway!

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  4. Thanks so much for allowing me to guest post, Jonel! :)

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  5. Thanks for the invite to the giveaway. Books sound great.

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  6. Loved this post!! Hope this isn't a second post but I don't think my first one went through. Very informative and all reviewers should consider what you said. You are an awesome writer.

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  7. I always find writing and world building to be a huge part of any story. If you have great characters and great world building then you already have me hooked and sold.

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    1. I agree! Both are super important when I read as well!

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  8. thanks for the chance to enter this giveaway

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  9. I loved your Magical Asylums novels, I'm sure these are even better! Best of luck!

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    1. Thanks Dii! I'll finally have a new AMT book in June. It's been a busy year, lol.

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  10. Your books sound great jessie, looking forward to reading them.

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  11. I Love the amount of depth that you put in your books!!

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  12. Hi There Jessie I love your Books and I can't wait to read the next and thanks so very much for the Giveaway

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  13. Added you book to my read list! Can't wait to find 48 hours in my day to read all the wonderful books out there and now including yours.

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    1. I know how you feel...I barely have enough time to write all I want, let alone read! :)

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  14. Hey there! Thanks for the giveaway :)

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  15. These look so tantalizing and that they would be incredible reads. These happen to be in my favorite genre to read and review.

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    1. My cover artist is amazing. :) I don't know what I would do without her!

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  16. Thanks for the contest. I look forward to reading the books.

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  17. Anne McCaffery is still my all time favorite author. I love the Dragonriders of Pern series. I'm gonna have to check out your books after finding out you like my favorite author :).

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    1. Anne McCaffrey is the biggest influence on my writing. :) I love to write in "broad tapestries" as she put it once, and allow the reader to fill in the details.

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  18. Hi Jessie!! I have had the opportunity to help beta on the Dragon Series and I just want to say I have loved every one of them.

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    1. Thanks so much for your beta help! I'm glad you enjoy them! :)

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  19. Saying "HI!" <~waves her arm off over here!

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  20. Hi, thanks for the invitation to the giveaway... Hope I win, and if I do, I will most definitely be reviewing the books here: http://elouisefield.blogspot.co.uk/

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  21. Thank you for having this giveaway and the chance to win.Thanks for the pointers on world building.

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