When I was writing my Dragon Defence League series books, I delighted in placing my characters in some of my favourite places in New Zealand—the mountains of Fiordland, Kahurangi National Park, Waimangu Volcanic Valley, and many others.
But New Zealand’s landscapes infuse my latest book, Fatecarver, even though it is set in a purely fantasy world.
While I was writing Fatecarver, I kept imagining specific places in New Zealand. I sat on a peak near Arthur’s Pass and imagined my characters there. I scribbled down descriptions of real views, storms, trees, and hikes to use in the book.
I took the New Zealand landscapes and mixed and mingled them with favourite places in the United States, Panama, Peru and Bolivia until the Fatecarver world included elements of a lifetime of adventures.
Many of my fellow authors are adventurers like me. We take inspiration for our writing from dramatic landscapes and other settings we’ve experienced. The landscape becomes a character in its own right, thwarting other characters’ plans, throwing up challenges, or providing aid at a critical moment. Just like real landscapes do.
Natural landscapes play a huge role in my own real life adventures—it’s only natural to include them in my fictional ones.