Friday, February 4, 2011

Writing Advice/Taking Over the World with Janice Hardy

How to Take Over the World
by Janice Hardy

Since I write fantasy, my worlds are one of the first things I create, sometimes even before I flesh out the characters. But it can be hard to create an entire world from scratch. One thing that saves me a lot of time, is to base my worlds on an existing culture or geographic area. This gives me a fully developed locale that offers ready to go details when I need them.

I change things to suit my story of course, but having that real-world base means I’ll know what the climate is, the types of flora and fauna, how people in that area make a living. If my protag orders a meal, I know what food she’ll most likely find. If she has to climb a tree, I’ll know if it’s a palm tree or a redwood. Best of all, since the details all come from a real place I know that I won’t accidentally have animals living somewhere they don’t naturally live, so the world works together as a whole.  And every time, I discover some really interesting detail I can use in the story I never would have thought of on my own, because it’s unique to that area.

So the next time you need a world – real or imagined – consider looking at places that already exist and making them your own.

A long-time fantasy reader, Janice Hardy always wondered about the darker side of healing. For her fantasy trilogy THE HEALING WARS, she tapped into her own dark side to create a world where healing was dangerous, and those with the best intentions often made the worst choices. Her books include THE SHIFTER, and BLUE FIRE. She lives in Georgia with her husband, three cats and one very nervous freshwater eel. You can visit her online at or chat with her about writing on her blog, The Other Side of the Story.

Book Info
Fifteen-year-old Nya is an orphan struggling for survival in a city crippled by war. She is also a Taker—with her touch, she can heal injuries, pulling pain from another person and storing it inside her own body. But unlike her sister Tali and the other Takers who become Healer’s League apprentices, Nya’s skill is flawed: she can’t push that pain into pynvium, the enchanted metal used to store it. All she can do is shift it from person to person, a dangerous skill that she must keep hidden from forces occupying her city. If discovered, she’d be used as a human weapon against her own people.
Rumors of another war make Nya’s life harder, forcing her to take desperate risks just to find work and food. She pushes her luck too far and exposes her secret to a pain merchant eager to use her shifting ability for his own sinister purpose. At first, Nya refuses, but when Tali and other League Healers mysteriously disappear, she’s faced with some difficult choices. As her father used to say, principles are a bargain at any price, but how many will Nya have to sell to get Tali back alive?


  1. You are very welcome, Janice! Come back anytime <3 Looking forward to the release of Book 3 of The Healing Wars!

    Lynne Marie