Monday, February 01, 2010

Guest - J.L. Wilson

Good morning everyone! We have a very interesting article today about world building and how to keep track of your details from author J.L. Wilson. Here's a link for contact information - J.L. Wilson

Hi, there -- I'm J L Wilson, and some of you may know me as a mystery writer ("Mystery with a touch of romance; romance with a touch of gray"). I'm also an author of two different paranormal series. One, the History Patrol, is all about reincarnation where people are sent back in time to resolve reincarnation issues. The other is The New Human Intercession, which is set on another planet far in the future.

I read my first romance novel in 2003 and sold my first romance novel in 2006. I did a LOT of reading in between! Plus I found several supportive writers' groups, critique partners, and others who helped me along the way. One thing I learned from the authors who write paranormal fiction is the importance of keeping all the facts straight in my books. My technique for world-building is similar for both series. It’s all in the details and how you keep track of your details.

I jot notes in notebooks, which I usually keep with me at all times. I buy small notebooks at craft stores and use those (usually 5x7 size). I now have a bookcase full of them. I do the same thing for my mystery stories: a notebook that contains character descriptions, location descriptions, pictures cut from magazines -- anything that might pertain to that book. And I also keep track of key points in the plot & clues I drop where I need to add some details later.

I usually use one notebook for Who: details about every character in the book. The other is for Where/What/How/Why – this usually includes things like plot outlines, locations, vocabulary (especially for my series on the other planet -- they have different kinds of transportation, food & clothing), cultural information (again -- different planet, different culture & politics, etc.).

For the History Patrol, there's time travel involved. The characters are born in the past, they die, then they're reborn. So I need the details about that. Then I need information about the time where they're sent -- and I need to get those facts right! I also have a timeline for human history into the future, because what's happening in the past is going to create that future.

Yep, it can be confusing. I set up a couple of web pages to give you an idea of the details I track. Just start here for more information.

Here's a short blurb about my latest History Patrol book. It's up for an Eppie award in March as Best Science Fiction Romance:


Imagine being torn away from all you know and love. And now imagine being torn away from your place in time. That’s what happened to Nico Haidess who is trapped, not just in time, but in a reincarnation gone wrong.

He’s a Guide with the History Patrol, sent back from 2190 and now stranded in 21st century America. He’s been reunited with the love of his life, Lucinda Delacroix who has been reincarnated in this place and time. There’s only one problem: he doesn't recognize her as his lost love and she doesn't recognize him.

To Lucinda, Nico is just a handsome stranger, a man who seems oddly familiar. And to Nico—a paid assassin—Lucinda is just an assignment, a suspected traitor. He must kill her on Easter morning and make it look like an accident.

Luckily one other creature can help. Cerberus is a telepathic dog on special assignment with the History Patrol, sent to bring these two lovers together. Cerberus has a vested interest in the fate of Nico Haidess and he'll do whatever it takes to see Nico and Lucinda reunited—even if it means dying and defying God to accomplish his purpose.

But the clock is ticking for all of them and time is starting to run out.

And here's a blurb about Human Touch, my "let's overthrow the government!" book...


Isbel Kensington's lack of paranormal Talent makes her unique, especially given her powerful paranormal family who run the planet Delmorna. Isbel's studies into ancient diseases uncovered an old family secret which threatens the stability of the government run by Isbel's devious sister Dru.

Cyrus Durant is a cloned human and undercover cop who has to act as Isbel's Paid Male during her research holiday. He has to get close to her and determine if she's involved in Dru’s treasonous plots. Cyrus has never been this close to a woman. The experience is overwhelming, especially when he and Isbel start to form an intimate psychic bond.

As Isbel's research unearths the truth about the planet's history, she and Cyrus become targets in a deadly political struggle. In a final confrontation with her family, Isbel finds out just how deeply blood ties run -- and how easily they can be severed.

Thanks for letting me drop by and chat today. Complete details about all of my books (14 published and counting!) can be found at my web site. I've got 2 more paranormals releasing this year and 3 more mysteries coming up, so there's always a lot of news there.

Thanks again!

JL Wilson

-- Lynda Again,

Today's member word is WITLING -- a person who affects wittiness.

Members of my newsgroup will know what to do with today's word. You can know too by joining us. But don't worry, there isn't any chatter. You'll only get notices from me (once or twice a week) so it won't fill your mailbox. My fluffy cat, Wookie Baby, will help me select the lucky person whose name is drawn and I'll announce it here on Friday. (She'd do it herself but her English vocabulary is limited to NO-when she's going to the vet and WOE-when she's getting a bath, lol) Oh and this week's prize is an ARC of Catch of a Lifetime the book I just reviewed for Judi Fennell. You can see the review here

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Donna said...

I love stories about reincarnation...must be my 'new age' past.

You're smart to keep records of your 'worlds', I know of several authors that had to go back in their old issues and reinvent the wheel a second time!

J L said...

I discovered to my chagrin once during a draft of a book that I had re-invented the wheel -- incorrectly! Luckily I caught the problem in time. It can be challenging, though.

Anny Cook said...

I have a three ring binder for every series/stand alone book, regardless of genre. If I have "invented" words, then a glossary is kept in the binder. Maps. Descriptions. Timelines. Character dossiers. Whatever I need for each one. Plus copies of the synopsis, contract, corrections done in edits, cover, cover request... everything that pertains to the book.

And when reviews pop out, then I add those too.

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi everyone! I'm a bit late - we had an exciting weekend 9no, no, not a good exciting weekend...unless you *like* plubing problems, lol) but Wookie did finally pull a winner for the Catch of a Lifetime book. I've sent her the notice of her win. Now we can all say