Episode 246: Writing Magic: Character-Centered World Building in a Fantasy Series — Interview with Rowenna Miller

by Gabriela Pereira
published in Podcast

Hey there word nerds!

Today I have the pleasure of hosting Rowenna Miller on the show!

Rowenna is a midwestern born and raised fantasy author and has a Master’s in English Film and Literature because she can’t shut up about stories.

She is also a historical reenactor and seamstress, specializing in the late eighteenth century, and writes fantasy shamelessly inspired by her love of history, especially the history of ordinary people.

Her debut novel, Torn, released in March 2018, is the first in her The Unraveled Kingdom series, and the second book, Fray, will be available in June 2019.

So listen in as Rowenna and I chat about this amazing series and constructing an intricate history inspired fantasy world.

In this episode Rowenna and I discuss:

  • Character centric world building.
  • Different ways to play with magic in fantasy.
  • How to layer aspects of your world naturally into the story.
  • Pitfalls to avoid when crafting your magical system.
  • Intertwining politics, history, and magic when building your fantasy world.

Plus, Rowenna’s #1 tip for writers.

About Rowenna Miller

Rowenna Miller is midwestern born and raised, and it turns out you actually can’t take the Indiana out of the girl. She has a Master’s in English Film and Literature because she can’t shut up about stories, and has taught and tutored writing in college and university settings.

She is also a historical reenactor and seamstress, specializing in the late eighteenth century, and enjoys the smell of woodsmoke and the rustle of silk taffeta more than she cares to admit.

She writes fantasy shamelessly inspired by her love of history, especially the history of ordinary people.

Her debut novel, Torn, released in March 2018, is the first in The Unraveled Kingdom series, and the second book, Fray, will be available in June 2019.

To connect with Rowenna check out her website at rowennamiller.com.

The Unraveled Kingdom

Book 1: Torn

A seamstress who stitches magic into clothing finds herself torn between loyalty to her brother and her secret love for a nobleman in this debut fantasy inspired by the French Revolution.

In a time of revolution, everyone must take a side.

Sophie, a dressmaker and charm caster, has lifted her family out of poverty with a hard-won reputation for beautiful ball gowns and discreetly embroidered spells. A commission from the royal family could secure her future—and thrust her into a dangerous new world.

Revolution is brewing. As Sophie’s brother, Kristos, rises to prominence in the growing anti-monarchist movement, it is only a matter of time before their fortunes collide.

When the unrest erupts into violence, she and Kristos are drawn into a deadly magical plot. Sophie is torn—between her family and her future.

Book 2: Fray

In this epic sequel to Torn, the magical seamstress Sophie Balstrade navigates a royal court and foreign alliances fraught with danger—and may well have to risk everything for love and for country.

Open revolt has been thwarted—for now—but unrest still simmers in the kingdom of Galitha. Sophie, despite having built a thriving business on her skill at both dressmaking and magic, has not escaped unscathed from her misadventures in the workers’ rebellion. Her dangerous foray into curse casting has rendered her powers unpredictable, and her increasingly visible romantic entanglement with the Crown Prince makes her a convenient target for threatened nobles and malcontented commoners alike.

With domestic political reform and international alliances—and her own life—at stake, Sophie must discern friend from foe…before her magic grows too dark for her to wield.

If you decide to check out the first book in the The Unraveled Kingdom series—Torn—or would like to pre-order the second book—Fray—we hope you’ll do so via this Amazon affiliate links, where if you choose to purchase via the link DIY MFA gets a referral fee at no cost to you. As always, thank you for supporting DIY MFA!

Link to Episode 246

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Until next week, keep writing and keep being awesome!

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