This is all sounding dangerously professional isn't it, but never fear - it'll go down my usual route of 'fits and starts' documenting soon enough. However, just to show you that work has gotten underway in earnest, here's a few visuals to whet yer whistles...
I love maps - even before I became an LotR geek so of course when I decided to write about a world far, far away I really needed to map it. Those of you familiar with the titchier British Isles may recognise some of the land masses shown below. They're grossly fiddled-with adaptations of the Orknies - or Orcades as I'm thinking of them more, as the overall feel for the Shadow Series is heavily influenced by Graeco-Roman classical and Celtic/Norse cultural mythologies and language
1st or 2nd pass of the basic world map (the main land masses anyway as the Outer Ocean is a wrap around and not really populated). Copyright - Jan Hawke
and the coloured version
fuller relief of the main land mass where most of the action will take place around the Cloudwoods and Baywood regions
And - because it helps to have a visual proto-type for characters -
copyright - Len Brook Photography
this is Ruarghan, a skilled telepath and 'borrower' (in the Granny Weatherwax style) and a fledgling shape-shifter! He's one of three primary characters who'll form a kind of demi-god triumvirate and the only one who's scheduled to survive into the anticipated third cycle of the series, which will focus on his and the other 2 characters' children. I'll lose the cap and guitar of course....
Well that's enough to kick off for now. I'll probably post the origin myth in here once it's out of beta reading on the forum as a teaser - hopefully in a few weeks. Feel free to comment as you like ;-)