Exciting news, Kris Humphrey is here! He’s on a blog tour for A Whisper of Wolves and he’s stopped by to tell us how he created the world of Meridina. Welcome to GHB Kris.
There’s nothing quite like disappearing into the world of a good book – letting your imagination roam and leaving normal life behind for a while. My love of fantasy books began when I was about 9 years old: I read Brian Jacques’ amazing Redwall series and, like a lot of people, I went on to read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings and I got completely hooked on the amazing adventures I found in the pages of those books.
I used to draw maps of my own imagined worlds, and the desire to someday write my own fantasy book never left me. So, when I started work on The Guardians of the Wild series I knew it was important to create a world that my readers would want to spend time in – just like I had in Redwall Abbey and Middle Earth. I wanted Meridina to feel real and magical at the same time – a place full of wilderness, with distinct regions, cultures and habitats – somewhere to explore gradually throughout the series.
Whilst writing A Whisper of Wolves I drew a lot of inspiration from my real-life travels. I lived in Canada for a while and went camping and hiking in the Rocky Mountains and the mountains of British Columbia. Once I even bumped into a family of bears in the forest not far from my campsite. I can still remember the sounds and smells of the pine forests and how eerily still it became around sunset. Those memories helped me a great deal when I was writing about Alice and Storm’s adventures in the Great Forest.
One of the biggest decisions I had to make whilst creating the world of Meridina was how exactly the Whisperers and their companions should communicate with each other. There are loads of great books with talking animals in them, but I wanted Alice and Storm to be different, connected by a special, secret bond that no one else could feel or hear. That’s why I chose to make their Whispering into a kind of mental communication and not really speaking at all. It fitted with the way the Whisperers can reach out with their senses and feel the living world around them, a kind of instinctive connection to the natural world that came to be at the very heart of the book.
A Whisper of Wolves is my first book and it’s exciting and scary to see my imagination printed on paper and being sent out to bookshops. I can only hope that my readers enjoy spending time in Meridina as much as I do.
I’m sure readers are going to LOVE A Whisper of Wolves and getting to know Alice and Storm. Thanks for stopping by Kris. Good luck with the rest of the blog tour.