Weapon of Tyrants,
The Last War: Book Four Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Last-War-Tyrants-criminal-enforcer-ebook/dp/B06XHXJ59T/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
Can a criminal enforcer be trusted to protect a woman on the run?
The International Head Ball Games are about to begin at Deep Creek, Southern Territory of Khandarken. Tension rises with the new nations Adar Silva, Khandarken, Jiran and Legitamia scheduled to take part in the competition. Damian Stuke still has nightmares about being captured by the Emperor’s men and tortured during the Last War. Now he is an enforcer for an illegal gamer in the Western Territory. When his sister marries the Chief Constable of Khandarken, his life has to change. Training for undercover work in Deep Creek in the midst of the International Games, he encounters a fascinating woman with a small child and a hidden agenda. But as he discovers what she’s hiding, his protective instincts kick into high gear.
When Fanny Master’s parents are assassinated, she is forced to run for her life. A member of the Khandarken political elite, she doesn’t know who is after her, but she’ll do almost anything to remain under the radar. That could include using someone else’s ident and adopting their child, a child who could be from another world. As Emperor Carlton ramps up his plans for invasion, and the Head Ball Games approach a thundering climax, the assassins make a new attempt on Fanny’s life. Damian is her only hope. Will he save her from her unknown enemy, or is he still working for the other side?
What type of people are in your book?…
After the Emperor was defeated in the Last War, the Empire broke apart and new nations arose from the debris. Ranging along the Catastrophic Ocean are Adar Silva, the most sophisticated of the countries, having been the location of Emperor Aqatain’s palace, headquarters and centre of learning. North of that is Khandarken, led by a middle class group of politicians and military men. Here the people struggle to establish some kind of political openness while still relying on official appointments and Governors to keep order in the hinterland.
Legitamia and Sturridge are further north and have regressed into their own dictatorships, run by the military and boasting closed borders. To the west is a territory of tribal wars and loose affiliations. The Last War destroyed nearly everything. The hills crawl with the dispossessed, men who are too damaged by the battles to live in community. There are roving bands of raiders, mud roads, travelling sellers and llama farms. In the midst of all this, the defeated Emperor dies and his son takes over the task of re-establishing his empire out of the collapse of the old. Suddenly the dispossessed have a purpose, one they understand.
Language and Culture
Creating a new world is a lot of work. 😊 It involves inventing new countries, traditions and cultures. I have reams of words that are used in The Last War. Some are obvious, others less so. Communication is difficult in many territories, and carried out through links—facelink if reception is good, beltlink if working in secret where silence is needed., voicelink if you don’t care that messages are hacked and monitored. Paper is hard to get and expensive, only used by the wealthy. Transportation is by bus, they slow down at the stations for people to leap off or on. Scooters are also common, the expensive ones are aerial, and very fast. The remote territories still use mules or horses and wagons.
In the culture of your story world, what is different from ours?…
A scientific experiment sponsored by Emperor Aqatain during the Last War resulted in an increase in male births. It was exactly what was needed, with the endless war and its ensuing list of casualties. But once peace came, the shortage of women created a crisis for the young men coming along and the need for population growth. Thus rose the laws protecting women and at the same time, the sudden rise in capturing and smuggling woman.
What rights (such as equality) are challenges for your characters?…
The dispossessed have no rights. They can’t vote, don’t receive services that other citizens receive. Disease runs rampant. The high temp virus is vicious but doesn’t usually kill the victim. Mangohrea is a venereal disease with no cure and kills quickly. Viruses attack women when they are weakest—at puberty, or at the time of giving birth—making the shortage of females an even bigger crisis.
Khandarken is a new country with fledgling laws and regulations. The first Leader elected was a man named Harold Master. He was a retired university teacher and received little respect from the local military but managed to take his country toward a more law-abiding establishment. He was murdered by rebels who had a different idea of where Khandarken should be headed. His wife was then killed. Their daughter, Fanny, is running for her life.
Because everyone must carry an ident, she has to find herself a fake one. If she uses her own, the murderers can track her through that document. She can’t trust anyone. The military has just left the Emperor’s grasp and been reorganized within the country’s boundaries. The Constables are headed by the bastard son of Emperor Aqatain, and many hold no allegiance to the government.
What food or drink is available to your characters?…
Drinks consist of Chilean or spice caf tea, lemon water for ladies, various drinks of clouded ale, bourbon and spririts. A typical meal might include lentils, astrofruit, fried oliguito, pané sandwiches and curry ginger soup,
In what ways was it helpful to have a map (or sketch of one) for your story?
I have a map that keeps growing as the stories spread out over more territory. I publish the map in the front of my books because readers say it has been very helpful. Even my critique group has asked for it to keep the countries clear in their minds and to be able to understand the travels that my characters undertake. My daughter has drawn it for me and it can grow depending on where I get with my next books.
Sharing World Building Expertise
Once I was part way through Book One, I needed several things. A map was very helpful, where I could note the towns and villages my characters visited. That map grew as the books continued.
A list of names. Many people have noted the names in my books are unique in that they often reflect the occupation or position held by the characters. That has been fun, but it’s still hard to keep track of all these people in a whole new world. I have two lists of characters, as I sort them by occupation and by name.
A list of words. There are many new words in world-building. It’s very hard to keep them all in mind, and although I might remember what the word is, I may not use it the right way. So again, I do two lists, one of the words themselves, one of their definitions so I am able to cross reference them.
All of these things are in my bible for The Last War. Each new book adds to the characters, the towns and villages, the food and drink consumed. It’s been a lot of fun.
What’s your advice for writers who want to create a solid background for their story world?…
Keep notes, write it down. I’ve found over time that characters get moved around and I have to move them back where they belong. At one point, I had killed off a bad guy in one book, but when I began writing the next one, I needed him. I had to go back and rewrite that part. I got to kill him off later after he’d served his purpose in the next book.
Science fiction genre: different world
Book heat level (based on movie ratings): 3
Publisher Great Western Publishing