Portals: Fantasy Anthology Part 1 of 2

Welcome to the Portals Blog Tour. I’ve asked each author to answer the following question:

Did you use real world elements or was your world completely plucked from your imagination?

I’m huge on world building in fantasy/sci-fi so the question was a no brainer. Let’s see how they faired


Michael Siciliano, author of The Lunatic Queen:

I used some real world elements.

I came up with a system for creating character names that have a certain cultural feel. I’d find a baby-naming site where the names have been subdivided into culture and gender. I’d search under those preferences and then skim through the result. If one struck my fancy, I’d play with the name a bit by substituting a consonant or a vowel. If that didn’t get the perfect name, I’d substitute more than one. If none of that clicked, I’d consider taking the original name. Such was the case with Pavel and Tamara. Also, I had a crush on a Tamara in college and always wanted to use the name in a story.

I do the same with place names. Both geographical features and city/town/village names. In some cases, I’d simply take the name, and in others I’d do the same substitution I described above. This process has helped me immensely with my fantasy series.

During research for a different short story, I came across several North American Indian folktales about stealing the sun.  One from the Northwest involves a raven, while another from the southwest uses a coyote and an eagle. Russian folktales are filled with stories about witches, Baba Yaga being the most infamous.

I combined these two elements, but I needed a concrete, viable reason why someone would steal the sun. I came up with the idea of the moons powering the witch’s magic, but only when visible in the sky. What better way to ensure the moons would be visible than to steal the sun that out-shines them during the day?

With all of that decided, and the visual prompt before me, the story wrote itself.


Havva Murat, author of Where Once were Hearts:

Having never traveled to the Yorkshire moors, most of the setting was plucked from my imagination combined with a good dose of the Bronte sisters’ work. The characters were also drawn largely from my imagination. I’ve enjoyed the work of other steampunk authors such as Gail Carriger, Philip Pullman and Paul Di Filipo over the last few years so I’m sure they have inspired both the characters and the setting in many ways. Clockwork hearts, spell casters and disemboweled squirrels aren’t part of my everyday world either, but I wish they were!


Echo Shea, author of Entrance of Lost Souls:

The story is set in Maryland…or what Maryland could be? There are waterfalls and woods and wells in the state, but this story wasn’t based on any one in particular.

No matter what world you call home, or what your station in life, there are just some paths that weren’t meant to be tread.


Genre: Fantasy Anthology (mixed sub genres) Publisher: Roane Publishing

Release Date: June 5, 2014

Maronda’s Quest by Christy Thomas

Mexmur, the Huntress by Anna Simpson

Entrance of Lost Souls by Echo Shea

Where Once were Hearts by Havva Murat

Ordinary World by Laurie Treacy

The Lunatic Queen by Michael Siciliano


Add it to your Goodreads TBR Pile  

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Purchase Links:

PRINT: Roane Publishing | Createspace | Amazon

DIGITAL: Roane Publishing | Amazon | Amazon (UK)  | Smashwords | Bookstrand