I’m so thrilled to have Karina Cooper on the blog today as part of her virtual tour for All Things Wicked, the brand new book in the Dark Mission series (out today!) Karina was kind enough to talk about her awesome worldbuilding, and there’s also a $25 Amazon Giftcard that will go to one random reader. All you have to do is comment! Don’t forget to hit all the tour stops, since the more you comment, the better your chances are of winning! Thanks to Goddessfish for organizing the tour, and please welcome Karina to the blog!
Ideas that Shape a World
Firstly, let me just say that I love and adore My Bookish Ways. I mean, come on. You’re here, so you know of what I speak. Anything that has to do with bookish ways is pretty rad, and the fabulous Kristin has made an art out of it. Thanks for having me!
So, shameless flattery now out of the way, let’s talk about me!
Every world starts with an idea. (Duh, I hear you say, get to the good stuff. Patience, Padawan. Keep your thoughts in the here and now.)
The ideas can come from anywhere. Absolutely anything. Whenever someone asks me, “Where do you get your ideas?”, I can’t help but laugh and say, “Everywhere.” Sorry, I don’t mean to sound snide when I start laughing. It’s not you, it’s me.
You see, my brain is one of those incredibly annoying, yoga- and inner-peace-defying types. It talks. And it talks. And it spins and it whirls and it talks until I’m pretty sure that if I ever experience a moment of Zen silence, I’ll panic and think myself dead. (Unless, of course, one’s inner self continues on after death, in which case I’ll probably haunt someone just for kicks.) Even when I work–or, say, write blog posts–I’m thinking of fifteen different things at the same time.
This might explain a lot of my communication techniques.
This also means that anything, from a sandwich I taste in a local shop to the show I watch on the Discovery Channel, from the people I meet, people I don’t meet, and people I catch glimpses of on the bus, can spark an idea. And then that idea, a tiny kernel of a thing, just sits there.
Sometimes it nags so loudly, or for so long, that it blooms. Sometimes, like with my Dark Mission series, it’ll spring fully formed my brow–without the monster headache. As I’ve mentioned before, I thought about New Seattle while watching a Discovery program about supervolcanoes.
I thought developing a world where much of it has been blasted away by Mother Nature to be so intriguing that I mulled on it for a while. I could have gone a handful of ways–from truly post-apocalyptic, natural disaster fallout to underground cities and more–but I chose a world that hasn’t quite been obliterated, yet whose focus has changed.
The more I chewed on this idea–all in the space of three shows, note–the more it refined. What would humanity do when faced with a century-defining threat? Where would it go, who would it turn to?
And since I couldn’t tell the tale of an entire world in one fell swoop, I focused on one city. The city who already set the precedent for some serious territory-staking.
Even in real life, Seattle is built on the remains of itself. If you’ve never been to the underground tours, you should make it a point to go when you’re in town. It’s strange and haunting and surreal, and I wanted to borrow that feeling for my new city.
Whether it’s Seattle or humanity as a whole, we’re not too keen on just packing up and taking off when things don’t work. For the residents of Seattle, it’s home. And one doesn’t just leave one’s home when things get tough. Or so the residents of my Seattle thought, especially when a powerful voice rose up from the ashes to encourage solidarity.
So they rebuilt their beloved city–bigger, stronger, shinier! A real beacon of hope. And they put it right over the ruins of the old. Smart? Maybe not. But do remember that Seattle was originally built on filled-in tidelands. When the Great Seattle Fire destroyed 31 blocks, the city council ordered the streets regraded a couple stories high. Historically speaking, the precedent for stacking one city on top of the other was set in 1889.
All the Holy Order had to do was follow suit. And then, very cleverly, divide the populace. The poor, the powerless? We don’t need them. They’re frightened sheep, aren’t they? Milling around within the borders of safety that the powerful have defined. The rich? The politically savvy, the elite, they should be at the top of the city, the crème de la crème. Trapped where the Church can keep an eye on them. Fed until they’re bloated and passive and content.
Like good puppets.
The rest, as they say, is history.
All Things Wicked: Secrets & Revelations
For fifty years, the residents of New Seattle have believed one solid fact: only Providence (chance, luck, fate, call it what you will) saved them from total annihilation. With the help of the Holy Order of St. Dominic, New Seattle rose from the ashes of a cataclysm so profound that it still echoes fifty years later.
Fear is a mighty motivator. And it covers oh, so many sins.
Caleb Leigh has been on the run for a year–from the Coven he destroyed, the sister he deceived, and the demons that haunt his every move. Juliet Carpenter has never forgotten the man who touched her heart, and then betrayed her family. Bent on vengeance, her plans take a turn for the surreal as the Holy Order joins the feud.
New Seattle is filled with secrets. The Church will do anything to keep them buried; lie, conspire… murder.
Out today, January 31st, All Things Wicked will answer questions those in power would prefer stay buried. At all costs.
San Francisco provided me with a home only until the wanderlust struck. I was raised all over the U.S. like some kind of tiny blonde gypsy, and marinating in the melting pot of so many cultures may be the source of this wild imagination. No matter where I was or what I thought I wanted to be when I grew up—actress to artist, web designer, fashionista or author—I was always creative.
As far as careers go, daydreaming for a living kicks so much ass
About All Things Wicked
Juliet Carpenter was always protected from the darker side of the witching world. But the massacre below Seattle, the one that claimed her sister’s life, opened her eyes to the true nature of those around her–especially Caleb Leigh. Juliet can’t believe that she slept with the man who killed her sister and now has just one thing on her mind: revenge. But old habits die hard and when it becomes clear that she can’t trust her Coven either, she’s left on the run with a man she hates more than anything.
Caleb isn’t proud of the things he’s done to survive, but nothing hurts him more than the pain he caused Juliet. Unable to reveal the truth about her sister’s death, and with both the Coven and the Mission hard on their heels, he must get Juliet to trust him long enough to save their lives. Because it’s not just the two of them who are in danger: if Juliet won’t let go of her rage enough to tap into her powers, everything they love–each other, their families, this whole miserable world–will be lost.