For the Love of World Building By Artemis Crow

Oh, boy, do I love world building. I’m not talking about going full-on Tolkien and busting out a new language; that’s more than I wanted to do for my series. Most everything else was fair game though.

As a visually oriented person, I love photos and artwork, movies and television. When developing the Zodiac Assassins, I searched through images on Deviant Art and Pinterest and stock artwork sites looking for images that made me gasp with wonder. From those images I created new paranormal species, hoping to instill that same wonder in my readers.

Take, for example, the species Memoria Soul-Keeper. Years ago, when I subscribed to fashion magazines (not that I could ever wear or afford the clothes; I just love the pretty pretties and the photography), I saw a beautiful, towering, butterfly chapeau on the Alexander McQueen runway. Red, black and white faux monarchs mounted on individual wires that I could tell danced as the model walked. I tore out that photo and saved it. While creating the two dozen species, I knew I had to have one using that image so I began to ponder. Who are these women? What are the butterflies?

I came up with a list of words that I associated with the image and ran them through a translate program in Latin. That’s when I came across memoria (memory). From there I decided that the butterflies were the souls of the deceased from a single paranormal bloodline, and the soul-keepers protected those souls, collecting them at death. When the last member of a bloodline died, she would perform a ritual that released all the souls together.

I was able to get all that from a photo. My mom says my imagination is scary. If you agree, well, count yourself sensible.

The best part of all this is I was able to create a series Pinterest page, Artemis Crow Writes, with the images; not for myself, but for my readers. A way to connect them to the world I’ve created via the images that inspired it.

When I began creating my series, I knew I wanted to have it take place on earth, not in a fictional world, because I wanted to utilize our many mythologies. I wanted to have a hidden world, a place of darkness that would be exposed to the light of the human world, thus the subterranean world called the InBetween was born. From there I created an origin story for the InBetween, several unique species to inhabit it and the twelve Zodiac males the series would be centered around.

As you might imagine it took me a very long time to do all this, but it’s helped my series immensely going forward. The great thing about world building is it’s not just for fantasy anymore. Any genre, from sweet romance to thrillers to cozy mysteries, can benefit greatly from digging a little deeper to develop a world that readers can get lost in and cherish.

May your words flow freely,

The Zodiac Assassins series

Available on Kindle and Print, Nook and Kobo

Lyon’s Roar –

Leona’s Descent –


Libra’s Limbo –

Leona’s Cage –




Gemini Asunder  Book 3 coming Fall 2019




About Susan Hanniford Crowley

Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, and Science Fiction Author
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