Sunday Spotlight: Scott Kinkade, Author of God School

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Sunday Spotlight is a weekly scheme I am running to bring publicity to lesser known authors who, in the book blogging community, it is important to support. If you are an author and you wish to be considered for it please email me at emily.confessionsofa with 'Author Spotlight' in the subject line.

Visiting with us at Confessions of a Bookaholic today is Scott Kinkade, author of God School who is sharing a guest post with us today. 

About Scott:
I write science fiction. I frequently imagine a past that never was, and futures that never will be.
I run a sci-fi blog where I post book and movie reviews.
I also work to educate people about the reality of living with clinical depression and Asperger's via my YouTube channel.

World Building in Fiction 
Most sci-fi and fantasy novels have their own world, and it's the author's job to make that world believable. To me, there are three essential aspects of making that happen: lore, diversity and religion.

First, let's start with lore. Your world absolutely has to have a rich history. What happened in the past to make your world interesting? Who are your historical figures? How was history shaped to bring your inhabitants to the present? An unparalleled scribe in this regard is George R. R. Martin. He has spent countless hours fine-tuning the details of his world, and it shows. From Mad King Aerys to the Dothraki, there's no shortage of history to be learned in his A Song of Ice and Fire series. 

Another loremaster is Stephen Hunt. For those who have read his Jackelian steampunk series, you know his world of Jackals is rich in detail. He gives us many tidbits of Jackals' history throughout the series, steadily forming it into a compelling, believable world.

But perhaps the all-time king of lore is J. R. R. Tolkien. He inserted an obscene amount of lore into Middle Earth. Ever read The Silmarillion? He wrote an entire book dedicated to the history of his world. That's true dedication.

Also, if your story takes place in an alternate Earth, we need to know what's different about it. How does its history differ from our own timeline? For example, in my steampunk Infini Calendar series, Marie Antoinette championed steam power, leading to the creation of airships and other steam-powered technology in the 18th century, well before the Industrial Revolution. And in Cherie Priest's Clockwork Century series, the American Civil War started much earlier and went on for over a decade.

Next, let's take a look at diversity. Every good world must have different peoples and cultures. Again, George R. R. Martin is very good about this. You've got your Starks, your Lannisters, your Dothraki, your Wildlings and many others. Each of them has their own unique viewpoints and motivations which drive them (and continually bring them into conflict with one another). And I must again cite the work of Stephen Hunt. Jackals has Victorian-esque society, a jungle region,a sky city, and a country where women rule over men, just to name a few.

Finally, any good world you create should have religion. Here I must mention--you guessed it--George R. R. Martin. The characters in his world share a wide variety of beliefs. They worship a multitude of gods, including the Drowned one. It seems like everyone in that world has their own set of beliefs.

In my own novels I've explored the role of religion in our lives. In my Infini Calendar series, Joan of Arc struggles to stay faithful to God despite knowing she's going to be burned at the stake (a struggle she fails in that timeline). I go even further in my Divine Protector series (beginning with God School), creating new religions in the world of Narska. The Holoists worship the god Bethos, while the citizens of the Faust Kingdom bow to the Lost Gods which include Earth deities. Conversely, the students at Divine Protector Academy don't worship any gods because they are gods (or, at least, gods in training). But even before attending the school for gods, protagonist Ev Bannen wasn't religious at all. He couldn't reconcile the idea of a benevolent creator with the physical and emotional abuse he and his mother suffered at the hands of his father. So, in a sense, even a lack of faith counts when coming up with your world's belief systems. 

There's a very good book by Jay Marian called Creating God: Worldbuilding a Religion (How to Write Fantasy Book 1) which details the important functions of religion within a fantasy world.

Well, that's about it. I've covered what are, in my opinion, the three most important aspects of a fictional world. Really, though, that's just the starting point. Feel free to be as creative as you want in designing your world. Just make sure it's believable.

About God School
God School
18-year-old Ev Bannen was just hoping to get admitted to college. He never expected to be recruited to a school for gods, where he’ll be spending his days building up his strength, learning to answer prayers and getting an education in religion alongside aspiring god of money Jaysin Marx, the lovely but troubled Maya Brünhart and anger-prone ginger Daryn Anders. But the organization of evil gods, Zero Grade, has plans to unleash hell on earth, and they require the blood of potential gods to do it. What’s more, someone close to Ev is not who they claim to be, and their betrayal may doom mankind forever. Ev steps up to save the day, but does he even stand a chance in hell of defeating a legendary deity?

Find God School on Goodreads| Amazon

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If you are an author and want to be spotlighted drop me an email. Don't forget to share my spotlight posts wherever you can, it's really important to support the lesser known author community! Also if you want to be included in my scheme then you need it to be popular enough for you to have maximum publicity!

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