Top 10 Doodles Behind THE SHADOW KEEPER

By abielphinstone, Feb 28 2016 07:18PM

Before I start writing any book I draw a map. I won’t have a plot in mind at this stage but I will have a head full of places my characters can visit. For THE SHADOW KEEPER it was caves, fishing villages, fjords and waterfalls and for THE DREAMSNATCHER is was forests, tree forts and heathland. I sketch the places onto paper then I start imagining my characters journeying from one setting to another. Perhaps they are chased along the coast, find themselves lost in a forest or are held hostage in a cave. As soon as I doodle these character movements across my map, a plot starts to emerge. I then break my fictional world down into smaller maps – the interior of a cave, a sitting room inside an old fishing cottage... I’m creating an imagined world but it has to be every bit as believable as our world and I wanted to share my Top 10 SHADOW KEEPER Doodles with you:

1. Little Hollows Cove. Moll and her Tribe are living as outlaws in a secret cove down by the sea. There are hidden tunnels, diving rocks, old rowing boats and smugglers next door – all the finest ingredients for a sea adventure.

2. Little Hollows. The cave Moll and her Tribe are hiding in, complete with secret tunnel and alcove hammocks.

3. A house that must not be named (for spoiler reasons).

4. A room Moll, Gryff and Sid find themselves in on their journey to find the Amulet of Truth. I even drew a dog and a book on the side table – that’s how specific I have to be before I write!

5. Behind Devil’s Drop. Inspired by the Waitomo caves in New Zealand.

6. Oracle Bone script. These are the letters Moll carves into the Oracle Bones with her penknife before she throws them to find the second Amulet of Truth.

7. My map of the Shadow Keeper world. Complete with smuggler caves, raging waterfalls and wild horses.

8. Mapping a chase scene across Inchgrundle. Involving dastardly smugglers and a very fierce storm. The photo deliberately chops off the edges as I don’t want you to see what happens there…

9. Mood board for the book. Witch doctors, wildcats, kelpies and lots and lots of unsolved codes.

10. Teaser for Book 3. I can’t take credit for this – my dear friend, Thierry Kelaart, painted it. But inside this feather you’ll find some hints about the final book in the series.

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