The Dreaming Spies map

Today Random House have completed their map jigsaw-puzzle (over here) so I told the ladies there that I would post a blog about it.

Japan map

And who better to talk about the process of building a map than the main artist, Jean Lukens? Here she is:

The process begins when I find mail in my inbox from Laurie. I know something interesting is in the air. For this map, I was happy to know that Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes were heading for Japan. Laurie sends along a few photos of items that I can choose to include. I ask about the storyline, to get an idea of what imagery might be important.

I chose to format the map on a banner. The season being Spring~cherry blossoms. Two pilgrims, walking toward a Shinto temple. A weapon for Mary to use~a throwing star. Finally, a few iconic Japanese images~chop sticks, tea pot, bamboo, a koi fish and fan.

I used pen ink to create the map’s scene. I chose pencil for the cherry tree in blossom, for a muted feel.  Then, the magic happened when Robert took my drawing and beautifully designed a map that fit nicely into the banner. Our pilgrims walk us into the map. The island leads us up and into a branch, the bamboo stalk brings the eye down and then across through teapot, star and chop sticks.

Team LRK created a fine map. Me in Wisconsin, the others in CA.
 I sure enjoy creating images for a Mary Russell tale, just as much as I enjoy reading a Mary Russell tale. Can’t wait!

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18 days until Dreaming Spies! Other posts about writing and researching the book can be seen here, or you can read a long excerpt here

You can pre-order a signed copy from Poisoned Pen Books or Bookshop Santa Cruz, and unsigned or e-books from IndiebooksAmazon/Kindle, or Barnes & Noble/Nook.

My upcoming events are here.

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  1. Merrily Taylor on January 30, 2015 at 6:52 am

    The map is beautiful (and useful) – in fact this whole book is beautifully produced (and that doesn’t even speak of the writing, which is wonderful). Fans have a treat in store!

  2. JUDITH BARNES on January 30, 2015 at 9:37 am

    I really appreciate the effort and expense it requires to include maps in a fiction book.

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