Thursday, April 9, 2015

World Building with Urban Fantasy Author Kyla Phillips, Giveaway

Can you write a description of the world pictured here?
Hello and Welcome to the J.Q. Rose blog!
I am thrilled to introduce you to author Kyla Phillips .  Her book will be released in May by MuseItUp Publishing.  Kyla's urban fantasy, Agent of Light, marks her debut as a published author.  She is celebrating by offering a free eBook to a lucky commenter. The winner will be chosen after 9 pm EDT Sunday evening.

Congratulations on your new release, Kyla! What an exciting time for you. We're so happy to share this special occasion with you.

You had to build a believable fantasy world in Agent of Light. Do you have some tips on how you did that?

Yes, J.Q. Thank you.

Building a Complex Supernatural World by Kyla Phillips

Working on my newest novel, Agent of Light, I knew I wanted to build this complex supernatural world to fit my crazy characters in, which led me to thinking about the rules of world building. With my everyday life being so hectic, any rules of writing I would even have a chance of following have to be simple. So when building a new world I keep four things in mind.
World building is all about developing, and sticking to, a set of rules that govern a fictional world. Whether that be a far off planet in a far flung future and supernatural world in the present. Either way to make your characters extraordinary powers/technology etc, something worth reading the reader has to be able to relate.
1.      Everything starts with an idea.
Agent of Light follows of team of bounty hunters that track down the worst criminals in the supernatural world. Well who hunts down supernaturals? Other, more powerful supernaturals of course. But what kind?  For my character Donovan, I thought about what kind of man he was. Strong, mercurial, raw.  To me that screamed shapeshifter which by their very nature are ever changing.
2.      Background.
The second thing I have to think about is what does Don being a shapeshifter add to the story, besides the obvious otherworldly element. That meant digging into what is a shifter. To me they thrive in a pack. Okay so Don was in a pack now he’s in a new one. Does he have the same position? Promoted? Demoted? Does the way he did things in the past create tension in his new pack? Now Don’s background as a shifter adds all these new dimensions to him as a part of the team.
3.      Limits.
Characters have to have limits otherwise why write a whole book. For example, Don transforms into megalithic beast, kills all the bad guys. The end. Not a very good story. Instead, Don is limited by what he can shift into. At one point he wants to shift into a polar bear but because he had never seen one he couldn’t. It doesn’t end there. He was affected by the moon, his powers wax and wane in a predictable cycle. He’s still flesh and blood so he has to replace the energy expended by eating a lot after a good fight. It’s the little, practical details that make the fantastic plausible.
4.      The surrounding world.
I always keep in mind what affect my character’s power has on the world around them. In the case of Agent of Light, everything is out in the open. Because the ordinary and the supernatural live together, there are rules in place to protect humans from the others. That  also means something that might have seemed spectacular under other circumstances is rather mundane. A man shifts into dog in the middle of a park and nobody bats an eye. So the drama has to be elevated to even cause a stir. Couple shift into dogs in the middle of the park and have at each other, they’re spelled by cop and carted off to jail for indecent exposure and lewd behavior. 

Keeping those four things in mind makes it easy to turn the fantastical into the plausible.
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Thanks so much for sharing those four foundations for building a world! Check out Kyla's first book in the series, Council of Light: Agent of Light.

Urban Fantasy--Agent of Light by Kyla Phillips
Back of the book:
Vayne is a light elemental and bounty hunter for the supernatural world. Her partners—Giovanni, a capricious fallen angel; and Donovan, a shape shifter with anger control issues—work with her during their rehabilitation. During the coldest winter Cincinnati has ever seen, the threesome run into a case where temporary and violent insanity strikes powerful elementals seemingly at random. Vayne soon finds herself the victim instead of the hunter, and working on the wrong side of the conflict. How can Don and Gio pull her back from the brink? How will she reveal the perpetrator and bring him before the chopping block?

Pre-order now and save at
MuseItUp Publishing: 
The eBook will be available at all major online sellers May 5.

About Kyla Phillips:
Kyla became a SciFi/Fantasy addict at age three watching Doctor Who on late nights up with her mom. She discovered her love of reading and writing in the third grade reading Robert A. Heinlein and Piers Anthony and trying to create stories like her heroes. 
Currently she lives in Ohio with her grandmother and her dog, Mya – named after a SciFi character. She is inspired by the musing of her fellow writers in the Entropy writing group and hanging out at Barberton Public Library.
Connect with Kyla Phillips Online at
Do you enjoy escaping into SciFi/Fantasy worlds? Do you have tips for world building in stories you write? Please share with us in a comment below. Leave a comment to win the drawing for an ecopy of Kyla's brand new book coming in May!

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J.Q. Rose said...

Welcome Kyla, thanks for being my guest this week.

Kyla said...

Thanks so much J.Q. for having me. I had so much fun doing it.

Susan Royal said...

Enjoyed the post Kyla and Janet. I have always loved idea of creating a fantasy world, because you can make up your own rules, butyou also have to follow them!!

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Susan, You make a good point to follow those rules you made up. Thanks for stopping in.

Kyla said...

Hi Susan. Yes making the rules may be fun but following them throughout a project can be hard.

Susan Bernhardt said...

I think it would be fun creating a fantasy world. I guess we all do that somewhat in fiction even if it isn't sci-fi, but yours is definitely out there, where it should be. Enjoyable post about the rules to follow building a complex supernatural world.

Thank you, Kyla and J.Q.

Unknown said...

Great advice, Kyla. Your book sounds intriguing!

Marsha said...

Great post, Kyla and what an awesome cover. Good luck with your upcoming release!

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Heather, Yes I think Kyla has quite an imagination.

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Marsha, thanks for stopping in.

Kyla said...

I have to put my imagination to good use otherwise it would drive me crazy.

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed your post, Kyla. Great advice. Even a fantasy world has to be believable. Your novel sounds great, and I love the cover! Best of luck with release!

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Helena, Thanks so much for stopping by from across the pond.

J.Q. Rose said...

Kyla, folks like your book cover. Who is the cover designer?

Penny Lockwood Ehrenkranz said...

Congratulations, Kyla. Great information on world building. It is so important to build a world readers can believe.

Anonymous said...

I hate inconsistencies in a fantasy world! Those four rules are really good to keep in mind. Congratulations on the new release.

Anonymous said...

I hate inconsistencies in a fantasy world! Those four rules are really good to keep in mind. Congratulations on the new release.

Kyla said...

Thanks everybody for stopping by. It took me some trial and error to come up with the fur rules. My cover art was done by Celarien who can be found at

J.Q. Rose said...

Penny and Iona, Kyla's post makes me kinda want to try sci fi just to see if I could make up a believable world of the future. Thanks for stopping by.

Kyla said...

J.Q. you should try it. It will be fun and if you don't like it at least you gave it a shot

J.Q. Rose said...

Kyla, that reminded me of a short sci fi story I wrote a couple of summers ago set in the future. It was fun. Maybe I could expand that. Thanks for nudging me!

Mysti Parker said...

Great article! I love worldbuilding. One of my favorite parts of writing my fantasy romance :)

J.Q. Rose said...

Hi Mysti, Thanks so much for stopping in and leaving a comment!

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