It's a job, I tell you. It starts with a character or two. Where do they live? What are their everyday lives like? And it grows. The very tiny seed of a universe begins to sprout, and before you know it, you have a full blown star system blossoming in your head.
Or at least, that's what happened with me.
The Circeae system began with two characters--Selah and Gray. You will find them in Valor, although their story starts a little earlier in Ransom. Little bit of trivia for you...Selah is an anagram of my name without the "y", as well as a measure of music in the Psalms, and Gray is an anagram of my husband's name. And yes, that was done on purpose. They came to me in a daydream, and started whispering their stories. I had to find out where they lived and give them a backdrop.
The above image went through several iterations. I knew I wanted a system with three stars--one new, one in its prime, and one dying . I doubt it's scientifically possible, but I figure with the pull of three stars, a centralized planet wouldn't revolve. Dot it with a few moons, and I had the building blocks for my system.
Each star needed its own planets, so that allowed me to have some options. The planets around Vetus (Latin for old)--the dying star's rotation--are uninhabitable. (There are a couple of exceptions, of course.) Vetus wasn't always dying. That's actually part of the story arc of the entire Crown's Call series. Aevum (Latin for life) has the most inhabitable planets. And Novus (Latin for new) has wild, unexplored planets. Crenet (an anagram of center) is aptly named, as it is the center of the system, containing the most life and traffic.
The Sagesse star cluster came about when I wrote Fusion, and it also came in handy for Poison. Revenant isn't exactly where it appears on the map. It's the base for the Ghosts (in later books), and can only be accessed through a secret wormhole. Revenant translates to "I will return," referring to one of the central characters of the series.
I didn't start out with all these names. I based my first round on foreign musical terms. Some of them remain (Pavana, Serenata), but the majority of them were changed to give deeper meaning to their context in the series.
As for naming the Circeae system, I wanted to put part of me in it. The "ae" are my first initials. When I found that Circeae translated into daughter of the sun, it clicked. And that was one reason the series started out with the name "The Circeae Tales," but after much thought, I rebranded it. How many of you know how to pronounce Circeae, anyway? That's what I thought.
My initial map was done on Paint. I'm not "up" on all the software, but thankfully, I know someone who is. He took my sad little rendering and transformed it into the brilliant map that now explains my universe. We also plan to have an interactive map for this website at some point.
I enjoy being a creator. It's an amazing feeling. And it gives me a great appreciation for the true Creator. The Designer of life. For I was made in His image. How awesome is that?! And with that, I give Him all the credit for this tiny universe that was born inside my brain.
Soli Deo Gloria!
Award-winning sci-fi author * Christ follower, wife, and mom * broadcast content producer. And yes, I am a real duchess. http://amzn.to/2eLTlH3