Six Things You Didn’t Know About The SoulNecklace Stories
I’ve been asked these questions about The SoulNecklace Stories:
- Why do you have Christmas in your worlds?
- Pockets weren’t invented until the 1700s. Why do your character’s clothes have pockets?
- How come you don’t have guns but you have fireworks?
Great questions! Here’s why:
1. The books of the SoulNecklace Stories (A Necklace of Souls, A Skillful Warrior and A Memory of Fire) are set in a parallel world to ours. The world has similarities, but also a great many differences. For example, in the world of The SoulNecklace Stories, much of the technology we have, like cars and guns, were never invented. Coal-fired steam boilers are present, and so is hot water. Fashion, though, is similar to that of the 1800s, and hence long skirts, jerkins and … pockets.
2. The events in these stories take place at roughly the same date and time as the present day in our world.
3. In The SoulNecklace Stories some characters have the ability to move between worlds. N’tombe, an enchantress, is one such person. N’tombe actually comes from The Central African Republic (CAR) in our world, where they do have guns. (Actually, she refers to them briefly in A Skillful Warrior.)
4. When writing a fantasy, it’s important to have rules that contain the world-building. Here are my rules for the history of The SoulNecklace Story world:
• Rule One: Worlds split off from other worlds when something significant happens. That is: an event with two possible outcomes occurs – AND each outcome will create a significantly altered future. The separation is called ‘a divergence’. (This rule was created long before the Divergent series!)
• Rule Two: Things in place prior to the divergence event are unchanged. It’s only the future that is altered.
• Rule Three: The reason for the divergence in The SoulNecklace Stories was a comet striking Earth. The comet carried a passenger (or perhaps, the comet is the passenger). This happened on or about AD 75.
5. So, the history of The SoulNecklace Stories is the same as our world up until about AD 75. This means that in The SoulNecklace Stories the Roman Empire existed and, because Jesus was born before the comet strike, Christianity arose (and so did Christ’s Mass, or Christmas). But the Renaissance never happened and in The SoulNecklace Stories, the Chinese Empire is the dominant power. And so we have fireworks, used for celebrations and religious festivals, but not guns.
6. This means that, as you read The SoulNecklace Stories, you may find things that are the same as our world, but you’ll also find things that are different.
I hope this clarifies the point for readers who noted apparent errors in fashion, holidays and religious festivals. Well spotted, but No.