Monday, July 16, 2012
Guest Blog: The Gates by Rachael Wade
Tim Burton Influences in The Gates, Book 2 of The Resistance Trilogy
One of the best parts of writing The Gates was visualizing the Amaranth exile and what Camille and Gavin’s world looked like past “the gates.” Amaranth, book 1 of the series, was focused in Southern Louisiana, where Camille lived and worked. I was fortunate enough to visit Breaux Bridge, New Iberia, and St. Martinville, the key settings in book 1, and it was so exciting to be around the French Louisiana culture and to see the bayous firsthand.
However, book 2 took Camille, Gavin and the gang to a whole different realm—literally. So, the high fantasy aspect required me to rely on nothing but my imagination for the concept of what Amaranth looked, smelled, and felt like. Immediately, I pictured green rolling hills, gloomy, overcast sky, and no technology. Something very fairytale and renaissance-esque with cobblestone streets and lots of hay and farm animals. After all, we learn in book 2 that Gerard created the Amaranth exile to feed his power, but also to dote upon his lover, Samira, the queen of the exile, so I wanted him to gift her with a creation that was somewhat idealistic. The land and villages are classically beautifully, albeit a bit stale and creepy. Over the years, that creepiness escalates after Gerard’s abandon, kind of taking on Samira’s presence and anger.
Halfway through writing The Gates, I stumbled across an old concept drawing of Tim Burton’s. I chat about Tim Burton quite a bit since I’m a massive fangirl. Since I was a kid, I was fascinated with his visual genius and watched his films over and over again. I’m pretty sure my parents thought there was something seriously wrong with me when I desperately wanted to be Lydia from Beetlejuice all throughout my childhood. I dressed like her, talked like her, recited her lines from the movie. Nope, no Disney princess dreams here. :)
So, sifting through images of Tim Burton’s concept art on-line one day, I came across this photo and about fell out of my chair. It was nearly a spitting image of how I’d been picturing Amaranth in my mind, and from there on out, I drew from that image’s influence to help myself visualize Amaranth’s surroundings. Not only did this image inspire the setting, it also inspired the way I saw the characters’ mannerisms and their body language throughout book 2. Coincidentally, the Burton look also inspired who I pictured for Arianna immediately at the end of book 1. She was a cross between Johanna in Sweeney Todd and a blonde version of Helena Bonham Carter. Burton’s Alice in Wonderland also inspired the setting. Wonderland was both vivid and eerie. From Samira’s castle and throne room to the golden gates and gloomy atmosphere, this was how I imagined Amaranth to be.
Have you read Amaranth or The Gates yet? How did you perceive the exile and the villages? How did you picture Samira’s castle? I’d love to hear how you interpreted the setting.
About the Author:
Rachael Wade is the author of the Amazon #1 best-selling paranormal romance series, The Resistance Trilogy, and the best-selling contemporary romance, Preservation. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America and her work has been published in The Storyteller, A Hudson View International Poetry Digest, and Amulet Poetry. When she's not writing, she's busy learning French, watching too many movies, and learning how to protect wildlife and stop animal cruelty. The first title in her post-apocalyptic sci-fi romance series, The Keepers Trilogy, is set for release winter of 2012.
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