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C.T. Adams on World Building in The Exile [+ Giveaway]

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The Exile by C.T. Adams // VBCFrom Chelsea/VBC: If you’ve read VBC for some time, you’ve probably noticed how much we love clever and detailed world building. It’s our jam. So, we were really excited to hear that C.T. Adams—half of the writing duo Cat Adams (Blood Singer novels)—had a new urban fantasy set in a world where magic is real and not a super secret.

We reached out to her to find out what drew her to writing in this world where some people are in the know, and others completely unaware. And, yes, we snagged a copy of her new book The Exile for one lucky VBC reader. Though, you can snag a copy here!

I’ve written books in worlds where the existence of magic is a secret (the Sazi), in the open (the Blood Singer series), and now, mixed (The Exile).  I say mixed because, the human world is our current reality where some people believe in magic, but most don’t; and the Fae world is absolutely magical and everyone who exists in their world knows it.

The contrast is interesting.

A closed world makes it easy in that you can base it on actual observation of how our world works and how people react in it.  You can have fun with making your characters rise to the challenge of coming up with rationalizations that will fool the “vanilla” mortals who don’t believe in magic, try to be discreet and keep secrets, etc.

In an open world you don’t have to. Everything is right out there. BUT, you have to make sure that it all fits together and makes logical sense, which can be tricky.  There are less limits this way too – so you have to be very careful not to run too far afield and lose believability or make your characters so incredibly powerful that there’s no risk anymore, no challenge, and because of that, no tension within the story.

With the mixed world of The Exile there is the challenge to the characters of keeping it straight in their heads depending on where they are, or who they are talking to.  “No, wait, that doesn’t work here.”  There’s a scene where Nick Antonelli realizes that Brianna’s home has been under surveillance and he has to do a quick rehash in his mind of everything that’s gone on to see how it will “play” for the people who were listening in.

So there are positives and negatives to any approach.  And I enjoy them all for different reasons.

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19 Responses to “C.T. Adams on World Building in The Exile [+ Giveaway]”

  1. susan emans says:

    There are good stories set in both open and closed worlds. I love McGuire’s Toby Daye books which are a mix, since the Fae know about magic but the normal humans do not. I love Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock series in which everybody is out of the closet. I can’t wait to read The Exile!

  2. Wilda Konik says:

    I’ve read a lot of what would be termed “mixed” universes according to this blog post, where the protagonists are in the know and most of humanity isn’t, but there are worlds where people all know about magic. I tend to think of them as still closed, because for me, the difference is whether the book is plausibly set in the “real world” or if it’s necessarily AU because of the social changes. For instance, nobody in the Dresdenverse really makes an effort to keep magic on the down-low, but LKH’s worlds tend to have wide-sweeping changes to the government structure. It’s more about the world, for me, then what sorts of hoops the characters have to jump through. I’ve never thought of it that way before.

  3. Carly says:

    I just picked up a few of c.t. Adams books and I’ve been pulled into the amazing story.

  4. Corrina says:

    I read a lot of books. I like the Kate Daniels series where magic waxes and wanes. I also love Jane Yellowrock. I look forward to this book.

  5. BookLady says:

    I enjoy reading about all types of worlds. It really depends on the story and the author’s ability to create an amazing detailed world. The Exile sounds fantastic. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  6. Liz S says:

    I like mixed worlds, but really enjoyed both the Sazi and the Blood Singer series. Strong characters, intriguing world building, magic-what’s not enjoyable about that combination? Looking forward to The Exile!

  7. Katie says:

    Looks good! Would love to win.

  8. Joani S says:

    I enjoy reading about all kinds of worlds. In the mixed variety it usually adds tension since not all society will get along or appreciate others”, In a closed one there are lots of juicy secrets! 🙂

  9. Susan says:

    Love the look of the cover!

  10. bn100 says:

    not sure

  11. Barbara Elness says:

    I think there’s something to be enjoyed with all of them, open, closed or mixed. So really, I like them all.

  12. erinf1 says:

    a good mix 🙂 what a great cover! congrats to CT on the new release and thanks for sharing!

  13. havebookwillsurvive/Cara says:

    I love both worlds. I cant wait to read.

  14. Mariana says:

    i love books that exist magics!
    i realy enjoy read the vampires book clubs recomendation! I’m look fowarding this book =)

  15. Dawn says:

    I love a mixed world. Something like Yasmine Galenorn’s Otherworld series is great or even Toby Daye’s series. That contrast keeps me intrigued.

  16. I enjoy all kinds of worlds and I love to mix them up!!!!

  17. Aliyah says:

    I like the worlds that are closed and are suddenly being torn open. That way you can see what was and what is coming next.

  18. Stephanie F. says:

    I have enjoyed stories in all but I do love a mix of them both.

  19. Barbara F. says:

    I like both kinds of of worlds. It’s more about the story and characters for me than the world setting.

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