Tuesday, August 13, 2019

World-Building and the Mora: Some Notes

I was a ‘world-builder’ as a kid, not in the sense of writing anything out (for the most part) but in creating exotic scenarios for my playmates to enact my imaginings. Westerns and mountain men early on, knights later, cavemen eventually — many of those ideas have stayed with me, to some degree, as I continue to world build and now create characters to inhabit those worlds. Those prehistoric men have definitely carried over to appear here and there but I’ve not written any cowboys yet!

One scenario that did stay with me and grow, I created when I was about fourteen. That is the one that grew into the world of the Mora. Originally it was a castaway tale, somewhat of an amalgam of Defoe and Burroughs (his whole ‘lost world’ bit). I dabbled with the concept over the years but never seriously developed it until I wrote the first book of the Malvern Trilogy, COAST OF SPEARS, five years ago. I am currently working at the seventh novel set in that world, to be titled WARRIOR OF THE MOON. Expect it next year and feel free to purchase and read the six previous titles.

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I describe my Mora people as ‘quasi-Polynesian’ because they are descended from Polynesians of uncertain origin (Tahiti? the Marquesas?) who mixed with an earlier Proto-Malay population to create a unique nation and culture. Were I writing about a truly Polynesian people, Hawaiians, Tahitians, Maori, I would have much less room for leeway and creativity.

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For any who might wonder, the title taona which is bestowed on Marareta (Michael Malvern) early on in my series of Mora novels is a variant on the individual known as a kahuna in Hawaiian and a tohunga in Maori. However, I referred to one of its meanings as being ‘healer’ early in the texts, to suggest a possible conflation with the word hahona. You are free to accept or reject that theory. :)

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