Welcome to another installment of the Worldbuilding Showcase interview series where authors introduce us to their fantastical worlds and their journey to creating them.
Karina Kantas is a prolific author of 12 titles. She writes in the fiction genres of, thriller, romance, horror, fantasy, erotica, dystopian, YA and supernatural. Karina is from the UK but lives in Greece with her family and vivid imagination.
Welcome Karina! Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, what is Illusional Reality about?
Book one: Illusional Reality
Nobody expects to stare death in the face only to find out your entire life is a lie. Rescued by Salco, marketing executive Becky finds herself in an unknown magical world filled with happy people that try to forget their land is on the brink of destruction.
Becky will soon learn that her arrival is no accident. If learning that she is Thya, the heir of the enchanting land isn’t enough, she’s then told that an Oracle prophesied that she will save the gentle Tsinians from slavery and domination by Darthorn, the Warlord of Senx.
It is at a festival where she is introduced to the Tsinian council and her kinsmen, that she learns the whole truth. The council are so certain that a union between Darthorn’s son, Kovon and Thya will create peace between the two lands. However, Darthorn has plans for Tsinia as does Kovon for Thya and neither are good.
Although her future has been planned and if she is to save Tsinia she must marry Kovon, Thya gives her heart to another. A love that is forbidden and dangerous.
Illusional Reality is a story about hope, courage, love and sacrifice.
Book two: The Quest
When Haty notices a Tsinian crystal glowing, she knows she must stick to her word and return to her homeland as Thya. Knowing her kinsmen needed her, there was no hesitation. Even though there was more to lose than just her life.
Once more a prophecy informs the reader of oracles that only Thya could stop the war and save not just her people, but the rest of Enumac from Kovon’s psychotic plans.
Along with three other companions, Thya is sent on a perilous quest to locate a crystal eye which holds an evil known as the Dark Force.
The group is tried and tested throughout their journey by monsters, death and courage.
New friendships will be formed and others lost.
Thya’s power becomes stronger and a second will threaten to take over her mind body and soul.
A terrifying surprise waits for them in the city of Helkon.
Will they survive?
Will Thya return to Tsinia and for the final showdown with Kovon?
Find out by reading the thrilling concluding part of Illusional Reality.
What are the main differences between the “regular world” and the world on the other side of your barrier?
The Tsinians have special gifts (powers) They do not live with time. Their speech is different. The creature and monsters are unique in name and character.
How is travel through your portal/rift/gateway possible? Is it easy to reverse?
It’s referred to as an orb but works like a portal it can open by certain Tsinians.
Does language play any role in your world? Does everyone speak the same language, or is there variety? Did you invent any new slang or terminology during your world-building process?
All those that live on Enumac, speak similar to old English, Shakespeare even. It’s easy enough to understand. I just wanted to be a little different from our normal English. But there are no alien languages.
What kinds of climates do your characters experience? Do they see a lot of change or is it always the same? Has your world always had this kind of climate, or has it changed over time?
The only climate change is when the main character changes the weather herself with her gifts. She can control the forces of nature. When the sky turns pink, This is called a Trill moon as is equivalent to our night.
Is there any kind of faith system in your world? Did you draw inspiration from any real cultures, living or dead?
The Changlins are monoliths, each representing the five elements. This is where faith comes into play. The Tsinians pray and bless the Changlins knowing it’s their power that give the Tsinians their gifts. The stones are housed in the Plecky, a small oval clay building. You could say it’s similar to a chapel.
What do people in your invented world do for fun? Are there sports, games, music, or other activities they do in their free time?
The Tsinians love to party, eat, dance and be happy. They have a game called Lupa. In the first book, Thya is treated to a Lupa tournament. Four teams each desperate to win their Princess’s favour.
Are there any interesting creatures in your world?
In the first book, there are a few creatures mentioned and Thya is lucky to come face to face with a Portie, which is a shy creature similar to a squirrel but with some differences. In The Quest, we travel through the outlands and meet some dangerous creatures and monsters. All unique in name and characters.
Is there magic or other mystical system at play? Are there “rules” the magic must follow?
Not all Tsinians have special gifts but the generations that do can either freeze or grow things from the ground. Have excellent hearing, be able to communicate to the birds, have the ability to become invisible, and be able to move things, control minds and many other. Each gift has a unique name and the gift is passed down to generations. Dark magic is not allowed and if you abuse your power it can be removed.
When you build a world, what is your process like? Do you do a lot of research upfront, wing it completely, or something in between?
What I love about fantasy is that everything and anything can be real. So, it doesn’t matter what I call something, or how strange a creature is, in fantasy it lives.
How central is the setting of your story to the story itself? Is it more of an interesting backdrop or is it integral to the events of the story?
Thya is transported back to her real home Enumac, twice. So, each book starts in England and then goes into the world of fantasy. The first, she arrives in Tsinia, but in the second book, the orb arrives in the outlands.
When helping the reader get to know the world you built, what techniques do you use? Do you tend to be upfront about things, or keep the reader in the dark and feed them only bits at a time?
As everything about Enumac and Tsinia is unique it’s surprising all the way for the reader. They have no idea what to expect next.
Do you have any specialized training or background from your “real life” that has informed your world-building?
No. Just my love for fantasy books and films and a vivid imagination.
How do you keep all of the details of your world and characters straight? Do you have a system for deciding on different factors and keeping it all organized, or does it live more in your head?
As different generations have different powers, I have to keep a record of names, the name of the power. When important situations happen, I have to keep a note on where they occurred.
Did you experience any difficulties while building your world? Any facts that refused to cooperate or inconsistencies you needed to address while editing?
Nope. This world existed even before I picked up a pen and the second book didn’t go back into the same environment and so I was able to create a different side of this world for book 2.
Thanks so much stopping by and sharing about Illusional Reality! Where can people find you on the web?
Thank you so much for taking the time to learn about Enumac and the amazing people and animals that live there.