Creating the World of The Kalila Chronicles
Are you a movie fan? If so, what draws you into the movie? Is it the plot? Or maybe it’s the setting or characters? For me, it’s all of it. I love the overall picture of the story. If it’s a movie I really like, I want to know all the behind-the-scene details of the story world that I can. I watch the commentary, behind the scenes, find all the Easter eggs, and even watch the deleted scenes. I want to know everything from why the costumes were chosen to how the director films it. It all fascinates me.
It’s the same way when I’m writing. Before I start a new book, I usually have a few key pieces in mind. I may have a location or the plot, but I have to piece it together like a puzzle to get the overall idea. I don’t know every piece of the puzzle before I begin writing. Some of them fall into place as I go, but each one has an essential role in the story.
One of the things that I love most about fantasy books is how you can escape into the story as if you were there along with the characters. I’ve always been fascinated with story worlds and how they can be used to show complex issues and make you think about your own life. That’s why I love writing urban fantasy. It takes fantasy elements but unites them with the real world. My series, The Kalila Chronicles, has many locations that are home to portals.
These portals are accessed by angels and demons for traveling purposes. I knew the book was going to be set in my area, and the others would be within an easy driving distance. But I also wanted them to have a special meaning to me, one that those who know me well would instantly pick up on. I wanted to incorporate my own Easter eggs for readers to find.
One of the portal locations is in Memphis, Tennessee. Memphis plays a massive role in my family’s life. On December 29, 2016, my youngest son was diagnosed with Leukemia. And we were sent to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. We spent three months there before being able to go home and then drove weekly for two years for chemo treatments. I finished writing my debut book, The Seer, which sitting in waiting rooms, the hospital, and traveling back and forth. In July of 2019, he finished treatments, and we are now going every four months instead of weekly.
Another location that I adapted as a portal location is in St. Louis, where my husband and I spent part of our honeymoon. Another is not far from our house in Land Between the Lakes, where we love to go and visit. Especially in the fall, when all the trees are a magical array of orange, red, and yellow.
These locations play a crucial part in my series, The Kalila Chronicles, but they’ve also played a crucial role in my life. With each book, I wanted to have characters that are real and show the messy parts in life. Everyone has something that they struggle with at some point in their lives. I hope readers will not only be able to escape and enjoy my stories but also to identify with my characters and know that they aren’t alone. I love how the fantasy genre, and world building, can bring all of these aspects to life.
When Sam Hart was forced to walk away from everything and everyone he knew, The Kalila became his new home. He thought he could keep the past buried but after an unexpected visit from his brother, a family secret is revealed.
Already reeling from a murder of one of their own, an unimaginable chain of events leaves everyone questioning each other’s loyalty. Will Sam, Viktor, and Matthias be able to stop this newest threat before they lose another?
The Silencer: Book 3 of The Kalila Chronicles releasing TODAY!
Get your copy HERE.
Erin R. Howard is a Developmental Editor, YA Urban Fantasy Author of The Kalila Chronicles, and has earned a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing/English from Southern New Hampshire University. When she’s not writing, Erin enjoys spending time with her family, fueling her craft addictions, and teaching writing workshops. Erin is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and the KenTen Writers Group. She resides in Western Kentucky with her husband and three children.
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