I can’t believe the final book in The Blades of Acktar has released. It hasn’t even been two years since Dare released. What a whirlwind two years it has been!
To celebrate, I thought I’d give 7 pieces of trivia that you may or may not know about The Blades of Acktar.
- Acktar is based on South Dakota, especially the western part. Acktar has miles of prairie, but it also borders the Sheered Rock Hills to the north, which are based off the Black Hills, including some of the waterfalls and caves. It was fun basing Acktar off a more unusual setting instead of the forests found in most fantasies.
- The Waste if based off the Badlands. Stands to reason, since Acktar IS based off South Dakota. My research on the Badlands actually played a part in the plot of Defy. I initially planned for Leith to stumble across a water hole. But when I did some research into the Badlands, I learned that there aren’t any water holes there. Plus the ground is so full of harmful minerals that even boiling can’t cleanse rainwater enough to drink. So of course I had to include that in the book.
- The one part of the geography of Acktar NOT based on South Dakota is the Spires Canyon. That was in part inspired by the Snake River Canyon in Idaho. The ground around that canyon is very flat, and in a lot of places, you can’t see the canyon until you are almost right up to it.
- Renna’s mother’s favorite verse (Be not afraid; only believe) is from Mark 5:36 and was one of my great-grandma’s favorite verses. My great-grandma lived in the Netherlands during WWII. My great-grandpa was in the Dutch Resistance, often on the run, and hunted by the Nazis. My great-grandma had a plaque with this verse on it hanging in her kitchen to give her courage when she worried about my great-grandpa. It seemed like a verse Renna would use to give herself courage.
- Believe it or not, Lady Lorraine WASN’T in the first draft of Dare. I hadn’t had any plans for her as a character, since, at first, I hadn’t even intended for Jolene or her mother to be in Dare. Shad wasn’t supposed to even meet her until book 2, but he decided to go and get a romance behind my back. I then had to add Jolene’s mother in when I added the meeting at Lydia’s birthday party, and Lady Paula Lorraine took over from there.
- *Spoiler Warning* Lord Alistair died in the original version of Deny and Defy. Walden was overrun within a few hours and everyone killed. Yeah. Lots of death. When re-writing Defy, I had started writing Deliver and knew Lord Alistair had work to do. So I resurrected Lord Alistair and added him back into Defy and Deliver. But, yes, in the original draft of the first about 20,000 words of Deliver, Shad was the new Lord Alistair.
- Before Martyn demanded a fourth book, my original plan was for Defy to have an epilogue that was set 10 years after the ending of the book. Leith’s identity remained a secret in this original outline all the way until then.
Ready for more celebration? This Friday, I’m hosting a Facebook party to celebrate Deliver‘s release. Follow this link to the party!
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