What do these three things have in common.

What do these three things have in common.

They are the tools of my trade

They are the tools of my trade when writing the fantasy series the Bears of the Ice. You see I build fantasy out of fact.

So, the first item is the fur-lined hat, or a ushanka as the Russians call them. But I didn’t go to Russia I went to Churchill, Manitoba above the Arctic Circle in Canada to observe polar bears in the wild.

The second item is one of the seventy-five books I read on polar bears in which I learned about their biology, habitats, hunting strategies, mating and cub rearing, as well as many other behaviors. 

And then there is my dictionary of Inuit words. I often make up languages for the animals in my books to speak. I kind of take a real word from another language and give it a twist. In the Guardians of Ga’Hoole, the owls of the Northern Kingdom spoke Krakish that was a mixture of Norwegian and Yiddish. These bears of the Nunquivik speak a ‘dialect’ of Krakish that is a blend of Norwegian and Innuinnaqtun, an indigenous language of Canada and the Inuit people who live above the Arctic Circle.

 I don’t call this research exactly. I call this world building and I think of myself not just as a writer but a world builder.


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