Dear Readers,

Happy Halloween! This is a great holiday for people interested in fantasy and adventure. After all, you’ve got witches, ghouls, vampires, and even a Headless Horseman– villains!6960244159_7f66a0d317_z

(Or just children in really great costumes.)

And speaking of villains, we will.

In our last, we talked in a general way about our villains– Frenchmen and other. Now, we want to talk more specifically about Other.

Because Terra Australis is based upon the real Antarctica, the idea of cold, in some form,  was a ready influence. And so, there appeared the Atuk, the servants of a god who embodies cold. This led us to imagine what they might look like. At first, we thought perhaps something like Inuit: all furs and big boots and slitted wooden sunscreens. And that might be an idea for the next book, Empire of the Isles. Here are a couple of those possibilities:



For Across the Doubtful Sea, however, we decided to imagine what they might look like underneath those wintry clothes. For models, we chose an extreme contrast– Ottoman Turkish and Persian– like the images below.

ottomanboss      ottoman_empire_2_by_byzantinum


With them in costume, we wondered what they would sound like. What would their names be like? Would they speak a language like the Inupiat of our original models, or something Turkic or Persian?

For now, however, imagine dressing as one of the fearsome Atuk for next Halloween…

Thanks, as always, for reading, and save some candy corn for us!