Friday, September 21, 2018

Guest Post: FANTASY WORLDS by Taylor Hobbs, CLOAKED

Topic: Do you outline your fantasy world before you start writing or do you add elements as you write?

Thank you so much for having me on your blog, and for the great question!

As a writer, I love the fantasy genre because I have both absolute freedom and total control over my imaginary world. When building the setting for Cloaked, I knew I wanted to include everything a reader expects from a historical fantasy romance novel: horses, knights, castles, kings, taverns, a studly hero with a dark past, and more. As the story developed, I also discovered the unexpected, like the opportunity to add an advanced weapon in the plot to heighten the stakes! So I did some basic outlining, but let the rest come naturally while I wrote.

With fantasy stories, I usually go with the flow because I am not constrained by actual historical events and can take the characters any direction that makes sense for the book. Obviously Croantis and Algonia are fictional countries, but the location and time period for Cloaked are loosely based on medieval Europe. If I had to compare them to real-life counterparts, the setting for Croantis was inspired by Spain and the setting for Algonia was inspired by France. I wanted my world to feel authentic, so I researched fighting styles and medieval weaponry because it was such a huge part of Fawkes' character and Charlotte’s growth.

While I am a 'pantser' with setting and world building, I am more of a 'plotter' when it comes to characters. This is where I focus the majority of my planning efforts before I start writing. I have to pick names I love for my main characters, because I will be reading/writing/talking to them for months. Once that is decided, I outline their inner struggle next and focus on each character's internal conflicts. Every character, even secondary characters, have their own story to tell. While their details may never make it into my book, little bios and backstories for my own reference are important to creating realistic dialogue and multidimensional interactions.

Ultimately, my goal is to create a world that readers love to get lost in. Some of that comes in the planning phase, and some of it develops organically along the way. I do what works for me in order to have fun writing the story.


As the Cloaked Shadow, Fawkes has made his career breaking into prisons for any contract with a large enough purse. He takes advantage of the kingdom's impending revolution by playing both sides of the conflict. Each rescue contract he fulfills turns a tidy profit until he angers the wrong duke.

Charlotte is a criminal-in-training who yearns to crack her mentor’s guarded fa├žade, but is unprepared to confront the depths of his dark past. As her sense of right and wrong blurs, Charlotte discovers just how far she will go for the Cloaked Shadow and the sacrifices he requires.

Now hunted throughout the land, Fawkes must face long-buried secrets in order to survive, but they could destroy him. Charlotte risks everything, including her heart, to set Fawkes on the path to redemption.

Will Charlotte have the strength to pull Fawkes into the light, or will she follow him into the shadows?

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Taylor Hobbs lives aboard a 38 ft sailboat named Story Time with her husband, baby girl, and dog. They are a military family and who love to travel, whether it is by sea or air. When she's not writing, Taylor enjoys doing yoga and planning her next adventure. You can keep up with their crazy life at or follow on Twitter at @tayhobbit.

Cloaked is her debut novel and can be found at

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