Maps are awesome additions to books. I love drawing them, and I love books that have them. When I was reading Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series I was constantly paging back and forth to the maps, wishing for smaller, more localized maps. They don’t have to be accurate–but they do have to give some idea of where the action is taking us.
When I formatted Huw the Bard, I included three maps. At the front I left the whole map of Waldeyn. Then I split the map, north and south, so curious readers could see how the two halves of Waldeyn differ from each other, and how that difference in terrain affected his journey. The second map is inserted where the second stage of Huw’s journey begins.
I did it that way because I am a voracious reader of anything by L.E. Modesitt Jr., but I am angry with his publisher, TOR Fantasy, for not updating the maps in his Recluce books. The maps in the front of that series of books detail the world AFTER The Chaos Balance, and bear absolutely NO resemblance to the towns in fully half of the books that are set before that time!
Sigh. All that money spent for beautiful artwork for the cover was a good investment, oh, mighty publishing giant, TOR–but the interior could use NEW MAPS! Give me the coordinates and I’ll draw them for you! (oh dear, I’m hyperventilating again….)
One of the best maps of a fantasy realm that I’ve ever seen was the map of Middle Earth as done by Pauline Baynes in 1970. It is beautiful, a complete work of art on its own, as all maps once were in the golden age of discovery.
I won’t lay claim to being an artist on this level, nor will my maps ever achieve this kind of style and creativity, but I am working on new maps for the world of Neveyah, and the Tower of Bones series. The ones I have right now are all in color, and they don’t translate well to black and white for print.
But, I’ve been working on that too. The map to the right of me is the current map of the City of Aeoven.
Now, if I can just make it look good grayscaled.