As you know, I love to get notes from Readers - so if you have questions - send them to me!! I can be reached a multitude of ways - check out my Contact Page.
Recently, I received a note from Iris, who asked in part:
"Dear Kiki, I love your books. How did you create the world of the Midnight Spy? Where are the languages coming from? Or how did you develop them? Did you take Nostradamus quatrains and change them for the purpose of the story? Thank you very much!" Iris
Nica wasn't even the main character - she was a very small, side character in a very different story. But I kept writing and Nica kept whispering in my ear, insisting that her story be heard, so I re-wrote the story. And re-wrote the story. And re-wrote the story. AT LEAST seven times I completely re-wrote the entire story. Start to finish. Painful...but necessary. With each version, the story got clearer and I began to know the characters better and they started to reveal their secrets.
The world developed as I wrote - the countries of Jarisa, Sartis and Ajeratauk became real in my head and each had their own particular features.
The languages are made up, with characteristics for each so one can differentiate between countries. For instance, I wanted the language of the Narsgededon forest people to be very lyrical, so a lot of the words are sectioned and end on vowel sounds.
As for the quatrains, Nostradamus' work was my inspiration but each of those quatrains in THE MIDNIGHT SPY are original and written for the story. Here's an example from the book:
“Beware a battle provoked by rage
Unprotected by the golden cage
A single blow through the eye
The serpent and bear both shall die.
This prophecy tells of the deaths of Montemier, known as the wild bear because of his temper, and his nephew, Pontfial, who was called the viper for the method in which he used his sword.
Montemier’s nephew was involved in a dalliance with the ruler’s young wife. Montemier was so angry when he found them out that rather than follow the typical protocol of a joust, where he would wear protective gear, including his famous gilded helmet, he attacked on the spot. The young Pontfial defended himself and stabbed Montemier through the eye, killing him instantly. The ruler’s ministers were so outraged they hung Pontfial without a trial.
And thus, the serpent and the bear both died. In the story, the pages were written over five hundred years before the event.
Anyway, I hope that answers some of your questions! To learn more, click over to THE MIDNIGHT SPY website.