The World Beyond Lorata

The World Beyond Lorata

The old cliché goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” With WordPress not being limited to the fantasy genre, some of the challenges here take some creativity to get into. There are few that I just plain passed up; besides I have to also do the serial novel. But this one… well, it’s a good chance to share a little about myself as an author.
Legends of Lorata is very much a fantasy set in a medieval world, not compltely European-syle, since a lot of it was created fresh, but if you imagine Ireland, France, Germany, Switzerland, etc, you’re not too far off– especially when thinking of kingdoms like Cioria, Ayafir and some of the small, minor kingdoms. But when it comes to places liek Leamar, Mithkyn and the Jzienfiarm Desert, you need to think more to the east. Not that I have a correspondence between Terran and Loratannh kingdoms, just inspiration. The kingdoms taht I end up with are blended into something new.
My favorite part of Earthm however, is not a major part of Lorata. Sure, I have the Isles of the Wise, but the only character from there is Murin, and he is very, very minor. If you’re keen, you can pick up on what is supposed to be similar to. Still, I really don’t have a kingdom that is like Japan on Lorata.
I am an absolute Japanophile. And you thought I just researched armor and European heraldry all day. As a matter of fact, when I was working on my degree in Anthropology, I hardly studies Europe at all…. especially when you compare it to how much I studied Asia. I practically minored in East Asian Studies, having taken about 60 credits of it, and four semesters of Japnese language on top of that.
Asia has a very special place on my heart, Japan and Tibet foremost. I would adore traveling to all the Asian countries, not just, as the sterotype goes, China. I would love to also see Mongolia, India, Nepal, and even Southeast Asia. Now I just need to get wealthy from writing so I can travel!
That leads me to this picture… the little girl reminds me of someone from either south or southeast Asia. The age and condition of the merry-go-round reminds me of the poverty that some of the countries there are dealing with, at least in some areas. Well, not a complete poverty, just financial. You see, you cannot just a people by their things. That’s just the West coming in and saying, “Hey, Eastern world, look at all the neat things we have!”
But really, the people here are rich in culture, that is a lot of why I love them so deeply. If you have to give up the richness of living in order to be financially wealthy, is it worth it? The rigid, stressed-out business man with his fad wads of cash and a deck of plastic? Yet what does he look forward to culturally? Where are the colors and the music and the dance, the amazing foods? From a strict Anthropological standpoint, of course Westerners have their own culture, but the East has a certain… spirit. It’s not something that you can pinpoint, and it’s hard to explain unless you’ve studied it not just in a scholarly way, but also from the heart. Japan is a great example… their traditionas are still alive, and they’ve been able to stup up to the modern world without losing too much of their past.
I think that’s where the rest of Asia is clashing with the West. Life is about culture, not profit; richness of living, not modern style. Not that I’m deriding the West or modernity. What I mean is, we cannot let ourselves think that the East is lagging behind in progress; that would be a terrible fallacy. Consider, though, that they do not *want* to give up the beauty of their culture for the fast-paced world where human individuality is blurred into dollar signs.
On another nore, consider what the West did to Asian during colonialism. No, I don’t just mean England. Holland, Partugal, Spain and even France were making colonies all over the world, and each of them had a chunk of Southeast Asia. England claiming India is pretty obvious, bu have you heard of the Opium Wars? Basically, China made big bucks selling tea to England, but didn’t care to buy anything from the Queen. England hated that, and got the Chinese hooked on opium, which they then started buying. This created a huge conflict between the two countries, at the end of which England brought in the navy, kick Chinas’ butt, and claimed Hong Kong. After that, China was reeling, trying to figure out how to recover, and then you end up with the Cultural Revolution (I will let you research taht yourself). In a nutshell, that is why China is truggling to this day.
Thailand (AKA Siam) was the only country in Southeast Asia *not* colonized by a European power, and they’re pretty proud of that. I would be too. Europe did a lot of changing to that region, and it went through a lot of turmoil trying to decide what to do.
I would love to write about Asian one of these days. I have read some realstic fiction based in Japan, and I think I would like to write some, too. Or maybe something from another part of Asia, especially Tibet. That country has its own special place in my heart.

About Legends of Lorata

Eleanor Willow is the author of the high fantasy series Legends of Lorata, which takes place on a medieval-style world filled with elves, dragons, and faeries. There is also a fourth race, one that is rare and magical: the angelic Starr. Lorata is a distant planet watched over by four deities: good, evil, elemental, and celestial-- and there are plenty of legends about them all! One of the most important ones is the prophecy of Jenh's champion, Loracaz, who is promised to return to the realm whenever evil threatens to take hold. There are currently three books completed, and the first one can be read online. Book four is currently being written, and a fifth will most likely be in the future.
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