What inspired the different settings in Beyond the Gloaming Pass?

What inspired the different settings in Beyond the Gloaming Pass?

The way the energy and environment of a place influences people has always fascinated me.

There is something almost contagious about that energy. Walk into a sacred meeting place and you immediately feel the need to be quiet and respectful. Ride through a run-down part of a city and you can easily start feeling a little run-down or gloomy yourself. Stand under a clear sky in a bright, open field and you somehow feel brighter inside.

The reverse is also true; the feelings and experiences we associate with a place can forever colour how we remember it - to the extent that just visiting a particular spot may be enough to trigger those feelings again, years after the event.

I wanted to utilize this in my writing to emphasize certain emotions and themes through aesthetics - to add to the richness of the story and the impact on its characters. In certain instances, I took this to extremes; the energy sources in Celessil and Langlythe literally change their respective environments and inhabitants.

Some locations also draw from real-life places. I wrote most of the Tabethwick/northern forest sequence while on a trip to Whistler, BC, and the scenery up there provided much of the inspiration.

The Painted Bog, while more alien than its real-life counterpart, was inspired by Rotorua in New Zealand, where pools of bubbling mud, steam vents and geysers are commonplace. Further south of Rotorua is an area called the central plateau, which is a barren volcanic wasteland featuring three distinct mountains. It's best known in popular culture as the film set for Mordor in The Lord of the Rings movies. Langlythe’s central plateau has five volcanoes, but the terrain is otherwise similar.

Tunswick has very loose roots in Victorian London; the city has undergone an industrial revolution and is feeling the effects of coal pollution and overcrowding.

Where would I live if I had to pick a location from the book?

I am far too modern-minded to live in any kind of pseudo-Victorian era, but if I had to choose purely on aesthetics… Celessil and Imul’dene are both beautiful in their own way. Celessil for the abundance of nature and greenery with its old buildings steeped in history. Imul’dene for its ethereal, mysterious ambiance and immaculate order. There are some wonderful scenic locations on the Western Continent as well, which we will visit later in the series.