Over the past ten days, we have been doing some updates to the World of Merceria! For those who have followed me since the beginning, you see the difference in the title of this blog. For the others, let me explain what I mean via a little background.
The World of my book is from a Fantasy Role-playing Campaign that I ran for three years. In that world I used familiar English city names to make it more memorable for my players. When I wrote my first book, 'Servant of the Crown' I used the names as they were, and thought nothing more about it.
About ten days ago I received my first negative review. I have to be honest, I felt I was prepared, but it was much more difficult to read than I thought it would be. When we read it, Carol and I both decided the person was just somebody who looked at the map, and did not read the book, as their complaints were about the names of the city, and how I had willy-nilly rearranged existing English towns for my own means. The book is set in a fantasy world, and the names had no bearing on history, which meant I should ignore the comments.
But it stuck with me, and we approached our Beta reading group, asking them if they thought the book was set in a specific historical period. I was surprised to hear that 2 did think it was historical, based solely on the town names, especially Winchester and Colchester. Hmmmm, this was definitely food for thought. After some interesting conversations with my editor, I decided that now was the time to make the change, as the book was set to go to the printers the next day.
We stopped the presses, and created unique names for all the cities, plus for the World itself. Mercia is now Merceria, and I am very happy with the changes, and I think you will be too. Feel free to let me know what you think!