Cady Hammer, debuting author of Chasing Fae

Whether you are traditionally or self-publishing. Debuting is an unforgettable foot print authors will remember for the rest of their writing career.

Rising YA Fantasy author Cady Hammer is debuting her book Chasing Fae with a tempting tier set pre-order on Indiegogo

The Mortal

The Middle Realm

The Demon Realm

The Lower Realm

Each package includes a signed copy and other perks!

So what is Chasing Fae about?

Grace is a young girl who discovers her brother Leo has passed away after going into service at Fae’s World. With no ceremonial honor of Leo’s death. Grace suspects foul play was involved. She disguises herself as a Fae and sneaks up to the Upper Realm in search of answers.

For in-depth description check out Chasing Fae at Indiegogo

As writers and readers, every writing journey has a story to tell. So I asked Hammer a  few questions about her debuting book   

Congratulations on your debuting book, what are some hurdles or achievements you learned as a fantasy writer?

Cady Hammer:  One of the biggest hurdles was getting the world fleshed out. As a fantasy author, you want to make sure that your reader becomes invested in your world. They need to want to be a part of it. I spent eight months before I started my first draft working on the Three Realms and making it beautiful. I spent weeks perfecting the magic system and building unique cultures for each of the twelve Noble Houses. But it’s one of my favorite parts of the writing process, and I wouldn’t trade it. Biggest achievements include finishing that first draft, getting your first feedback from a beta reader (positive and constructive!), and finally getting that publishing deal!

The first thing that piqued my interest is Fae’s World. What can you tell us about it?

Cady Hammer: The Fae’s World is called the Upper Realm, and it is my favorite part of my universe. The Upper Realm is divided into twelve Noble Houses, each with their own distinct culture. There are as follows: House of the Sun, House of the Moon, House of the Day, House of the Evening, House of Light, House of Darkness, House of Earth, House of Wind, House of Fire, House of Water, House of Peace, and House of Darkness. Each lorddom (think kingdom, but with a High Lord instead of a king) is built around a singular central element that is then elaborated and built off of to create a unique society. For example, the House of the Evening centers around the nightlife. The people love to get together at night to celebrate life. There is music pouring out of every tavern and hall in the land. String lights hang above the town. The House is best known for its selection of fine wine, its craftsman instruments, and the best festivals in the Twelve Houses.

What is one thing you want YA Fantasy readers to know about Grace?

Cady Hammer: My main character, Grace, is an introverted young woman who recharges on her own and tends to keep to herself. But she’s a leader in her own right; when faced with a challenge, she attacks it head-on with a stubborn fierceness that will inspire. Over the course of the book, readers will see her open up more. As she undertakes this intense journey, you will see her emotions start to devolve. She’s talking to herself more; she’s second guessing herself a bit more, and her strong exterior is beginning to crack. I hope readers love her as much as I do.

You can find out more about Chasing Fae and Cady Hammer at her website

fluffaboutfantasy.com

You can also find her at

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Writing and Mapping – Building your Fantasy World Part 1

Every writer should know that the more your research, the more realistic and accurate your story will become. I’m going to jump on the assumption wagon and conclude that you already know that and are, therefore, practicing on that knowledge.

When I first designed my world Osois, for Black Wings, I wasn’t sweating it. (This is a world I won’t be writing about for a while) but for the sake of The Birth, I had to know what it was, and who the Lenur are. As I’m working on Volume 3 The Deceit, I’m also working on a side story, The Hunted Prince. This is where I cannot evade world-building. My previous protagonist live on  Earth 80 years from now. (Personally, I don’t believe technology would improve drastically considering global warming and the fact that everyone still drives on gas)

In The Hunted Prince, Ryth is in the Dragon world, known by everyone (except the Dragons) as Asylum. I wrote the first 10,000 words of The Hunted Prince while I was writing Lola until I came to a screeching stop.

I need a map.

Now, I don’t know about you guys, but I didn’t pay much attention during grade school. I spent it drawing and writing my stories during lecture. (Oh, how I wish I paid more attention now.) Luckily I took World Geography in college because I absolutely fell in love with it. I learned about its rich cultures, rough terrains, dry and wet seasons, and how war affects them both at a micro and macro level. I was so into it that I impressed my math teacher because I was casually talking about Sri Lanka and the historical conflicts in that region.

But no mandatory class of World Geography would prepare me for creating the world map of Asylum. In its defense, I started liking maps but creating them? That’s a different story. I got a little scared. Scared because my senpai Tolkien did it so effectively that I figured. “Hah, I’ll never be that good, so why try?” But my fellow fantasy writers, you can only be as good as your abilities and improve.

Concerning Maps

If you’re reading this. Scoffing. Knowing you will NOT be creating maps because your attention to detail is so great, visual representation and nitpicking every single little thing like you’re a Dungeons and Dragons master is a waste of time. I congratulate you. But you might also be missing out on seeing your map on your wall.

I’m a visual learner. Tell me how something can be done, and I can’t process it well, show me, and I’ll do a lot better. This is why I’m a self-taught artist, but I am no Kim Jung Gi.  (I did take a mandatory drawing 101 class, but I was not paying attention then too.) Now I’m searching the web, geeking out at how other people create maps/

So, should you draw a map?

After I finished Lola, I went back to The Hunted Prince and resumed my tale of the second-born prince of a tyrant ruled kingdom. Thing is, in my mind, I knew where in the world the kingdom rests in Asylum, but what is it surrounded by? What kind of seasons does it have? Here is a sketch of my first map.

A picture containing rain

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Note: This map is subject to change, be added, or moved around.

Unlike Osois and it’s 9 years of winter. Asylum shares the same seasons and has the same axis tilt of 23.5 degrees as Earth. My challenge is the new terrain, are the plates moving? How is the current and wind shifts affecting this lovely world? I’ll write more on that on my part 2 post. For now, let’s have you create a map!

Rice and Beans

If you want to create a new map, there are many ways you can start. One of my recommendations is to work on it without adding the regions you do want to add. Create your world then add a few changes as you move the rice, beans, around.

When I created Osois, I used beans. It’s great if you want to add roundness and curves, but I recommend adding rice. I did that with Asylum, and it was much more comfortable moving the ‘land’ around.

If you want to get creative, add both beans and rice, or other tiny particles! (just as long as they’re not oily)

Once I drew my map, I named a  forest, the mountains following after, and after that, everything became a blur. I wrote 30,000+ words in less than a week because I was able to create the next step without pausing to think about what Ryth is facing, or what ordeals neighboring countries are facing.

Note: All characters and scenes were planned before I created the map.

The end result for me was that I wore in shorter time than I did with Lola by glancing over the kingdoms, villages, lands, and borders. And I stopped depending on my outline and pantsed my way through. This is why I love first drafts, you can get messy and get everything out of your head so can come back and think of it critically.

For great map-making advice on YouTube. I recommend Edgar’s channel Artifexian! Mind you, Edgar breaks down map making, world-building like a pro! He has a flood of knowledge, so I advise you to listen first, then start practicing what he’s saying.

I’m waiting for the charger of my drawing tablet to come in the mail. (I lost it when I moved) After that I will show you the progress of my completed map of Asylum.

I will see you for part 2!

Don’t throw away your old outlines and stories.

I started writing stories when I was eleven years old. I completed around twelve fantasy stories by the time I graduated from High School. During that time, I was also piling dozens of incomplete stories, manga adaptations, sketches, and blurbs.

Every now and then, I want to take an old story, strip my poorly structured characters, flimsy scenes, cheesy dialogue and give them a makeover.

When I have doubts about doing it, it’s because of these three questions.

  • What if I trunked my story because it’s not good?
  • I already have new ideas to write about.
  • Maybe they deserved to collect dust — It’s embarrassing to read!

I believe these aren’t wrong questions to ask, but I also think it’s a scapegoat not to use what could be rich content. Somewhere under the run-on sentences, and vomit of grammar mistakes, there could be a gold nugget—waiting to be polished.

The Black Wing series has colossal worlds where the past, present, and future intertwine with the series.

So what do I do when I want to create another book in the same world?

What better opportunity than dusting my bags (I don’t have a trunk) and revive one of my middle school/ high school stories?

My Blue Book. The papers feel soft, almost translucent in blue ink.

Blue Notebook has seen better days…

I will spare you the embarrassing parts of Blue Book and generalize what the story entails.

A materialistic, self-absorbed woman has the worst luck when she’s no longer on Eart. One mistake leaves her wedded off to an insufferable man. She must now live among a prominent village with iron-fist rules. This village is protected by a shy and very private dragon who is unable to leave his post by the coast. The woman must decide if she wants to adapt to her new world or become what the village people fear.

This story, aka Blue Notebook has been stored in my trunk (Microsoft bag) for 16 years!

Shout out to Microsoft. Don’t know how I got your bag…but I did.

But here is a warning

Fantasy writers, don’t blindly pick a story from your trunk, choose one that will fit with the world can add to your current series. Blue Notebook works well because the world I created has the same cultural, magic system, and medieval themes in The Black Wing series.

The setting in Blue Book is futuristic but involves swords and dragons. (I don’t know why I like combining sci-fi with medieval themes. But it showed 16 years ago and now)

If you can’t transplant your story into a current series, don’t sweat it.

Throw the setting/world away, but keep your characters, tweak them, give them a different hair color! Sometimes we give up on a story because the world we put our lively characters was not good enough. Don’t let your character’s pay for it.

This also works vice-versa. If your characters were not sticking to the plot or universe, you created — why throw both of them away?

If you’re going to trunk away your stories, don’t feel as though you have failed them.

One day, Blue Book will make a return.

You never know when yours might have a comeback.