Storyboarding – Women, Warriors & Queens

I am a visual writer, and building out worlds in which I can actually envision each character as they evolve is key to me being able to summon the emotions necessary to write them into existence.

The Sibylline Chronicles is written as a parallel narrative – moving between the end of the fourth-beginning of the fifth century A.D. and 2015.

So, with two separate timelines came two separate character worlds – both led by brilliant, fierce, ruthless women who valued power and control above all else – despite the altruistic roots of that value.

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The women of the modern-day timeline became warriors by circumstance. Professors, doctors, human rights activists and scientists, they found themselves thrown into the midst of civil war, protecting a long-forgotten secret. Kasey Mackenzie is dropped into their lives and the war zones of the Middle East where she quickly learns their allegiances.

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In 370 A.D., three children are born. Three daughters of the line. 500 years of bloodline manipulation, marriage contracts and service to The Protectorate. One must live to rise as the new prophet and the cloistered society of the Sorores – more powerful than any king – ruthlessly protected them.

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They are the last of a great line. The Sorores, the warriors of the Sibylline.

Mapping out the visual power of these women brought with it something totally unexpected – rumblings of stories untold, the kind that linger for a thousand lifetimes locked away until one day someone opens the vault and they come tumbling out.

These bad-ass women unlocked that vault for me.

Storyboarding – Damascus & Jordan

The entire third act of The Seals of Annach takes place in the Middle East and I spent more than a year immersed in learning the intricacies of life in Syria and Jordan in order to create a base that reflected the devastation of the Syrian civil war alongside the deep reverence for Islamic and even more ancient Middle Eastern cultures.

Long believed to be the seat of humankind and scarred deeply by the loss of culture and destruction of societies for thousands of years, the Middle East and its importance as the central location for the end of Book #1 made itself clear very early in my research and story mapping.

Travel and cultural identity proved key in these boards.

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Storyboarding – Main Characters

Defining the physical characteristics of the main characters allowed me to begin to develop a relationship with them on which I could build in order to draw out their emotions and motivations.

Kasey, Simon and Ahmad play a profound role in each other’s lives and the relationship that evolves between the three of them provides a rich insight into their darkness.

These storyboards served as the pivot point of all advance work I did on the trilogy. While the story evolved tremendously from the point of idea even to the finishing of the first draft, Kasey, Simon and Ahmad remained solid and their personalities grew – for me – into fascinating character studies of the profound scars left by power, fundamentalism and belief structure on the human heart.

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Storyboarding – Northwest Territories

The vastness of the Canadian north is not something to underestimate. I needed storyboards that gave me a solid overview of the landscape that Kasey and her dig team would experience on the Great Slave and along the Hay River in the NWT.

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This board served as reference for the feel of cave digs involving animal bones. For the most part, dinosaurs are rarely pulled from caves. So, finding reference for an underground dig proved challenging. The results here gave me the visuals to inspire the relationships between Kasey and Jonathan as well as Wyvern’s lead scientists Dr. Kavey Upwardah and Dr. Allain Lefevbre.

This team plays a small but pivotal role in the first act of The Seals of Annach that had to work just right to make the entire novel flow.

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