History Behind the Map of Tellus

As I finished the manuscript for books 1 and 2 in 2013 (at that time books 1 and 2 were one novel), I slowly began to think that something was missing.  Where was the coolness factor?  How would readers understand where places were in relation to one another?  I was a few books into the Codex of Alera series, by Jim Butcher, and wishing there was a map to guide me in that series.  A map was eventually created for book #5 of that series, and it added significant depth.


I drew up a fairly detailed drawing specifying where objects were in relation to each other, as well as the names you see on the finished product.  However, my artistic skills were somewhat wanting (as I knew they would be).  The artist who created the cover for Book #1 generously consented to produce the Map of Tellus.  The finished product exceeded my expectations.  Since the creation of the map in 2013, Books 2 and 3 were created, with no additions to the map.  The map has absolutely stood up to the passage of time, and I am flabbergasted that my vision in 2013 has so closely matched the details of the story in 2018.

I am very excited, after scouring through my archives, to have found the original drawing of Tellus that I submitted to my graphic artist.  The drawing was my second or third attempt at a map.  You can see that most of the places and names were set at this point.  The map required a good deal of thought, as it meant outlining the plot locations for the rest of the story to ensure the relevant places were included.  As you can see on the finished map, the artist took my initial drawing and improved it dramatically.  I have an even earlier drawing of Tellus which I hesitate to include on the website for fear of embarrassment, but perhaps if enough fans wanted to see it?

Original Drawing of Tellus