Map-making is serious business for Fantasy writers!

Fantasy writers know that a very crucial part of the world building process is to draw a map, but not all of us are artistically talented or inclined. So what do we do when we need to add ‘cartographer’ to the list of hats a writer must wear? Well, in my case it was to eventually hire a professional. Here’s why:

In the world building phase of Unintended, it sufficed for Murandy and I to work from a hand-drawn map that I’d made up on poster-sized paper and hung on the wall.


(I am by no means an artist, but I was pretty proud of this map and I even coloured it with pencil crayons and everything. ) It was large enough that we could see it from a distance and the lettering clear enough that we could reference it easily. I also added colour so the mountains, hills, trees and sandy beaches could easily be told apart from one another.

However, when it came time to publish Unintended, I knew my hand-drawn creation wasn’t going to cut it and scanning and shrinking it was not worth my time. I have some limited experience with digital art from my time as a video game designer with First Age Studios, so I thought I would try drawing a digital version that I could include in the final version of the book.


Unfortunately, it did not turn out as well as I hoped. And sadly, this is the version of the map that the BETA readers for Unintended had to put up with in their test copies. It did the job of telling them where everything was in relation to everything else, but that’s about it.

About a week before the final deadline I had set to get to the book to the distributor in time to launch it for August 17th, I was resigned to having to include the above map in the book or risk trying to redo it myself. That’s when I had the good fortune to meet the talented C.A. Calloway who not only felt she could do the map for Unintended justice, but that she could also do it before my deadline. Needless to say, I was impressed and decided it was worth a shot.

Two days later she sent me this:


I digitally added the font:

Ismera copy

And there we have it! A beautifully professionally drawn map for Unintended, our comedic fantasy romance!

She also sent me the original in the mail, so I can frame it and hang it in the office.

So in this particular instance, hiring a professional was the right answer for me. Sometimes it’s good to realize what you can and can’t do yourself and what would be better done by someone else. And this time, it was in the budget, so it worked out.

C.A. Calloway is a map artist. She also does other types of art for inclusion in books; covers and line drawings. You can find her on Facebook at: The World Forge.

ADUnintended copyEverything happens for a reason…

Mackenzie en Shareed, a clan chief’s daughter is sent to Ismera to marry the Crown Prince only to bungle it upon her arrival by marrying the wrong man.

Fate and wills collide in this Shakespearian-style romantic comedy in a fantasy setting.

Unintended by Justine Alley Dowsett and Murandy Damodred launches August 17th, 2015. Until then, look for pre-order opportunities in our store, or subscribe to this blog on the top right of this page for more updates!



  1. Love your new map! Fantastic! Sometimes delegation is the key! Best wishes for a bestseller with your upcoming fantasy read, Justine and Murandy! Cheers!

    Liked by 2 people

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