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Abáloc-- and this and my other worlds...

JLC, Map Freak...

I've been a map freak since I was a child. I don't remember how young I was, but Daddy had a globe on his desk that I loved to play with, tracing fantastic journeys. Later, in school, there were large, colorful maps that pulled down over the blackboards from rollers high on the wall that fascinated me. And then I began to draw my own. Imaginary landscapes. Imaginary worlds. And, much later, when it came to writing books, I found that almost every one needed a map--or maps-- if not to put into the book itself, then to draw beforehand, so that as I began to tell the story on paper, that story's world could become as real to me as the everyday one. The first story map I drew was for Beneath the Hill, at left. It had bits and pieces of the real world in it, but like almost all of my story maps, it has a warning on the back: Follow At Your Own Risk. One reader of one of my books and his mother lived not far from the real-world location at the bottom of the book's map, and set out to find the house that the burglar raided. They got lost.

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