Today I have the pleasure of hosting author Eirlys Hunter with a blog post all about her new book, The Mapmaker’s Race, and the inspiration behind the setting of the story!
“The setting of The Mapmakers’ Race
You won’t find the landscape of The Mapmakers’ Race on any map, but elements come from Wales, and the South Island of New Zealand, which are about as far apart as they can be. It’s fun playing god and piecing together the landscape that a story needs from different places.
The journey the mapmakers undertake is roughly like crossing the South Island of New Zealand from east to west. First of all up a long, straight-ish river valley, slowly getting higher and higher, then over serious mountains and steeply down to the sea on the other side.
I could never walk as far as the Santander children, but I did walk a famous New Zealand track called the Milford Track with my family a while back. The waterfall that the mapmakers discover is based on the Sutherland Falls, which comes on Day Three of the Milford track. When we were there it hadn’t been raining so we could walk right behind the waterfall, which was an extraordinary experience that I gave to Francie. The scale of the landscape, and the endless zig-zags up one side of a valley, over the ridge and down to the valley floor below are also Milford-ish. But the treeless valley is based on a place in Meirionnydd, Wales, and so is the landscape near the end of the children’s journey.”
THE MAPMAKERS’ RACE by Eirlys Hunter out now in paperback (£6.99, Gecko Press)
Find out more at geckopress.com
Check out more details about the book below:
“Four children temporarily lose their parents just as they are about to begin the race that offers their last chance of escaping poverty. Their task is to map a rail route through an uncharted wilderness.
They overcome the many obstacles posed by nature-bears, bees, bats, river crossings, cliff falls, impossible weather-but can they survive the treachery of their competitors?”