After completing the first three books I decided to create a detailed map showing where all the characters lived and where the landmarks and areas mentioned in the stories were in relation to each other. After reading the fourth manuscript I thought it a good idea, as a reminder, to make sure the stories were in the same world.
I started with a rough biro sketch and reading the first three stories and fourth manuscript, trying to include places and things, like the plastic bottle from Book 2. The fourth story deals with Old Grandfather Ash coming to the end of his life and introduces Ash Meadow across on the other side of Wacky falls. I had foreshadowed the character in book three as Grandfather Ash appears on page by the side of the water near the end of the race.
I tried a birds eye view of the forest but it gradually changed to the paths being from above with everything else seen from the side. I brought in bees, dragonflies and butterflies to add the feeling of a bustling world.
I enjoyed moving the characters around and imagining where the characters lived in the forest. There is only one path out of the forest, to the north, to the 'outer world'. This is mentioned in Ashes to Ashes so I thought it important to add. As a child I used to love looking at maps and I hope readers of the books will get a thrill out of seeing where their favourite characters live.
I added the two-tone grid frame around the map to give that ordnance map grid coordinate feel. It's also nice to contain the map in a frame.
It's nice to know that that Steve (author/creator) will use the map for future stories and maybe new characters.