World Building Guest Post by G.R. Lyons

Building a Fictional World by G.R. Lyons

An artist’s rendering of the New Clark City in the Philippines.

Part of the fun of writing within a constructed world has been creating and exploring different settings. In my Shifting Isles series, a few of the books take place in the city of New Haven, a thriving metropolis that features eco-friendly construction. Elegant skyscrapers abound, but almost all buildings in New Haven feature vertical gardens on the exterior walls, adding color and life to the cityscape as well as providing fresh produce and flowers. Some of this is being done in the real world, and the visual effect is exquisite. If I could stand the noise and busyness of a big city, this would be one I’d choose to visit.

Duisburg, Germany

New Haven also makes an appearance in my first m/m books, the Matchmakers trilogy, though the primary setting for those stories is Dunsberg, a mountain town where it’s almost always cold and snowy. Quite a difference from sunny, sparkling New Haven, but it lends the quieter, slower atmosphere that those stories needed.

Giethoorn, Netherlands

A new setting I’ve been working with lately (which will come up in a near-future release, The Boy Collector trilogy) is the city of Riverside—a sprawling metropolis built on and around Morin River and its several branches, giving it the nickname The City of Bridges. A suburb of Riverside, Laketown, is the tranquil retreat from Riverside. Morin River ultimately ends at Apato Lake, a body of water dotted with dozens of tiny islands, on which Laketown was built. It’s modeled after Giethoorn, Netherlands, a village with no roads. All travel is done by water or bridges. Look it up. Trust me. It’s gorgeous.

Cotswolds, England

The setting for Illumined Shadows—indeed, for the whole Treble trilogy, as well as a few novels from my Shifting Isles series—is Morbran City, modeled after the Cotswolds in England (look that up, too! So pretty!). Morbran City has a lot of history, and its residents are fiercely proud of it, maintaining the original feel of the area by keeping all construction to the historical style that was popular when the city was founded. Lush growth, stone cottages, and cobblestone streets make the college town an idyllic place to live, a perfect, tranquil backdrop to the Treble stories. Especially in Illumined Shadows, which pretty much demanded a serene atmosphere in which Colby could recover and Vic could finally find happiness.

The area of Morbran City—and its founding—will feature heavily in a future m/m series, delving into the lives of some historical figures mentioned throughout the Treble trilogy.

What are some of your favorite book settings? City or country? Modern or historic? What about some of the places in the world you’re itching to visit? Do you happen to live in a place that you consider the most beautiful in the world? Send me an email (grlyons at grlyonsauthor dot com) or catch me on social media and let me know!

Title: Illumined Shadows (Treble and the Lost Boys #3)
Author: G.R Lyons
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: December 28, 2018
Genre(s): Fantasy
Page Count: 295
Reviewed by: Tosha


When Victor Lucius was sixteen years old, a few cruel words out of his mouth led to a brutal tragedy, one that Vic has been trying to make up for ever since. Now, working as a missing persons expert, Vic tracks down and rescues people from abandonment or abuse, trying to alleviate the guilt constantly weighing him down.

His latest case—a boy who was kidnapped at the age of two and then held captive for nineteen years—is by far the darkest of his career. If there’s any chance of Vic finally redeeming himself, helping this boy might be it.

But rescuing Colby from his basement prison is only the beginning, and brings a whole new struggle to Vic’s life:


(Note: This story takes place in a fictional world, the same as in the Shifting Isles Series. There are multiple gods, different names for the days of the week, etc. A glossary is included.)

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About Author

While daylighting as office manager for the family auto repair business, G.R. Lyons can often be found working on one of multiple manuscripts or desperately trying to keep up with the TBR pile.

Anarcho-capitalist, quietly ‘out’ trans guy, former belly dancer, coffee guzzler, highly-sensitive introvert, CrossFit enthusiast, and lover of m/m romantic fiction.


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