September 2022, newsletter

Greetings! I hope you've had a fantastic summer. It's been a bit smoky our way with a few forest fires in the area, but otherwise we've been enjoying the weather.


I've begun work on a novella. Well, okay, I've restarted work on a novella. I had a great idea and then it morphed into a whole new series. I've been world-building for that series for some time and realized I could still write a standalone novella that fits in the new universe. So, I'm back to the novella, slightly modified. I hope to use the exercise to get my mind chewing on some of the nuances of the series. I'm pretty excited about the possibilities for this new universe. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Planet earth: northern hemisphere

I can't spend all of my time in imaginary worlds. Thankfully, there are some pretty amazing views right outside my window. Apples are falling off the trees and the plums have decided to ripen all at once. Not to worry though, some deer friends of ours have come to clean up the groundfall before it attracts the bears. I guess I have some harvesting chores before I can get back to writing. On the plus side, we've been enjoying far too much apple crumble with ice cream.



I really enjoy reading the reviews I've been receiving. It's fascinating to hear the different things that people draw from the same story. It's like the imagined world gains definition through the act of being read. By the way, if you've enjoyed any of my work but haven't yet written a review, I would greatly appreciate it. Sorry, that was shameless begging.

Anyway, there is a great deal of behind-the-scenes rumination that goes into developing a world for characters to inhabit. I thought I might share a bit about how I came up with the names for various places in the Servator world. I've never shared this with anyone so you'll be the first (and maybe the last) to hear of it. I’m sorry to have to tell you that the process was not very inspired :)

Warning - This is a bit long, so if you are not interested, feel free to scroll to the freebies at the end of the newsletter.

The premise for the universe in Dictates or the Servators is that there are multiple earths with different timelines. Leviticus’s earth found a balance that remained static for thousands of years longer than other timelines. As a result, some ancient languages, monetary systems, units of measure from the neolithic period remained even while technology and culture advanced faster than it should have. I chose to divide the world into five stable geopolitical zones that have become fairly homogeneous over time.

My sorry attempt at research on civilizations from the neolithic period was neither extensive nor remotely scientific. I wanted to write fiction not study history, so forgive my obvious abuse of dates, times and places.

Since there are only five countries in Leviticus’s world, borders are expanded. Those nations conquered greater areas over time than in the real world. The societies I drew from in our own world are dated at around 3000 B.C. except for the one from China which is older. Here is how the names came to be.

Indus, also known as Harrappan was an ancient civilization in the India/Pakistan area. I combined Harrappan and Indus to create Arapanus.

Ancient Sumerian and Akkadian cultures lived in the area of Northern Iraq. I imagined the culture spreading throughout the middle east. I combined the two cultures to create Sumakad.

For the Americas, conquerors spread north from Caral, a complex ancient society in Peru. The Paleo-Indian period of North America existed about that same time. It was known as the lithic stage because of their flaked lithic stone tools. Combining the north and south created a super continent called Caralithica.

Kemet is an ancient name for Egypt. In this version of history the Egyptians conquered all of the African continent which in this timeline is called Kemetica.

Jaihu was a highly organized Chinese neolithic society based in the central plains of ancient China. Settled around 5000 BC, the site was later flooded (cue twilight theme). Southeast of the Jaihu is a place called Huwan. I combined them simply because they were geographically close and Jaihu melded well with Huwan creating Jaihuwan.

Send me your questions and I’ll do my best to answer them in future newsletters. You can email me at

On that note, I wish you well. Until next time,

Kallen Samuels