The Weir Chronicles is based on my love of earth and space sciences. I do extensive research and use what I can relate to modern science for the basis of the Weirs powers. If I take any liberties, it’s minimal, and extends from my belief of what might be, yet remains unproven or unexplained.
- What area of science do you believe shyfting — disappearing from one location and reappearing in another — might be explained? Does this phenomenon have scientific basis, or is it merely the author’s belief?
- The Weir’s ability to heal themselves comes from what’s found in nature. Calcium to repair broken bones, proteins for torn ligaments, etc. Name examples of homeopathic practices found today. What countries embrace those practices more than others? Choose one type of homeopathic method and research it. How old is it? What is used? Is it regionally based, and if so, why?
- Lightning plays a major role in SLEIGHT OF HAND. What elements and reactions are needed to create lightning? How hot does it get? Can the human body withstand a direct strike? What happens to the body when lightning is absorbed? What part of the body can actually melt? What are common ailments reported by those who have been struck and lived?
- The Weir believe that unless the energies found within the planet are in harmony with the energy housed across the surface, the planet will be out of balance and slowly self-destruct. Give an example of this occurring in present day earth. Can it be controlled, and if so, how?
- As the series unfolds, the plot encompasses Earth’s twin in an alternate dimension. There are countless books, television shows and movies based on similar beliefs to mine. What scientific basis is there to suggest there are parallel dimensions? Discuss your personal theories or beliefs about this. Would they be exact, or mirror images of each other? How many would there be? Would there be significant differences between them? Why or why not?
Whether or not you’ve read The Weir Chronicles, I hope the class discussions gave you a sneak peek into the extensive world building research that I did for the novels. Look out for the final two books in The Weir Chronicles series, Stack the Deck, coming in late 2016 and Dim the Lights, appearing in 2017.
The Weir Chronicles series follows a young man, Ian Black, as he finds purpose in the world and discovers his inner strength. He is the last born to the Weir, a magical race of beings who have kept the energies of earth in harmony. The Weir are dying out, and Ian is their final hope to prevent the planet from self-destructing. But Ian isn’t born with the Prophesized powers and in desperation, the Weir elders torture him, trying to bring his powers to the surface.
In book one, Fade to Black, Ian has abandoned his people and hides among humans as an illusionist. A nosey reporter uncovers his secrets and unwittingly exposes him to those who would kill for his connection to the earth. Ian fights to keep them both safe, and uncovers a Weir traitor bent on bringing about Earth’s destruction. In the second installment, Masks and Mirrors, Ian stumbles upon a band of rebels, fighting alongside the Weir to keep Earth safe, but the rebel leader gives Ian cause to question their motives for safeguarding the planet and he risks everything to discover their true agenda. The third book, Sleight of Hand continues the battle to protect Earth. The rebels poison Ian, and it’s up to his friends to find a cure before Ian succumbs and the planet is left in the hands of those intent on taking control of the resources that Earth has to offer.
Sue Duff has dreamed of dragons and spaceships before she could even read, so it’s only natural that she now combines both fantasy and science fiction as her favorite genre. Having written since high school, Duff never took it seriously until a skiing accident laid her up for an entire summer and she turned on the word processor to combat the boredom. A couple years later, her first urban fantasy novel, Fade to Black, was one of five finalists in the RMFW Colorado Gold Writing Contest and in 2015, Duff’s writing earned her the PEN Award. She is the second oldest of six girls with an avid reader mom and her dad, the family’ single drop of testosterone in a sea of estrogen. By day, Duff is a dedicated speech-language therapist at an inner city school district, a career she pursued much in part to her aunt who got her hooked on stories of the profession when Duff was younger. She is passionate about the work she does and regularly works to help those students that need it the most.
Sue is a member of the R ocky Mountain Fiction Writers and T he Pikes Peak Writers. She calls Colorado home and when not saving the world one page at a time, she can be found walking her great dane, getting her hands dirty in her garden, or creating something delicious in her kitchen.
Catch up with her through her website. www.sueduff.com
Thank you for this post, Sue, and thank you to Sami for connecting us with Sue!