So over the last couple of months I’ve had questions from readers regarding the Four Realms and writing in general. I responded to them at the time but thought they were good enough to deserve a wider audience. With their permission I am allowed to share their questions and my answer with you. If it’s popular and readers continue to send in questions, I may do this as a semi-regular thing. I have enough for a couple of blog posts but beyond that is down to you!
So without further delay, let’s get on with the first couple of questions. (Minor spoilers as to the location of major characters at the end of book 1 contained within!)

What are the four realms the book is named after?
This is a question I get asked a lot by readers as it’s not overtly obvious. I’ve made a note in the sequel to ensure that the title is actually explicitly explained within the text. As for the actual four realms, they are the realm of men (our world), the realm of magic (Venefasia), The realm of heaven and the realm of hell. Their central involvement in the overall story will become clearer in future books.
Does Joseph the troll have more or less intelligence than your average human?
Trolls are traditionally a little slower than most humans. This is mainly due to the fact that that they don’t have the tradition of education that most humans have. You’ll find most trolls in the city working in manual labour (or hired muscle due to their size) but further afield there are a few ecclesiastical centres where trolls have more or less the same intelligence as their human counterparts. You may even see one in book 2!
Joseph has never been an academic but he has a lot of common sense so I’d say he’s about the same as your standard human.
Are the McDonalds and Starbucks in Venefasia franchised or are they fakes? What are the logistics of that?
They are unofficially franchised. There’s a US state that proportionally sells more burgers per person than any other by a large margin. What happens is that the branch unofficially sells most of its stock to black marketeers which makes its way onto New Salisbury through the black market and a couple of gateways that are not controlled by either the Friary or the elves.
We’ll get to see one of these black market gateways in action in book 2. This one is in Kansas, but who could be going through? I mean, Maureen, Cassidy and Darwin were all left in Venefasia at the end of the Four Realms. Who could we possibly see go through and why do they want to get into Venefasia?
OK, we’ll leave it there this time. If there’s interest we’ll do another one in time. Remember, if you have your own questions, whether they be about the Four Realms, the publishing industry or writing in general, be sure to send them in via the contact page.