I’m back with more of the mood boards/scrapbook for the Divine Warriors series! At first, I was afraid to call it a scrapbook because I thought that sounded a bit like a white mom stereotype. But then I learned that scrapbooks were very popular during the Victorian era, so it fits with the steampunk theme, and Mark Twain even patented a self-pasting scrapbook! I respect Twain as an author (he even wrote about Calaveras, or at least, a jumping frog from Calaveras), so if it’s good enough for him, I’m happy to follow in his footsteps.
In my first post, you got to see the character inspirations for Riwenne, Kyra, Nexita, Janera, and Amena. I’m filling out the rest of the main characters today, adding some of the maps, and a peek at some major inspirations for the series. There are spoilers for book 2 in this post, so if you haven’t read Bionic Witches yet, you’ve been warned.
Deryt is the token cis boy of the magical girl gang. His signature mask and smoke bombs are a tribute to Tuxedo Mask from Sailor Moon. He’s also a mechanical engineer/inventor and airship pilot. He is the champion of Sano, the sky god.
Vilqa doesn’t join the team until the second book, but over time they become an important member of the group. I wanted to stretch the definition of “magical girl” by adding a non-binary character. In Sailor Moon, that character is Sailor Uranus, who is genderfluid and dresses masculine or feminine depending on their mood. But Vilqa takes more after Sailor Neptune, because they both have ocean-based magic. Vilqa becomes the new champion of Sawycha, the sea goddess, after Riwenne is chosen by Quilla, the moon goddess.
These maps are in the books (b+w in the print edition, color for books) and they’re very handy as references. I’ve sketched out general maps of more locations so I’ll probably add more to these in the future. Here is the main continent of Arkia and the main location of most books, Lyndamon, a floating city and the capital of the Central Province.
Here is a close-up of the Central Province, which also shows the location of Damondytti Port and Ruraqie. In the Northern Province, you can see Amena and Deryt’s home village Jabin, along with Serynda, where Amena originally joins the Star Search competition.
Some inspirations for the series. I incorporated steampunk technology with the Incan Empire, along with floating cities and airships. The magic is based on belief in the gods and borrows from magical girl anime like Sailor Moon. Horizon Zero Dawn also inspired many of the mechanical beasts.
Finally, I’ve also been practicing my handlettering by creating quotes pages for the series. These three are all from the current book I’m writing, Riweene & the Ethereal Apparatus (Divine Warriors #5). I tried my hand at painting with watercolors for some of the illustrations.
“They stopped our wild spinning and dropped the airship lower until we found shelter behind a mountain.”
I painted the airship and mountains.
I painted the snake. It turned out more cute than menacing.
I painted the teacup. Since it’s cold, I’ve been drinking so much hot tea lately.
I hope you enjoyed these new pictures! It’s been so much fun to create this scrapbook and visualize Riwenne’s world.